Real life isn’t a box of chocolates for anyone. Take it from Tracee Ellis Ross, the badass star of Black-ish, who recently admitted to facing times where she’s had to be her own support system (as she said in her speech at Glamour‘s Women of the Year event).
“I have had to really make friends with loneliness,” she told the same magazine in a recent interview. “And know the difference between choice-ful solitude and lonely.”
“I have had to really make friends with loneliness.”
The thing is, Ross tries not to dwell on the negative aspects of being alone—which is super common (guilty). Instead, she finds strength in them, and leans on her friendships for support: “[I find comfort in] being able to name it, to say I’m feeling lonely, then to have a tribe of people I feel safe enough with to share: This is how I feel,” she says.
The actress goes on to point out that most people—including herself—can’t just avoid contact with real life if they’re dealing with a rough time. “I don’t have the luxury of not going to work when I don’t feel up to it,” says Ross. “On those days, I acknowledge I am feeling f-cking crappy, and I’m not at my best, and I still want to or need to keep walking forward. I have to do some of my best work on my worst days.”
Her secrets to doing so? Know what you need—especially mentally. “The key is you ask yourself, What do I need right now?” Ross explains. “I’ve cultivated a relationship with myself where I know I have choices…. I have a toolbox of ways I can find support; journaling is helpful, or meditation.” Considering both ways are scientifically known for boosting your overall feeling of happiness, Ross definitely knows what’s up.
For more intel on boosting your mood, try these 4 Buddhist-approved ways to increase your happiness. Or you could take these happiness tips from the world’s oldest yoga teacher.