Hillary Clinton thanks volunteers, acknowledges 'very, very tough days'

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton concedes the presidential election at the New Yorker Hotel on November 9, 2016 in New York City. Republican candidate Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election in the early hours of the morning in a widely unforeseen upset. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton concedes the presidential election at the New Yorker Hotel on November 9, 2016 in New York City. Republican candidate Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election in the early hours of the morning in a widely unforeseen upset. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

During a phone call to campaign volunteers Friday, Hillary Clinton said that the days after losing the presidential election have been "very, very tough days."

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The former secretary of state thanked her supporters for being "the heart and soul of (the) campaign," which she said was "as hopeful, inclusive and bighearted as the America that we believe in" because of their dedicated service.

"Being your candidate has been one of the greatest honors of my life," she said. She also noted that her victory in the popular vote "says volumes about the importance of (volunteers') work and the lasting impact it will have."

"I believe in everything we fought for, and I believe in you ... Thank you all from the bottom of my heart," she said.

Clinton encouraged volunteers to set aside time to heal after the election loss and urged them to continue fighting for their political beliefs.

"I hope that you will all take some time to regroup. It's important that you understand that, you know, there's still a lot to be done in our country, by people like you, who are so, so important to us," she said. "This is a hard loss for all of us because we know what was at stake in this election, and we have to do everything we can to continue to support the causes we believe in. When you're ready, I hope you will get up and back in there and keep fighting."

Clinton was spotted walking her dog Thursday, and a photo of the Democratic nominee with a hiker who was "heartbroken" about the election results gained attention online.

"I hope that, you know, you'll take some time with friends and family, or do what I've been doing, take your dogs for a walk, if you have dogs, or, you know, whatever else gives you some real pleasure," she said Friday.

At an all-staff event Friday, Clinton distributed a red rose to each of her staff members to show her appreciation for their work on her campaign. She said the 1,200 roses were delivered to her by an aide in the wake of the election results.