Bad days. We all have them.
I don’t really care if exercise lifts your mood. When you feel like shit, the last thing you want to do is run.
Let’s just be real with each other, we all have bad days. Some of us have a lot of bad days. And, if you have any mental health issues — depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, OCD, borderline personality disorder — sometimes your bad days can be really, really bad. So bad. Don’t-want-to-get-out-of-bed bad.
I’ve been having a lot of those days recently. Honestly, some days I feel pretty damn hopeless. Some days I can pause and remind myself that it’s temporary, some days, I just can’t. There are many days I just need to get to tomorrow — all I can do is put one foot in front of the other. If you’re feeling this way, ever, you’re not alone.
Here are some quick actions you can take to help you get through the day — or even just the minute.
1. Food, water, or both. Have you eaten? Have you had anything to drink? Most people are dehydrated and don’t even know it. Chug 8 ounces of water and have a granola bar or some nuts and fruit. Low blood sugar never helped anyone. You need food to fuel your body and your mind.
2. Are you tired? Can you nap? Lack of sleep exacerbates already poor mental health. A 20-minute power nap can work wonders. And if you’re really sleeping poorly on a continuing basis, maybe try melatonin at night. If a nap isn’t enough, that’s OK. Sleep as long as you can. If you can’t sleep, even just relaxing with a book can help.
3. Exercise. EVERYONE is always like, “Do you EXERCISE? You should definitely exercise.” And you know what, I don’t really care if exercise lifts your mood. When you feel like shit, the last thing you want to do is run. So just sit on the floor — or stand up — and stretch. If you like yoga, do some downward dog or a sun salutation. Get in touch with your body. You don’t have to run a marathon. Literally ever.
4. And speaking of getting in touch with your body, do a scan. Are you in pain? Muscles tense or tight? I like to start with my head and move down. Simply tensing and relaxing your muscles can bring relief and give you a action for your energy.
5. Are you having body image issues? Can you resolve any of them? Or can you just pause to note that this is a moment in time and it isn’t a permanent state? Loving our bodies is sometimes hard, and sometimes downright impossible. You don’t have to love it. Can you just try to live with it? Thanks body, for doing all the things you do. Maybe you’ll feel better about it tomorrow. Maybe you won’t. Just get through today.
6. Clothes. Put some on. Or take some off. I sometimes get really overwhelmed by clothing, it feels restricting and creates anxiety — I may not even be able to pinpoint it. Changing into something more comfy helps. Conversely, have you been in your pajamas all day? Putting actual clothes on may lift your mood.
7. Cat GIFs. Here. If all else fails, look for a laugh. Cats are always good for antics.
8. Do you have a blanket to snuggle? A good snuggle is usually calming/lifting. People and pets work for this purpose, too. Dogs and cats love you without requiring much of anything. Find one.
9. Have you listened to any music? Even better if you can dance to it. Here’s one from Colbie that I like for bad body-image days. And here’s The Whip, because why not. Spotify has a few channels to relax or lift mood.
10. Is there someone you can call or text? I often text my closest friends (you all know who you are). I’ve historically been ashamed of needing help, but honestly, they are always willing to speak kindness into my soul. And it always helps — 100% of the time. You can always find me on Twitter too.
11. Do you have a therapist or psychiatrist? Should you call them? If you are feeling hopeless or suicidal, please call 1-800-273-8255 or visit this site.
You are important to the world. You are loved. Don’t forget.