May – How To Deal With The Bad Days

May – How To Deal With The Bad Days

May Mental Health Discussion

How To Deal With The Bad Days

 

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Welcome to our first mental health discussion! Thank you to my friend, Maggie, for requesting this topic.

Since this is the first of many, I will say that this is meant to be a discussion, so participation is very welcomed! Please feel free to comment below. Also, please note that I am not a mental health professional and I am only speaking based on my personal experiences and what has helped me. I hope that through these blog posts and discussions, I can help others who are suffering with mental illness, or even just struggling to maintain a healthy mental state.

So how do we deal with the bad days? The days that you can’t even get out of bed. Where even showering seems like a monumental task. The answer isn’t black and white. You need to do what is best for your individual self. What may work for me, may not work for others. I find the best place to start is finding things that you are passionate about.

My psychologist recommended that I make a list of things I can do for the depression episodes of my bipolar, as well as the manic episodes. I think this is a very useful tool to have set in place for anyone, not necessarily just bipolar patients. Make a list of things that could brighten your mood or that you enjoy doing that will help the bad days improve. On my depression side of my list, I have certain passions that I know will help lift my mood. Painting, drawing, my boxing classes, writing for my blog, reading, and hiking. Whatever you know will make you feel even the tiniest bit better, do it! It may not magically fix your state of mind or your mood, but I can guarantee it will at least help lift a little bit of weight on your chest. If you do not have anything that you are passionate about currently, try a new class! I seriously encourage you to branch out during the times you’re not depressed to find something that you really like to do. For me, that was boxing. I decided to take a class with my husband and I was hooked immediately. It can be hard to motivate ourselves during depression episodes, so having things you genuinely enjoy as part of your plan of action will help. It doesn’t feel like as much of a chore if it’s something you are excited about.

Another great thing to try that my doctor recommended for me is meditation and yoga. Doing something that will help centre you and make you become more self aware. I tried meditation on one of the days where I could tell a depression episode was going to be approaching. Now, I have always been hesitant about trying meditation. The reason being that it seemed kind of silly to me. How can breathing in and out help me? I do it all the time! However, my doctor recommended downloading a meditation app that walks you through different exercises and it really helped. I felt calm. It didn’t necessarily fix the depression, but I did notice that the episode I was expecting never came.

The other important aspect of getting through the bad days is self care. For most people, this doesn’t always mean the same thing. For me, this is things like taking myself for a pedicure, going for a walk, buying a new book for myself, going on a small shopping trip and getting a cute new outfit, having a long and luxurious bath. Anything to lift your spirits and make you feel important, something to put yourself first. My number one recommendation for self care during depression episodes is turning off your phone and unplugging for a while. Social media can be terrible for our mental health. Whether it be because seeing other people be so happy can make us see how unhappy we currently are, or because a friend on Facebook is complaining about trivial things and it takes away our focus on ourselves and our needs.

Finally, I find one of the best ways to deal with my bad days is confiding in my friends and family. Mental health has a huge stigma around it, so it can be scary to admit you have any sort of problems. Especially with your family. But you NEED a support system in place, I can’t stress how important it is. When I’m having a bad day, I love being able to phone my husband or my mom and vent about it and keep them in the loop of my mental health. I like being able to text my friends and tell them about my struggle. I even have some friends who will drop everything and come over just to hang out in pajamas and watch Netflix with me. Even though it can feel shameful to discuss, I promise you that talking about it is one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself.

All these strategies will not make the episodes magically go away. Trust me, I wish that’s how it worked. But they can definitely help take the edge off and lessen your depression, and even lessen the length of time your episode lasts. Also, if you’re experiencing depression symptoms, please see your family doctor. Medication has absolutely changed my life.

That’s it for our mental health discussion this month! Please comment below and tell me how you get through your own bad days. And remember, if you need help or someone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to email me through my contact page. Take care of yourself lovelies.

3 Replies to “May – How To Deal With The Bad Days”

  1. Thanks for this, Cierra! I am so glad there is someone else out there who struggles with this illness and isn’t afraid to speak on it. ❤️

  2. Great advice Cierra! I’ve also found that giving myself permission to just have a bad day really helps. I usually make it worse by feeling guilty about all the things I should have been doing. It’s okay to take a day for yourself and not feel bad about it.

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