Hey there. How was your week? 

I'll be honest, the last few months have been hard. REALLY hard.

But today--I had a really nice day. It was beautiful outside, and before the show I took a drive through some of our gorgeous East Texas back roads. I communicated with a couple of friends. I laughed really, really hard at the most ridiculous meme I've ever seen. Little things--but they felt huge.  Life felt pretty great today. But with all of the madness that's gone on this year, I almost felt guilty. Ever have that feeling?

It's as if, when there's so much to contend with in the world, that means somehow we shouldn't allow ourselves to be happy. But that's not true. Not for me. And not for you. 

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We need moments of happiness to sustain us in times like these. Allowing yourself to relax and have fun strengthens you. None of us can run on frustration fumes for very long. But if you are struggling with melancholy today, please know you're not alone.

If you'd touched base with me a couple of days last week, it would've been a different story. Why? It's hard to pinpoint one specific thing or another while maintaining a reasonable word count for this post. Let's just say generally-speaking, it just felt hard--physically, emotionally, and mentally. I just felt drained.

Do you ever have days or weeks like this? If one is prone to melancholy or maybe even full-blown depression, days like this can make doing even the simplest things seem...well, harder.

When I was younger, I used to kind of freak out when I got blue. Isn't that the strange irony? Feeling blue made me feel bluer. It becomes like a spiral of sadness, with one event or thought feeding the next and so on. The good news is, the reverse also seems to be true.

As I've gotten older and hopefully a little wiser, I can recognize when I'm starting to feel the onset of melancholy and can take a few steps to counteract and stop the spiral and manage the feelings more effectively. Sometimes, it's just as simple as remembering the old adage, "this, too, shall pass."

Sometimes, in those more difficult moments, just taking the tiniest step in a more uplifting direction can make a huge difference. If you feel you're starting to swerve to a sadder place, stop and try and recognize it. Don't chide yourself for the feeling, just let it be. Then, take a moment and decide on some small action that will move your conscious thoughts into a better head space. Speaking of head space, a five or ten minute meditation can help.

Speaking from personal experience, other options that may be helpful to you could be calling a supportive friend, taking a walk (in nature, if possible,) or engaging in any activity that requires you to get out of your own head for a bit--like cooking or working in the yard.

So, I just wanted to let you know that if you're feeling down today, I understand. Life can simply feel harder sometimes. Not to mention that life presents us with moments and situations that just suck sometimes, feelings aside. I hear you. Please know you are not alone. So many people can relate to these feelings. Be encouraged today, my friend. Remember, "this, too, shall pass."

And, if you can, try to have some fun this weekend.