Getting Through Your Bad Mental Health Days
To be ‘selfish’ is defined as lacking consideration for other people. It has negative connotations. As children we are told to share with others, and to not be selfish. But is being selfish really a bad thing? It can be difficult to be selfish and put yourself first on difficult mental health days. Sometimes individuals feel undeserving of self-care and taking time out. It’s at these times when self-care is needed the most.
Self-care can be practiced in multiple ways. For example, meditation, journaling and reading. But it also comes in unconventional forms, like saying no to the extra shift at work, eating three meals everyday, getting yourself out of the house, attending appointments and taking medication. By setting small goals for yourself to do these things, it brings a sense of achievement and a positive association between being ‘selfish’ and recovery from mental illness.
HAVE A SHOWER AND PUT ON CLEAN CLOTHES
Simply having a shower and putting on some clean clothes can make a huge difference to your mood. It can be helpful to visualise the water washing away the negative emotions and feelings which have been consuming you. Leaving you feeling a lot lighter and able to face the day.
Sometimes a trigger can leave overwhelming emotions bottled up inside of you, and keeping them there can cause more harm than good. Sooner or later it will burst open and can make you behave irrationally. Expression allows us to release our negative emotions safely. Forms of expression could be blogging, writing, painting, singing, exercising and baking. Putting this negative energy out of your body feels like a huge weight off your shoulders. It prevents individuals turning to unhelpful coping mechanisms. This also acts as a distraction from the racing thoughts which accompany some mental illnesses.
BE IN THE COMPANY OF OTHERS
Isolating yourself can be dangerous because it allows negative thoughts to take over and gain control. Being with others is a distraction and it proves that you aren’t alone.
Breaking away from your room on a bad mental health day is so important! Although, it is also incredibly difficult and scary when you are struggling with mental illness. It can feel like a huge effort to go outside. But, I do believe that being in the fresh air and watching the world go by has helped with my recovery.
RECALL PAST ACHIEVEMENTS
When I am having a bad day, I find it very easy to pick out things that I don’t like about myself, and things that I could have done better or should be doing. To pull myself out of this self-destructive mindset, I reach towards things that I have done which I feel proud of.
It is very easy to focus on the bad things which are happening in our lives. We get caught up in a series of negative emotions and forget to appreciate the smaller, positive moments. Getting into the habit of writing a list of things you are grateful for, at the end of your day, can help you to feel happier and more present.
SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP
If you are having a series of continual bad mental health days, and feel that you are developing a mental health problem, please seek help.
Dr. Sagnik Mukherjee is a highly regarded psychiatrist in Kolkata, bringing over a decade of experience in mental health to his practice. With a medical degree from Chittaranjan Hospital and an MD in psychiatry, his expertise spans adult psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, child psychiatry, depression, anxiety-related disorders, and relationship issues. He has built a strong professional foundation, having worked at esteemed institutions such as Chittaranjan Hospital, SVS Medical College & Hospital, KPC Medical College, and Iris Hospital. His clinic is known for its advanced technology and state-of-the-art infrastructure, providing personalised mental health care, including medication management, individual and group therapy, and specialised services for substance abuse and eating disorders. His holistic approach takes into account lifestyle, diet, environment, and family dynamics when creating effective treatment plans. Additionally, he’s a respected TV speaker on social issues and offers online consultations for patient convenience, making him a trusted figure in the field of psychiatry in Kolkata.