If you’ve read my previous articles, you know I focus a lot on my mental health. Through things like therapy, journaling, exercise, and getting more involved on campus, I’ve found a way to keep my sanity in the real-world and the COVID-world. What I haven’t written about yet is what not to do when you’re having a bad week. So, let me help/remind you (and myself) what to avoid doing and I’ll throw in some alternatives!
Staying in Bed
One of the worst things you can do for your body and your brain is stay in bed when you’re having that one bad week. The longer you stay in bed, you’ll feel more unmotivated and you’ll be doing less for yourself in general. Instead, what you can do is simply get up and walk around for a bit. Even if you don’t want to leave your apartment or your house, just getting up and sitting in the living room or making food in the kitchen is enough to boost your mood. Especially on days when you have an online class, try to sit at a desk or do your work in any other room besides your bedroom. You’ll become more focused on the work itself and less focused on the horrible week you’re having.
Shutting People Out
I am definitely guilty of leaving people in the dust when I’m in a mood. I would much rather sulk in my own self-pity than have conversations. And that might be okay to do for a day, but a whole week… not so much. Even if you’re just not feeling social interaction, which is totally understandable and relatable, having a few conversations a day that last maybe 30 minutes is good. You’ll find topics to talk about that will take your focus away from whatever you might be feeling. And maybe some of those conversations can be about ways to combat those negative feelings!
Watching Sad Movies or Listening to Sad Music
I feel like it’s safe to say that everyone is guilty of worsening their mood by listening to depressing music or watching depressing movies. I personally like to watch sad-ending romance movies (definitely don’t recommend). Instead, watch a show that you know makes you laugh and listen to music that reminds you of a good summer. Especially during this time of the year where seasonal affective disorder (SAD) hits everyone like a rock, finding something that brings back those sunny vibes is a must! For example, I have my songs in my phone in order of recently added. So, I will scroll through until I find my summer phase music and solely listen to those songs so I can get a bit of serotonin.
Keeping Your Eyes Buried into Your Phone
I am no stranger to avoiding all responsibilities and feelings by scrolling through the same 3 or 4 apps for hours. You can find me on TikTok for 30 minutes and then Twitter for another 30, followed by a 5-minute Instagram session, then repeating the cycle. While this may help you avoid your feelings, finding something to do that is more active can be really beneficial. A good distraction for me has been my obsession with my plants and reorganizing my room. When you find something that helps you get up and physically do something, you are able to forget the feelings of the bad week as well as do something productive!
While all of these have alternatives that help you avoid the feelings of a bad week, make sure you’re finding ways to internally address the situations and work through them. It doesn’t have to be a 30-minute conversation with the self, but simply meditating on the week and thinking about what went wrong and how to fix it is beneficial!