Everyone has bad days. So, it’s no surprise that when mental illness is thrown into the mix, those bad days can seem to be more frequent than they should be. Ah, going on thirteen days strong where putting on deodorant and leaving the house is too much to ask of myself. Wonderful. When I’m faced with days that leave me crying on the floor listening to Halsey I find myself in either one of two positions; isolating and self destructing or reaching out for someone to listen/empathize. I tend to isolate myself more because,
1.) I don’t have a lot of people I’m very close to.
2.) If someone was forced to listen to my rants and raves every time I got upset I would get punched in the face (and I wouldn’t blame whoever punched me either).
3.) Sometimes the people I love and want to talk to are busy, tired, dealing with their own shit or just don’t want to deal with mine at a moment I might need them. And that is okay (one more time for the people that aren’t understanding of healthy relationship boundaries) AND THAT IS OKAY.
Once I realized my habit of isolating and self destructing I began thinking of ways I could nurture and pick myself back up the way I would want a loved one to help me if I asked for it. But, before I delve in- I’m not advocating bottling everything up and not reaching out for help when you feel like you need support or anything along those lines. I’m just sharing how I care for myself when I don’t want to talk to people, or when my efforts to find consoling from someone else are unsuccessful.
Show Yourself Some Love.
It’s so easy to be critical and mean to ourselves, especially when you’re sad and alone. It feels like self hatred comes out to play at moments when we’re the most down. I’m not loved. I’m worthless. I’m alone. Thoughts like these fuel staying at a low vibration and do nothing to help us feel better. To combat these destructive thoughts, speak to yourself like you’re speaking to a friend. Be gentle and kind with what you tell yourself because you deserve that.
Some “rough day positive self talk” ideas:
- I will get through whatever shit I’m going through because I’m a badass.
- I am independent as hell and capable of supporting myself in whatever way I need.
- I fucking love myself.
Don’t Neglect Your Responsibilities.
I am queen of neglecting the shit I literally have to do because of my mental illnesses. I mean, honestly, how can you expect me to clean my cat’s litter box and go to work when I feel like jumping off a cliff? In all seriousness though, it is really hard to keep up with your responsibilities when you find yourself in a shit hole of depression. I used to never do what I needed to get done. I would lay in my bed and begin to watch everything crumble around me with no care or urge to do anything to combat my life falling apart. However, I’ve learned that even doing the simplest task (I know it can seem nearly impossible) tends lift my spirits.
I begin with making a to-do list. In addition to things I have to do, I put tasks that might be considered easy or part of a daily routine to help myself get back on track. Even if I don’t check everything off by the end of the day I can still look at what I accomplished and give myself the credit I deserve for getting my shit done.
What might be on my “Days I feel like jumping off a cliff” to-do list:
- Eat breakfast
- Go to work
- Clean cat’s litter box
- Reply to texts
- Stay off social media
Find Healthy Outlets For Your Emotions.
Last but not least, finding a healthy outlet for your emotions. As I’ve previously talked about, expressing your genuine emotions in an appropriate setting is such an important part of healing and beginning to feel better. Finding an activity that helps you release any pent up emotions or a space you feel safe to let out your thoughts is vital.
My therapist always tells me “you’ve got to feel it to heal it”. I know it sounds cheesy and extremely therapist-y but it’s a good reminder.
Here are some things I do to release and nurture feelings I’ve held in:
- Working out
- Crying more
- Long drives
- Guided meditations (there are tons on YouTube that have focuses on various specific feelings)
I think being able to work through and deal with shitty days, problems, emotions, and interactions without relying on others is an important skill to develop. So, there ya have it.