When You’re Feeling Down, Celebrate The Little Victories

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I’ve been feeling heavy lately, like the whole world is weighing me down. I cry at least once a day. Sometimes sweet moments make me cry, like living with my partner, who holds me longer because he knows I am feeling down, who listens and supports me. Or when I meet a stranger whose kindness touches my heart. And there are times that I cry because I am overwhelmed by the world, thinking about immigrant children being separated from their parents.

But I’ve also realized that to get through the day, I have to celebrate the small victories, the little things that I accomplish. One morning, I went for a jog outside in my neighborhood. I ran toward the Williamsburg Bridge, and I passed by an old lover’s apartment, and at that moment, I felt empowered. Empowered because there was a time that being in that vicinity, close to his apartment, made me heartbroken all over again. I had always carried nostalgia and longing, and my heart ached. But this time, I ran right past his place and felt free. I was proud of myself. I ran with strength. I ran with determination. I had missed this feeling so much.

If you are feeling down, if your thoughts are negative and you are struggling to make it through the day, through the week, take a step back. Look at the moments where you feel strong, even if you think them insignificant. My friend suggested that I make a list of things I am good at to make myself feel better. She gave me an example that I love: today, I added just the right amount of milk to my coffee. It may appear silly, but the little things matter, and eventually add up.

Community also matters. I am fortunate to be surrounded by a wonderful community of friends, many of whom are artists like myself, who know too well this feeling of heaviness. Try to surround yourself with your community if you would rather be alone. You don’t even have to say much, but just being present with them can make a difference.

And most importantly, have faith. I am not religious, but I have faith, deep down. I have faith in myself, and in the universe. I know that when I am down, there is something within me that I have to nurture. Find what that is. Take breaks. Analyze the situation. Find patterns. And remember to love yourself, in the midst of the sadness. You deserve to be loved. TC mark

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