It’s OK to not be OK

Finding happiness means seeking comfort in consistency

By Nathan Parin

There are very few times when a life can be put on pause. Often, we are expected to keep going, pushing through whatever is happening in our personal lives to sustain our professional ones. So, what happens when your life is flipped upside down? 

Seldom do people prioritize themselves over school, work and responsibilities. The world keeps turning despite our feelings; dishes need to be done, laundry needs washed, cars need gas and work needs completed. This is a harsh reality of our culture. There are plenty of coping mechanisms to deal with pain, but what we don’t talk about is being OK with not being OK. 

I am not declaring that everyone should just settle and lead a life of complacency. However, consistent happiness is not required at all points to live a full and happy life. There are issues in everyone’s lives that really shake their core and leave them feeling uncomfortable in their own skin. But during these points, we can learn how to be OK with not being OK.

When we are enduring hardship, aspects of our lives change, but frequently, we can rely on ourselves to be the same in ways that truly matter. Everything that we enjoy does not just disappear from our lives. Our favorite foods are still being made, televisions shows still run, dogs are still walked down the street and our life keeps going. 

When you’re at the point where you’re being OK with not being OK, it is important to self-care. Take the extra five minutes to enjoy the shower a little bit longer, listen to a favorite album while you clean, study early so the evening is free to wear pajamas and watch Netflix — do whatever is going to bring a little bit of control and satisfaction into your life when you’re not fine. 

One final point: no one is required to be happy. You can still listen to your favorite album and be upset. It doesn’t mean you’re broken for not being happy; it just means you’re human.

Just because you’re not OK doesn’t mean it’s impossible for you to have a day where you laugh and joke and are generally in a good mood, but it doesn’t mean every day is that way either. It’s OK to meet yourself where you are and go from there; that’s really all you can do sometimes.

We never know where another person is at mentally or emotionally, and a little patience and kindness can do a lot for the world. Remember to treat yourself with kindness, be patient, do some self-care. Nothing lasts forever, even this feeling.