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5 Easy Tips for Getting Through a Bad Mental Health Day

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Mine starts with a night of restless sleep and when I hit the snooze button, I know exactly what lies in store for the day ahead. I do not have the energy to move from my bed, let alone think about errands or work. The slightest things cause me to burst into tears or leave me agitated the rest of the day. There seems to be no end to a bad mental health day.

Nobody wants to be in that dark place — the place where your mind wanders to dark images or your thoughts are racing. You want to curl up in a ball under a comforter, maybe binge-watch a show on the television. Maybe you spent the entire night tossing and turning. It feels like you’re drowning and there is no life jacket to save you. Morning comes and you feel like you’re drifting through the day, time dragging by.

The smallest tasks can feel mind-numbing and laborious. Coping can feel demanding, but everyone deserves to feel healthy and happier. Below are five tips to try when you are having a difficult time taking care of yourself on these days:

1. The hour rule.

Some mornings, I find it difficult to get out of bed; I lie still and even become spacey. On these days, I follow the “hour rule.” I spend no more than an hour after waking up, scrolling through my phone or watching YouTube videos. This not only gives me the time I need to cope with my current state but also allows extra time to wake up if need be.

2. Know when to walk away.

This one is easier said than done, but is still important. On days in which I am struggling, handling stressful situations becomes too much to handle. With my anxiety, the best thing I can do is remove myself from the circumstance.

3. Hydrate and snack.

It can be difficult to remember the most basic human needs on your most difficult days. Sometimes, there is hardly any energy for the most mundane tasks. Simply taking a drink of water or eating a few crackers is better than nothing.

4. Bubble time.

As I said previously, those daily tasks seem extremely tedious with no energy. When I am struggling, I have difficulty sticking with a shower routine, going a few days without a shower. I do not have the strength to stand there and scrub. I have found bubble baths are the easiest way for me to get clean without taking all my energy.

5. Just breathe.

In the words of the song “2 a.m. (Breathe),” just breathe. This may seem like silly advice, but sometimes we need this gentle reminder. When anxiety is high and the sadness is overwhelming, take a deep breath in for five seconds. Hold for a brief moment and release for seven to eight seconds. I repeat this as often as needed, helping ground myself throughout the day(s).

I know how difficult coping with those difficult moments can be. On those days, when everything feels heavy, just know you are not alone. It is OK to not be OK for a while, but you truly deserve all the happiness in the world.

Photo via The Gender Spectrum Collection/Broadly

Originally published: March 26, 2019
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