Tracee Ellis Ross On The Importance Of Making Friends With Loneliness

January 8, 2018  |  

A great way to practice self-care, if you’re hoping to do that a lot more in the new year, is to avoid going through certain feelings and just letting them pass, and instead, actually acknowledge them (and when they’re dark, work through them). Because while it’s great to be able to share every thought and concern with others, that’s not always possible. As Blackish star Tracee Ellis Ross said in her Glamour Women of the Year summit speech last year, sometimes you have to be your own support.

Tracee Ellis Ross lonely

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And just like the rest of us, the 45-year-old, who has famous friends, notoriety and an iconic family, has grappled with strong feelings of loneliness. But as she told Glamour, instead of denying it, she’s been accepting and embracing it. Or better yet, she’s been making friends with loneliness. The magazine asked Ross about being her own support and what it looks like to encourage herself in the darkest of moments, and the beauty dropped this gem.

“The key is you ask yourself, What do I need right now?” Ross said. “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.
And I have had to really make friends with loneliness. And know the difference between choice-ful solitude and lonely. [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 also touched on pushing herself to think positively, even on her worst days.

“I don’t have the luxury of not going to work when I don’t feel up to it,” she said. “Most people don’t. On those days, I acknowledge I am feeling f–king 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. I have to look pretty even when I don’t feel pretty. There’s a way to hold both things.”

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