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6 Reminders for Anyone Having a Bad Day With Mental Illness

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For anyone living with a mental illness who’s having a bad day today, here are some reminders from someone who’s been there:

1. Breathe.

If all you do today is breathe, then that is OK. That is more than OK. You’re doing great. Better days are coming.

2. It is OK to admit you’re struggling.

Admitting you’re struggling is not a sign of weakness. One bad day, week, month or however long it is does not mean you have failed. It is OK to tell people you are struggling. Let a family member, a friend, a doctor or just anybody know you’re going through a rough time. Reach out to people. Be courageous. Don’t fight this alone.

3. Celebrate every tiny victory.

You got out of bed? Celebrate. You showered? Celebrate. You got dressed out of your pajamas? Celebrate. You made a new playlist of your favorite songs? Celebrate. You did some housework? Celebrate. I have started celebrating the little things I do, and it feels good. Be proud of yourself.

4. “Stars don’t shine without the darkness.”

This is one of my favorite quotes. We would all love to never have a bad day in our lives, right? How much stronger have your bad days made you? Your bad days will make your good days even better. I know it’s hard right now. I know the good days seem so far away sometimes, but they will come. They will be better than ever.

5. Your illness does not define you.

There are days when I feel like my depression and anxiety have completely taken over my life. I’m sure you feel like this sometimes too, right? I am not ashamed of my depression and anxiety, but I have to remind myself I am so much more than just them. Even on the days you are confined to your bed, remember you are you. You are unique. Do not let your illness be your whole identity. Play your favorite song. Read a page of your favorite book. Watch your favorite film. Do something that reminds you of you.

6. You’re a fighter. You can do this.

You’re stronger than you think. I don’t know if this is your first bad day, your 10th or your 100th, but I know you can make it through. Second by second, minute by minute. I believe in you. I hope you believe in yourself too.

I’m going to leave you with a lyric from one of my favorite songs from The Script called “Superheroes.

“When you’ve been fighting for it all your life,
You’ve been struggling to make things right,
That’s how a superhero learns to fly,
Every day, every hour, turn that pain into power.”

Take care. Stay strong, and keep fighting.

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Image via Thinkstock.

Originally published: October 25, 2016
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