Welcome to the second part of the adventure series dealing with practice days when you’re negotiating mental health issues. This one’s right in the middle because in a lot of ways it’s the toughest.
First, you might want to review the first part in this series, which tackles ways to break down getting to practice while caring for yourself.
This article is essentially about what you choose to do on those days when it really is too hard to make it to practice, because those happen. And how to also care for yourself through that – because that part’s important.
What if I just can’t do it?
- Repeat after me: “It’s ok.”
Sometimes we just really can’t make it happen. And it’s okay.
Sometimes that’s because we aren’t being good to ourselves, and sometimes it’s because we need to act in self-love and self-care in other ways than making ourselves go to practice. Whatever the reason, it’s ok.
It’s one practice or one game or one social event, and there will be more. What happened, happened and it’s time to move forward.
The more we dwell on the things we didn’t do or perceived as failures, the less space we allow for focusing on the ways we can move forward. I promise, it’s ok.
- Try again next time.
On that note – looking forward, maybe think about some things you could do to better set yourself up for success next time.
Was there something that triggered your hard time that can be avoided or better managed to care for yourself? What can you do to help yourself next time this happens?
You can always try again. This is not the end, and you are strong and you are resilient.
- Life Cycles.
Everything in life is cyclical. Remember: It might feel bad right now, but it won’t feel bad forever. Keep moving forward, and things will come right around – that’s how life works.
- Be Kind and Gentle.
Would you be disappointed in a teammate who didn’t come to practice because they were in a bad place?
Would you berate a teammate for not showing up for practice because they were having a hard time or they needed to care for themselves in other ways?
Chances are, you wouldn’t.
Flex your kindness and forgiveness muscles with your best friend and closest confidant – yourself. I have found that the more we work those muscles out, the stronger they get and the easier it is to use them on ourselves as well as others.
- Ask for support.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – asking for support is perhaps one of the hardest things to do (for me, at least), but one of the best we can do for ourselves.
Ask for support from a consenting friend, teammate or family member (chosen family definitely counts).
If you’re having trouble being kind with yourself about skipping out, sometimes nice, forgiving words from a trusted person can help.
Or, importantly, if you are in a really unsafe place, ask for support direct by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or the Crisis Call Center at 775-784-8090. (If you’re not American, Google is definitely your friend here – there are many local numbers for you to reach out to).
It should be noted that none of these things are supposed to be easy.
Especially in the midst of struggle and especially when we are first starting to work on our mental health stuff. It’s ok if these don’t come naturally. It’s ok if these things don’t feel good or helpful. It also doesn’t make them any less valuable to try.
The next installment will tackle steps for what to do once you’re there, if it happens to be one of the times when you make it through those initial steps, and you’re at practice. Stay tuned, readers!