I get them sometimes, the icky days. I know that it is a part of living on this Earth in all it’s broken glory. The icky days usually don’t announce themselves until they arrive and I often feel frustrated with these uninvited guests. Sometimes they come from a failure to plan, or when I feel like I have nothing to look forward to, and sometimes I just wake up feeling icky.
Usually when the icky days come, my first instinct is to call survival mode and break out all of my comfort items. It does feel nice in the moment to eat junk and watch way too much television, but it does nothing for the long term. It doesn’t fix the underlying problem in my heart and it usually leaves me with guilty feelings that aren’t nice to fight off.
When I say icky days, I am referring to days that I feel “off” or just not awesome about life in general. I am not referring to depression and severe anxiety that I know are real in people’s lives. I know that those are things that can’t be just shaken off and may need more help than what I am suggesting in this post. Here are a few things that I have been learning lately about how to care for myself on days when I feel icky.
1.) Talk to God about it. I know that God already knows how I feel and my day was written in His book before I even had the icky feelings. I do think that just having a chat with Him about how I am feeling gives me courage and makes me feel less alone. Before the icky feelings have a chance to take over, talking to God helps us to combat them and put them in their place. Satan would like for us to let these feelings take over and cause us to sin. We know that we serve a God who can help us through anything and also cares for us deeply. What a wonderful gift that we can turn those feelings over to Him and not be stuck in the lonely icky feelings by ourselves.
2.) Make Good Choices. Like I said earlier, when I feel my day starting to feel yucky, my first response is to want to eat a bunch of junk food and sit on the couch watching TV. While this may feel good in the moment, in the long term it is really hurting me. Instead of letting our feelings rule us and in turn feeling worse later, we can make the choice to eat foods that are going to make us feel good and be present with our children rather than watching TV. We can make the choice to get the laundry and dishes that we don’t want to do done and we will be so thankful that we did later on.
3.) Plan. I think sometimes my icky days come from lack of planning. I feel that looking ahead to potential problems in your schedule is a good way to combat having off days. If you see that your schedule is too packed or too wide open, you can look ahead and do something about it before a problem arises.
4.) Look Heavenward. I also feel like these days can come after I have been doing something I enjoy and it ends. For example: My husband and I are huge Olympics fans and our favorite thing to watch has been the swimming. We have pretty much lived and breathed swimming this past week and when it ended, I felt a little bit of a let down. I felt like there is nothing to look forward to and I then felt that I had to fill the void I felt with something else. What really should have happened was that in these moments when I am making something way too important, like swimming, I need to take a step back and realize that there is way more to life than watching swimming on television. Yes, it is fun and we sure enjoyed it, but my response when it was over tells me that I was making it an idol in my life. Recognizing these times before they end is a great way to combat those feelings when they are over. We need to have spiritual tunnel vision and know that all the things on this Earth will pass away and we have Heaven to look forward to. When we focus on God and our eternal home, the little nuisances here on this Earth don’t seem as hard to deal with.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
So the next time those icky feelings creep in, let’s trust God to take care of us and give those feelings back to Him!