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Tips for Improving your Bad Mental Health Days


Bad mental health days are natural as teenagers, as adults and as someone suffering from a mental of physical illness. They are absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, we all go through them. Learning how to recognise your triggers, improve a bad mental health day when it occurs and put in preventative measures is an invaluable set of tools to have.

The below tips are targeted at the occasional low days we all naturally experience and shouldn't be used instead of professional help. I've written this post from my experiences of bad mental health days, usually caused by my ME. Thankfully they are few and far between.


Turn it Off


As a social media manager, I cannot tell you how nice it is to switch off my phone and computer and just be, without being at the constant beck and call of your audience. I should probably note here that I don’t mean as a blogger, this is strictly business. As I’ve talked about before, I used to manage a number of platforms that catered to a young adult audience that seemingly had no grasp of time of day or what a bank holiday was! The notifications were constant. There’s no shame in wanting to reclaim an evening by flipping the do not disturb switch.


Put yourself First


What putting yourself first means:

Being concerned about your wellbeing. Take time to ask yourself are you okay? Are you happy right now with the way things are? If not, what can you change to make it so? Or, who can you talk to? Sometimes you can be just so stuck in a rut that you don’t realise how you're being impacted. As a person, I always try to cram too much into my time and end up beating myself up afterwards when I don’t get everything done. But, because it became a habit, it took me such a long time to stop and ask myself these questions.

Being generous with your time and fitting in activities you enjoy like bubble baths and books. Because you being kind to yourself is just as important as you making that coffee date. Learning how to be by yourself and enjoy it is just so valuable and refreshing.

Sometimes saying no. I think this is put beautifully in Sarah Knight’s The Life Changing Magic of not giving a F**k, which outlines the importance of using your time and your care wisely whilst still being a nice and loveable individual. Go read it!



Practice Mindfulness


As someone whose brain is constantly on the go, I have always found it difficult to switch off. But, for me, guided meditation apps like Headspace just didn’t work and colouring turned me into a perfectionist.

The only thing I found that helped was apps like Breathe on the Apple Watch - see also Mindfulness Daily (£1.99) for those of you without. They encourage you to take a minute or two out of your day and focus on your breathing. That’s it. There’s no talking or funky music, you just breathe and, it really helps.


Sleep!


When I’m not getting at least 8 hours a night, I soon know about it. That bad thing that happened ends up ruminating into this huge disaster. When, in reality, it didn’t matter one bit! Recently, I’ve gotten pretty good at setting a bedtime and sticking to it, because I can really see the difference a good night’s sleep makes.

Although, it’s not just the number of hours you get but the amount of deep sleep and restlessness too. To track this, I use the AutoSleep (£1.99) or Sleep Watch (£4.99) app but I’ve also seen a lot of blogger reviews of the ResMed S+ Sleep Monitoring Device that does a similar thing. Knowing the quality of sleep I'm getting is great because it allows me to pre-empt my step debt, take it easy and brew another cup of coffee as a coping mechanism.


Feelings > Words > Actions

Feelings are confusing and can snowball pretty quickly, so I believe it’s best to know what you’re dealing with before you, you know, actually deal with it. Writing helps me formulate my feels into words that I turn into actions. But for you, it might be a chat with a good friend, partner or parent.

You can also use a mood tracking app like Moodnotes (£3.99) which helps me spot the offending situation or thought pattern and eliminate it.


Don't forget to leave your tips for improving a bad mental health day below.

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