Sunday, 28 October 2018

How I Practice Self-Care On Bad Mental Health Days


Life can often feel like a lot. What with work, relationships, kids, studying, and our constant battle with the Instagram algorithm, it is easy to become overwhelmed. And very, very tired. There are days that feel magical and would definitely have a whimsical backtrack and sepia filter in the movie of your life then there are the days that you wish you could just press fast-forward on.

The truth is, lately I have been having a few more bad days. Days that I wish I could just stay in bed and not have to deal with anything. I try to remind myself that 'there won't be flowers without rain' but sometimes life can get you down and it can be difficult to pull yourself back up.

On these days, I find that I need to really strip everything back and start from zero. I have to press pause and just breathe for a minute. I have to feel what I feel and not try to run from my sadness because sadness is a valid and healthy emotion.

Grace Victory talks a lot about finding your inner child and learning to treat yourself how you would want people to have treated your child self and I feel like this is very relevant to my self-care process. When I am having a dark day, I think of my inner child. I make myself a bowl of soup and let myself watch The Simpsons for half the day like when I was 6 and had a cold. I turn off social media and just relax without the constant buzz of notifications. I go to Tesco and pick whatever sweets I want without looking at calories or thinking about how I will have to 'make up for it later'. These days, I put on whatever is comfy and I don't even look at my makeup bag. Basically, I relax. I stop adhering to the rules - the rules that tell us we have to constantly be productive and pretty and healthy and so many other things. I just be.

The thing is, self-care isn't what you see on Instagram. Self-care isn't just bath bombs and Ben & Jerry's. Self-care is understanding why you feel a certain way and accepting that emotion. Self-care isn't always easy or insta-worthy. It can often be hard work. It can be breaking bad habits and crying on the bathroom floor at 2am.

Self-care, for me, is taking a step back. It is letting emails sit in my inbox and not constantly reaching for my phone. Life in general is messy and busy but, in the hard times, it can feel unbearable. Those are the times when we have to stop trying to carry on keeping it together. Those are the times when we need to reach out and let people know we are struggling. During our day-to-day lives, we need to make time for ourselves doing the things we enjoy. We need to sit back and read a book and think only of what we're reading. We need to lose ourselves for a bit and be totally selfish. And, in the dark days, we need to invest almost all our time into self-preservation and self-care. We need to be regularly checking in on where our heads are at and be aware of our mental health. We need to make sure we don't forget about taking care of ourselves in the whirlwind of taking care of everyone else.

And there is a small comfort in knowing everyone has days when they struggle. Everyone wants to just snuggle up in bed all day and forget about the world and all the responsibilities we have. No one is happy all the time. And that fact has always made it a little easier for me to speak out to other people on the bad days because I know that my feelings aren't an anomaly.

My main advice would be to listen to yourself. Do what you need to get through the day. If that means you just survive rather than be mega productive, that's fine. Your body knows what it needs and if that is a day in bed with a pizza then do that.

How do you practice self-care on bad mental health days?
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5 comments

  1. I really needed to read this today <3 I love what you said about you're inner child too, that's such a good way of looking at it without being hard on yourself!

    Christy x
    Stylerarebit.com

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    1. I'm glad it helped you! I find that I'm really hard on myself a lot of the time so it's important to find a way to get out of that

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  2. Now this is a post that I really needed to read at the moment!

    Danielle xx
    https://www.fashionbeautyblog.co.uk/

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    1. I'm glad it was helpful to you - that really means a lot!

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  3. Excellent advice- and I wholeheartedly agree. I'm a very social creature, but every now and again I need to take an evening off, treat myself to a home magazine (it's like Pinterest! But on actual paper! :) ) and a bag of chocolate buttons, and just chill out. Glad to hear you're being kind to yourself, and I hope the bad days occur less frequently in future xxx

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