Conquering depression or anxiety is no overnight fix. Often it will take many years. And even then there will still be times in which the pressures of the life cause us to feel a little down in the dumps. It’s so easy to beat ourselves up in situations like these. ‘Why is this happening again?!’ you might ask yourself. But having the odd ‘bad day’ is perfectly okay, we just need to understand how to better manage them.
In my struggles with depression and anxiety over the past decade I’ve learnt a thing or two that I’ve been inspired to share; some coping strategies and tools we can employ when the going gets a bit tough or we simply wake up one day and feel like the world is on top of us:
1. Watch a movie.
It’s okay to feel how you’re feeling. If you’re having a bad day and don’t feel up to leaving the house, that’s cool. Find a good movie to watch and cook up some popcorn! Chill out, it’s all good. There’s always tomorrow for all that ‘serious stuff’ anyway!
2. Have a shower.
Sitting around all day with bed hair smelling terribly doesn’t just sting the nostrils of those around you but is also bound to leave you feeling pretty sh*tty too. Freshen up and brush your hair so at least you can walk past your reflection without having to cringe every time! Self-esteem instant win!
3. Do something you enjoy.
Sometimes in our darkness it’s easy to forget the things we enjoy. Our heads becomes a dark mess in which everything seems pointless. But even something as simple as flicking through your favourite book or magazine can spark some much more positive thoughts. You should see my F1 magazine collection – ideal for times like these!
4. Have a normal conversation with a friend.
By all means talk to a close friend about how you’re feeling, have that conversation, but don’t forget to talk about normal stuff too, things you both enjoy. Have a laugh. Smile. Did someone say footy season?!
5. Sit outside for an hour.
‘Life on the inside’ can become pretty claustrophobic pretty quickly. And while you might not feel up to going out in public and seeing people, often chilling on the patio or in the sun reading a book or watching the clouds roll by can be the perfect remedy. Fresh air and Vitamin D anyone?
6. Listen to your favourite music (and maybe bust out a dance move or two!)
Whether you’re a music nut or not, all of us will have that song or two that get us feeling pretty fired up for life! So if need be, close your bedroom door (and perhaps the curtains!) and rock out. Did someone just drop the bass?! #onemanrave
7. Sleep if you need to.
It’s easy to feel guilty for feeling tired or needing to nap every hour. This guilt though I’ve found to be highly counter-productive! So put your PJs on and get comfy. Just as the body needs rest from physical activity the mind needs rest sometimes too. Sweet dreams!
8. Walk The Dog
If you don’t have a dog, fly the bird, swim the fish or drag the cat somewhere instead. While we might not all be ‘gym people’, simply getting the body moving for half an hour or so is often enough to point our mind back towards greener pastures. (Bonus points for those who comment with photos of them actually taking their bird for a fly…!)
This one is a personal favourite though one that I cannot recommend highly enough. It has helped me to pull apart negative thought patterns and reflect on the underlying reasons behind many of the decisions I have made. Unintentionally it has taught me much of what I know about myself! You’ll be amazed at the revelations you stumble across!
10. Be honest with people.
Saving the most important to last is one that I admit to having neglected for far too long. So easy it is to make excuses as to why we can’t do things, to paint a much rosier picture than that of reality and to push people away or ignore them until things are better. But just as we would have no qualms in letting a friend know we’d broken our leg, there is no need to hide our mental struggles from the world either. The time has come for us all to realise this.
Take care team!
Originally published on Greatness Via Passion, September 2015.
What are some ways that you manage your bad days? I’d love to keep adding to this list! Share in the comments below