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How To Get Through A Bad Mental Health Day

I had a bad mental health day the other day. Like, really bad. As in, it was one of those ones where you hadn’t had one in a while and you almost thought you were done with them, and then out of the blue something happens and you’re literally just crying all day and wondering what you did wrong and you can’t identify your emotions because they’re just all one spiraling whirlwind that seems to have taken you like Dorothy to a very scary version of Oz (not that the one in the movie wasn’t scary at all! I mean, flying monkeys? Those are obviously different mental illnesses in disguise, trying to scoop you up).

Yes, I had one of those days. And to be honest, it really scared me. I won’t get into the details of what happened, but something really upset me, and even though I was trying to be strong, the depression, anxiety, and OCD, mixed with that low self-esteem and self-loathing came into play, and I felt worthless, and honestly, expendable. I pretty much just cried all day, with the thoughts of what happened repeating in my mind (thanks, OCD! You're the best! Not.) and the awful, negative thoughts that accompanied it. It was truly horrendous and one I don’t ever want to experience for a long, long time.

But the day after, when I’m writing this, and honestly, trying to recover and regroup from yesterday, it made me think: how did I get through yesterday? Because in all of it’s awfulness, it kind of seemed like a blur, and it made me wonder how on earth I got through it, and what I could have done to have helped myself out more. Yes, I was very upset and hurt and angry and depressed, which are all valid feelings, but how could I have helped identify my feelings and what I could have done calm myself so I could think and see things a bit more clearly and calm myself down so this one event didn’t take over my day (which it did) and I could have done a little less crying? (I am currently drinking lots of water in order to rehydrate myself. I lost a lot of water yesterday!)

So I’ve come up with my own plan (or tips or reminders, or whatever you would like to call them) for helping myself get through a bad mental health day (or a bad mental health moment or period of time. Like I said, you can call them what you like!). I hope I can use it in the future (though it can be hard to focus when you’re going through something that feels a lot like a breakdown), but I hope I can reference it in the future and that if you ever need some help during a bad mental health day, you can use some of these tips, too. I hope they’ll help us both! (Fingers crossed that we won’t need to use them very often!)

1. Talk To Your Support System, Whether That Be Friends, Family, Your Therapist/Mental Health Team, etc.
Just talking to another person about the things that have happened and what you’re feeling can be such a relief if you’ve been bottling it all up inside. You don’t have to suffer alone and you don’t have to get through this alone either. So please open up and talk it out if you can to someone you love and trust (there also shouldn’t be any shame in talking about what you’re going through!) and who can provide some love, support, calm, and good advice. (But if you’re feeling extremely depressed or like you could hurt yourself, please contact help right away)

2. Your Feelings Are Valid
Yes, it may seem like your emotions are out of control at the moment but all of your feelings stem from something that happened and you’re allowed to feel hurt, angry, upset, sad, anxious, depressed, irritable, or anything else. Try to identify what you’re feeling, and why you’re feeling that way. That will help break down the root cause of what caused you to get so upset. But remember, it’s okay to feel upset. You are human and that’s just how we feel sometimes. (Especially those of us with more sensitive mental health!)

3. But Your Negative Thoughts Are Not Valid (Don’t Believe Them!)
Feelings and emotions are different from your thoughts, especially your negative ones. Focus on your feelings and emotions, which are real, not your negative thoughts, which are not. Your negative thoughts can lead you into very bad places, so try as best as you can to battle these thoughts with reason and logic. Negative thoughts are just the bullies in your brain and they are not the truth. Ignore them and combat them by focusing on the good, including the good qualities in yourself and the good in your life. Kick those negative thoughts outta there! (Which I know I know can be difficult if you’re like me and have OCD, but try your best! I know you can do it!)

4. It’s Okay To Retreat and Cry It Out
You may not want to cry and explode, but sometimes that’s what your body needs to do to get all of this built up tension and frustration out of your body. I hate crying (yet I do it often), but I have to admit, sometimes if I let it all out, I feel really good afterwards. It also clears my head (although I do get a headache from all the crying, so please remember to drink lots of water if you do end up going on a crying spell) and I can start to think more clearly about why I’m so upset and what I can do to calm myself down so I can focus on either fixing the problem or, in some cases, just moving on from what happened.

5. You Will Be Okay
I promise you. It may not seem like it in the moment, but whatever upset you, or triggered you, can be dealt with or moved past. It just takes effort and time from you to get through this to the other side. These feelings and emotions aren’t forever! It just may not seem like it at the time, but I promise you that you will get through this.

I know I’m not a mental health professional, so these are only my suggestions, not professional advice (so please don’t take this as gospel, but talk to your own mental health provider about a specific plan for you during these bad days), but these tips really helped me and even writing them down and being reminded of them are reassuring to me for if/when my next bad mental health day comes (which I hope it doesn’t come for a long while! Fingers crossed, knock on wood! This one was enough for at least six months! Or longer!). I hope some of these tips/tricks/reminders/ideas can help you out if you’re going through a bad mental health day. Remember, you can and will get through these tough moments, and they do not define you. You’re stronger and braver than you realize. You may not think of it at that moment, but I hope you realize that it’s true.

And these were just a few ideas for getting through a bad mental health day (or moment or whatever you want to call it!). What do you do to get through these tough times? I know I could have included a lot on this list, from breathing exercises, to distraction (I’m all for distraction for a bit if it helps with the whirlwind of emotions/bad thoughts), but what would you recommend for a bad mental health day/moment? Let me know in the comments and let me know what you thought of my list! And thank you for reading and if you’re struggling, stay strong! You’ll get through this!

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1 comment on "How To Get Through A Bad Mental Health Day"
  1. Great post - it is so important to remember that a bad day is totally valid. I sometimes forget this as well :)
    Jenna ♥
    Stay in touch? Life of an Earth Muffin


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