The seed of willpower and motivation to face each new day needs ongoing cultivation to grow and thrive. 

We need to set up the conditions to enable it to flourish. This can range from slow breath and movement modalities like yoga and meditation, to strong physical exercise, to calling a close family member or old friend to taking a stroll along a beach or garden. It is sipping a hot drink, a nourishing meal or a cleansing shower. 

The relevant list is unique for all of us.

It certainly doesn’t help by feeding self-doubt, worry and dark thoughts. When they do arise, which is part of being human we can seek to better understand why they arise and if we can stay quiet for a time, they may just pass. 

The reality there are bad days

Sometimes I feel like I can’t face the day. The feeling is all too familiar.

It is always a matter of how close this feeling is to me rather than it being an exception.

I lack the will to mobilise and so I retreat to a quiet space, usually my bed. If I’m lucky my dogs sense it and stay close by me.

Can this reality of discomfort in the present moment be accepted and even welcomed instead of loathed? 

Is there a way to steadily work its way through to a healthier state of being? 

Can it be ok to stay in bed for a while longer and slow right down without accomplishing the usual daily quota of achievements and not feel guilt and shame?

To be honest, I am not easily able to accept this state of mind and body because it seems like a slide into eventual despair. 

I feel the giant claws of depression looming that take over my being. It is only a matter of time. 

This is an old habit pattern that rears its ugly head again and again.

I feel totally immobilised at its worst- discomfort or pain in my body, usually a tight chest and intense fear of what’s next. Then I’m a deer in headlights and feel I will succumb to the inevitability.

The only way out is through it

But then I draw upon something deeper in me. A will to stay in the moment and try to inquire to gain understanding and acceptance.

I start to get quiet. I begin to inhale and exhale and focus on letting go of what doesn’t serve my wellbeing. My breathwork is an integral part of my way through. I do a few slow yoga postures too to mobilise my body.

It is worthwhile to reflect and discover ways in which foster a way through the discomfort. There is no way around it. 

For me, some of the ways through is writing and speaking with authenticity. 

It is listening to the sounds in nature.

It is sometimes asking my husband to kindly make me a coffee.

It is an embrace upon his exit to work as he senses my morning challenges. 

It is being near my dogs.

It is hugging my sons before they set out for their day.

It is a genuine conversation with a friend and allowing others into my challenges.

It is being slow but steadily toward rising. 

And then I rise. 


  • Dr Deb Roberts has a PhD in public health. She is a writer, speaker, yoga teacher and mental health advocate. American born, she lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, three sons and golden retrievers Sparky and Indi. You can read more of her writing on her blog.