Bad mental health days are common and normal, especially when there are scary things going on in this world. Here are some reminders for bad mental health days.
- It’s okay to have a bad mental health day. Having an occasional bad mental health day is normal and common; we all have them. You can’t feel great all the time, and it doesn’t always mean that things are about to get worse. If you’re experiencing severe fluctuations in your mood or symptoms, or if your symptoms get worse for a longer period of time, it can be helpful to check in with a mental health professional to see what’s going on.
- Having a bad mental health day doesn’t mean you’re back where you started. Relapses are a normal part of recovery. Bad mental health days don’t always mean that you’re experiencing a relapse, but if you do experience one, you’re still not back where you started. You have already gotten this far, and you have a wide range of knowledge and skills that you didn’t initially have, so receiving from a relapse is often easier than it was when you first got started.
- A bad mental health day doesn’t mean that you’re being negative or ungrateful. Yes, reminding yourself of the good things in your life can help you think about things in a more realistic way. However, struggling doesn’t mean you’re negative or ungrateful. You can appreciate what you have and still struggle with your mental health. When you dismiss uncomfortable feelings with “positivity” or “gratitude, it’s often more about attaching morality to your emotional experiences than authenticity reframing them – and it can make you feel worse.
- Self care matters more than you think. It’s easy to forget about our basic needs, such as food, water, sleep, mindful movement, hygiene etc when we’re struggling. However, even if those things feel really difficult, they can often improve your overall well being. In addition to tending to your basic needs, other forms of self care are also important. Spending time doing your favourite activity can help a lot when you’re having a bad mental health day. If you can take a mental health day from work or school, know that it’s okay to take one.
- Know that all feelings are temporary. No matter how awful you are feeling today, it’s not permanent. Every day won’t feel like this, even if it’s hard to believe that in the moment. Having a bad mental health day doesn’t mean that you’ve failed or that you’ll feel like this forever. If hope feels too difficult, practising curiosity can help: being curious about what tomorrow will look like can help you navigate the hard feelings of today.
What helps you when you have a bad mental health day?