I know that I am not alone when I say that this year has been the hardest on my mental health. It has taken a lot of time to learn ways to deal with bad days, and I am still learning and looking for new ways to help. Hopefully, these tips can help you whenever a bad day comes around.
- Get out of bed
Some days I just want to turn off my phone and lay in bed, and I will admit that I have done this multiple times. However, the days that I do get out of bed tend to be less crappy than what they could have been. Make your bed if you have to. That way, you can convince yourself that you should get into your made bed. It could also be something that you cross off a to-do list. I say that because a lot of the time, I feel unproductive or overwhelmed because not only am I a mess, but my room is, too. So getting out of bed could be the first step to make a day less crappy.
- Take a shower and get dressed
Start the day fresh. It doesn’t matter if it is 8 in the morning or 2 in the afternoon. Make your day count by taking care of yourself and your hygiene. Trust me, I would love to stay in my pajamas all day and not have to put on jeans. But I can also say that days that I have gotten dressed, brushed my hair, and put on some make-up made me feel productive. Showers have always been my break from the world, one where I don’t have to talk to anyone and can jam out to Harry Styles.
- Eat something
I have always been bad at eating three meals a day, and I am definitely someone who gets hangry. Go and pick up a sandwich, or a burger, or literally anything that fuels your body. Most of my bad days happen because I am not eating well, and the stress and anxiety tend to add up on top of that. I know it can be a challenge to leave the comfort of your room, but it still counts if you get something to bring back to your safe space. Remember that you need your proteins, vegetables, and fruit. You won’t start to feel good unless you are providing your body with things you need to survive.
- Go outside
If I have learned anything from therapy, it is to find something to help you cope. For me, going outside and getting fresh air allows me to breathe a little easier. This can also help if you are stuck in a room or office all day. Being on my computer always makes the days feel longer; this is a nice break to walk around, especially with the weather cooling down. I take a short walk and find a bench to sit down and read a book. With everything online, I am always on my phone or computer, and this forces me to step away and make time for something that I love to do - reading. The heat from the sun or the breeze from the wind can remind you that you are alive and built to survive what you are going through.
- Acknowledge that today isn’t the day
On days like these, I definitely don’t want to think about anything, especially feelings like sadness and anger. But something that I also learned is that we can’t ignore these feelings. If you do, you are also neglecting a part of yourself. Take the time to really understand why you are feeling so low. The questions could be: When did I start feeling this way? What was I thinking about when I began to feel this way? What am I feeling right now? As much as I wish that there was a magical cure for all of my anxiety, I know that results won’t be instantaneous. Learn to listen to what your body and mind are telling you, take the time to know yourself, and find coping strategies to help you.
Through trial and error, I have been able to find a few things that can help. Although I wish these coping mechanisms worked for everyone, they don’t. I hope that this is a starting place for you. I also want to emphasize that the title is ‘5 tips that COULD help with a bad day’ and that bad days will look different each time. You should not be ashamed of needing time to yourself, but we can also acknowledge that bad days will pass, and tomorrow is another day to start fresh. Remember that you are not alone. You will make it through this.