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Bad mental health days require self love and care & this guide includes ideas for surviving bad mental health days to get back on track so that the bad day doesn’t have to turn into a bad mental health WEEK.
The Truth About Living with Mental Illness (in my case, bipolar disorder)
Truth: admitting that it has been hard to function because of my bad mental health days and struggles with bipolar disorder has been flat out embarrassing.
I feel like I should just be able to get up and function like a “normal” person. Especially since I was able to get myself level for a solid six months before being triggered by the move & many other things.
It’s hard and exhausting in every way you can imagine.
But I think it’s important to talk about the messy that this is. The messy that I’m going through.
Because there is no way I am the only one who is/has/will go through something like this.
There are only so many bad mental health days support tips out there, and honestly, putting them into place sometimes is just too much.
So what do we do instead?
Well, something that has been helping me is asking for external validation because my head is not in the game. One of my best friends sends me a text or voice memo almost every day reminding me how far I’ve come, that I’m doing a great job, as well as other super kind and uplifting things.
I wanted to take a moment to remind you guys that there are so many ways to take action in supporting your own mental health. Much more than making that first scary call to your doctor or a new therapist.
You can talk. Write. Make a happy list. Make a happy playlist. Read some new books. Sit on your back deck at 2am when it all feels like too much & just breathe. Go for a drive. Save 100’s of inspirational quotes on Pinterest until you start to believe them, throw out the clothes that don’t fit and keep your confidence low, or maybe my favorite, take a mental health day to the beach.
There are many different ways you can take action for your mental health as well as the mental health of those around you.
How to Beat a Bad Mental Health Day
Lately, I haven’t wanted to do much of anything for my mental health.
I have all of these tools I’ve learned and been practicing for almost a year now, but the thought of doing any of it feels like too much.
So what am I trying?
I’m trying to put things out around me that help me remember to breathe. Remember to take care of myself. Remember to drink water. Rest. Wash my hair. Get outside.
A few months ago I shared what my “happy” list looked like and I decided last week to pull it out of my journal and stick it to my fridge so that I’d see it all the time. I also stuck up a page with yes or no questions of things to try throughout the day when my moods are wonky and a little post it note with four affirmations.
So while I don’t feel like I can mentally handle more than the absolute bare minimum right now, I’m hoping that surrounding myself with these reminders of my “happy” will help me ease back into my baseline once I am ready ❤️
If you made a “happy” list, what would your top three things be?
I think you’ll love these!
- How to Know You Need a Mental Health Day + Benefits and Ideas
- How to Make the Best Whipped Vanilla Buttercream Recipe
- Work From Home Pasta Salad Recipe: Caesar Pasta Salad
- Mental Health Life Hacks: Tools for Managing Mental Illness
- How to Make Cold Brew Coffee with Cheesecloth at Home
Ideas for Surviving Bad Mental Health Days
- Clean-up one room in your house while blasting your favorite music
- Try to do your hair and makeup. I know it is so hard, but try this one thing
- Give yourself a mental health day and head to the beach (or another fave spot out of your city)
- Change up your routine! I usually take myself to my fave coffee shop to work on bad mental health days
- Click here for a hug of a reminder
- Create or add to your happy wall! (click here to learn more)
- Practice GRACE and give yourself a damn break. You deserve to slow down. Slow down with a book or your fave show under your fave cozy blanket
- Do your usual morning routine no matter how long it takes
- Practice positive self-talk. Look yourself in the mirror and say out loud a handful of positive affirmations and good things about yourself. If you need help with what to say, click here or ask a friend for your best qualities to repeat back to yourself
- Make a watch-list on your streaming platform of choice & start a NEW show/movie that will get you out of your head
- Sit on your patio and breathe
- Meditate. I love the insight timer
- Scroll through Pinterest quotes and save them to a special board. Scroll long enough until you find one that you want to take with you for the day
- Drink a LARGE glass of water before anything else
- Tuck your phone away
- Indulge in the sad, but set a timer. Once time is up turn on your fave upbeat music and start with the smallest/quickest thing on your todo list
- Order your fave take-out as many times as you need. We’re going off track today and that is okay. Mozzarella sticks for lunch? Sounds good to me
- Go for a walk. Even if it’s to the end of your street and back. You DID it!
- Turn on your fave kid’s movie. Mine go to’s are Up and Inside Out
- Take out your fave guided journal and run through a few pages. Check out my favorite one from No Filter Co. here!
- Give yourself a FULL self-care shower during your next bad mental health day. I’m talking body scrub, hair mask, body soak, everything
- Make yourself a priorities list (three MUST do’s and three WANT to do’s) and alternate between the must’s and want’s
- Reach out to a few friends and see who can meet up for lunch/dinner/coffee/drinks
- Cook your GO TO favorite meal. Instacart what you need
- Color a page or two in an adult (or kids) coloring book
- DRIVE! Drive drive drive. You don’t need a set destination, just a kickass playlist and maybe your go-to drink
- Buy yourself some flowers (or plants)
- Snag a cute art kit from your local craft store and try it out
- Facetime a friend and vent on the bathroom floor until you feel like you can stand up and keep the convo going in another direction
- BRAIN DUMP! This is my go-to for when my mind is spinning or blank
List of Bad Mental Health Day Support Books and Podcasts:
Bad mental health days can feel like the end. Like all that you will ever be is this down and unmotivated, but trust me.
Try your BEST to remember that you have made it through a day like this before.
You made it through a day where your world was crashing down.
That day came to an end.
And slowly, but surely, you crawled up and out of that dark hole.
You can surely do the same this time.
This will end.
This feeling isn’t all that you are.
This feeling is meant to be felt and then to be passed through.
You can do this. Minute by minute. Hour by hour. You CAN.
And you will.
I believe in you.