Many people have days where their mental health state can keep them from getting out of bed or from being productive. Sometimes that little black raincloud just won’t go away, and it can be hard to imagine feeling the sunshine again. However, there are things you can do to help yourself get through these days and start over again either later in the day or tomorrow. No, this isn’t going to be about bath bombs, and Tumblr quotes being your solution to a bad day. There are healthy ways to survive a mental health day that can give you your best chance to feel better and take care of yourself when you may not feel motivated.
Remember Basic Self Care
There are too many blogs floating around the internet that suggest doing a face mask, taking a bubble bath, or something else that requires a lot of energy when you barely have the motivation to do anything. These types of actions may not be realistic to follow through on. For bad days, it’s important to keep it simple and try to do only what you have to do. It is understandable to not want to do your hair, put on makeup, or put effort into looking good. Instead, try making your bed, changing out of your pajamas, or even showering. These tiny acts of self-care are successes on bad mental health days and should be seen as small successes to get through the day. Being grateful that you can accomplish these small tasks can make slowly feel a little better.
Don’t Forget Food and Water
Again, you most likely don’t have the energy to cook an elaborate meal for yourself. Instead of focusing on eating three meals a day like you usually do, try eating small portions throughout the day. This may be easier for you to get through despite having a low appetite which can be a common symptom of depression. Snacks that you don’t have to prepare will give you the necessary energy to make it through the day. They may even improve your mood. Also, don’t forget to hydrate! Drink water whenever you can to keep yourself hydrated and healthy.
Don’t Overwork Yourself
Having a plan to get specific responsibilities done is a great way to stay productive. However, a long to-do list on a bad mental health day is the last thing you want to have. How you felt yesterday may not be the same as how you are feeling today and you may find yourself unable to complete everything on your to-do list. Rather than feeling guilty for not doing everything, you can try to achieve what is absolutely essential and finish everything else on a day when you are feeling better. This will reduce your guilt without overwhelming you.
Stay Off Your Phone
If you can help it, try to stay off your phone. At the very least, stay away from social media. It is easy to get caught up in the world social media presents to us as it is often filled with false versions of reality and can leave you in a comparison spiral that is never effective for feeling good about yourself. This can lead to increased feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression so it is best for those bad mental health days to avoid social media altogether. Being unplugged for a day will allow you to truly relax and not be bombarded by news of the world, your friends, and more. Allowing yourself to take a break from your phone will help you to move through the negative feelings you may be experiencing a lot faster.
Watch Your Favorite Show
The heaviness of mental illness can be overwhelming and sometimes suffocating. Too many people feel as though they will never feel happy again because of one bad day. Finding the joy in little things can make all the difference. Snuggle up in a blanket and turn on the TV for some needed relaxation time. Watching your favorite show to boost your mood and engage in an activity that requires little energy and also allows you to relax for an hour or two and distract you from any negative thoughts or emotions you may be experiencing. Choosing to watch something with humor can even potentially boost your endorphins through laughter.
Cry If You Need To
If you are feeling the urge to cry, don’t hold it in. Bottling your emotions will only lead to an explosion of feelings later on. Crying is healthy! It releases stressful emotions, cleanses you, and helps you be more in tune with your body. Crying lets you know something is wrong. When you feel it coming on, allow yourself to cry and release the tears. You will feel better releasing that sadness and heaviness of the negativity.
Sit Outside and Enjoy the Sunshine
When you’re feeling depressed, it is common to want to isolate, draw the shades, and lay in bed all day. This actually doesn’t do what you think it will and make you feel better. If you can, try to push yourself to go outside and sit in the sunshine. This doesn’t mean you have to take a long walk or do anything too excessive. Just sit outside, feel the warmth of the sun on your face, and listen to your surroundings. Studies have shown that merely sitting outside can boost your mood and energy. You’ll feel better in the light of day, especially when the warmth of the sun touches you.
At Choice House, we understand that self-care on bad mental health days isn’t always easy. It can be easy to fall down the rabbit hole of depression and anxiety. However, it is possible to pick yourself up. We want the very best for our clients. Therefore, we give suggestions that are realistic for treatment and recovery. We don’t want our clients to be given unrealistic expectations for healing, so we offer support that is manageable. Even after recovery, it is normal to have bad mental health days. Everyone has them, and they are nothing to be ashamed of. However, there are small things you can do to improve those days that do not require that much energy. By engaging in the activities listed above, you can improve your day even just a little bit. It will help you get to tomorrow and try again. Remember that bad day are normal, and if you ever need to talk to anyone, we are here for you. Call us at (720) 577-4422.