Every day, we put on our adult pants and go to our adult jobs, so that we can pay for our adult things. But there are days when it’s just hard to “adult.” It takes a bit more effort than usual to get out of bed as we brace ourselves for the day ahead. We’ve all been there.

Earlier this year, I found myself in a mental funk that I couldn’t seem to shake off. Getting out of bed in the morning seemed almost impossible on most days, and sometimes, was the biggest win of the day. It felt like all the passion I once had in me was sucked out completely. I felt lifeless.

If you’re like me, you tend to think in terms of black or white, all or nothing, and you’re uncomfortable with “the gray area.” What do I mean by this? I either care too much about something, or I don’t care at all. I either feel like I’m invincible, or helpless. There’s no in-between. A bit extreme, I know.

Thankfully, after getting my butt kicked for months, I was able to crawl out of the hole I had dug for myself. I decided to make a comeback and shifted my mindset to a more positive one, which enabled me to make some changes in my life that have contributed to my overall well-being. I had to do some soul-searching, rediscover my “why”, rewire my brain by changing my thought processes, and remind myself of my personal commitment to become the best version of myself, and I know this cannot be done overnight. The journey is more important than the destination.

I’ve learned to count my blessings instead of focusing on what is lacking. I’ve learned to laugh at myself instead of beating myself up for every little mistake (#perfectionistproblems). I’ve learned to not stress over things that are out of my control and instead focus on the things that make me happy and fulfilled. I’ve learned to say “no” to certain things, so that I don’t burn myself out. I’ve learned to cut out all the garbage in my life and put my energy where it matters most. I’ve learned to put myself first because I cannot be of service to anyone unless I am at 100%. I’ve learned to prioritize my mental health because it affects every aspect of my life. I’ve learned to love myself again.

I’ve learned to allow myself to be a work in progress and to give myself credit for the smaller wins because they still signify growth. I guess you can say I’ve learned to accept and appreciate “the gray area.” In life, sometimes we need to experience the dark slumps to truly appreciate the highlights. To share a personal mantra that has helped me, “No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, show up, and never give up.”

What are some mantras that you live by? When you are going through tough times, what have you found to be helpful?