It's Okay if you still Can't Get Up, Take your Time

It's Okay if you still Can't Get Up, Take your Time
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 15 November, 2021

Albert Ellis used to talk about how one of the mechanical things we do every time we go through a disappointment, a loss, or a traumatic event, is blame ourselves. And something else we do a lot of the time is project a kind of “disdain” about ourselves for not being able to handle our lives. For not finding the energy to get up in the morning, or the courage to confront certain situations and circumstances.

It’s almost like you’re trying to run right after you sprain your ankle. You get angry about feeling the pain and not being able to go as fast as your mind wants to. You ignore the fact that your foot has an injury that needs  treating. You need a break – treatment. And you need to start to realize that for a little while you won’t be able to walk, let alone run.

girl and fish

Take your time, but use that time well

Take your time, as much as you need and not how long other people tell you. Everybody has their own rhythm. Everbody needs their own patterns, strategies, internal awakenings, and external support to stick to and work on every day. Understanding that is fundamental. Up to now, whether you like it or not, you had some mistaken ideas that stopped you from starting the healing process. 

A piece in “Perspectives on Psychological Science,” says that an idea has become popular about how we’re all naturally resilient. People will constantly tell you that everything heals with time. That you just have to let your brain do its job. Then little by little it’ll bring out that internal strength to get rid of your stress, or overcome negative situations.

That’s wrong.  Time doesn’t cure anything on its own. Nor do we have have an auto-pilot to turn on to guide us along the path of resilienceSomething the researchers from the study say is that these ideas put you in a true setting of psychological passiveness. You sink into quicksand where you wait for a cure that will never come.

under black cloud

Ideas you have to stop believing about psychological healing

Popular psychology, and some spiritual currents, have a tendency to plant certain mistaken beliefs inside us. And they’re extremely far from what the research actually shows. Accepting a lot of those ideas can end up slowing down your psychological healing. That’s why you have to keep some of these false myths in mind. Here they are:

  • Time heals everything (false) ⇔ What you do during that time is what heals you.
  • All pain only lasts three months (false)   Everyone needs a specific amount of time to deal with a loss or a breakup.
  • Strong people can handle everything (false) ⇔ What exactly does it mean to be a strong person? Labeling someone as “strong” might make them feel like they have to better as soon as possible, and that’s dangerous.
  • We’re all resilient (false) ⇔ Resilience is something you work on, develop, sharpen, and personalize. It is based on your characteristics and needs. It’s not a spontaneous wake-up, it’s a craft you have to learn and put into practice every day, not just when you need it.

Take your time to hibernate, to heal

We said at the beginning that we get mad at ourselves when we don’t heal quickly. When we don’t run as fast as we want to. Or for not being able to be the same people all the time. This is because we live in a world that tells us we have to feel good all the time. We always have to be functional and project an image of pure, radiant happiness.

But life doesn’t come with Instagram filters. You can’t improve your state of mind with just a single click. That’s something takes time and effort, and above all an intentional focus. So now we’re going to tell you about two simple strategies to do all that.

  • Take your time to hibernate. That doesn’t mean sleeping and isolating yourself. It means using one of the advantages of that physiological process that hibernating animals put into practice – conserving energy. If your body just can’t anymore, if your mind is exhausted, then rest. Stop putting other people first. Put aside all that external noise so you can see to your internal needs. 
girl with butterflies

  • Take your time to heal. However long you need, not how long other people say. Remember that healing isn’t a journey with an departure and arrival date. It’s a process, a hike with no comforts where you shouldn’t look around at the landscape or whatever’s wrapping you up – focus on yourself.

Lastly, and no less importantly, you can’t forget that it’s a good idea not to say no to company during the healing process. You just have to choose good travel companions. Choosing a good professional who can guide you through the process will make it all easier. They’ll help you recognize that before you can run freely, you have to learn to walk again.

You can achieve it, and doing this will take some time, but you will reach your goal. 

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.