47 Ways to Help A Bad Mental Health Day
The post “47 Ways To Help A Bad Mental Health Day” was first published in March, 2020.
I haven’t posted a blog post in two weeks, which was really the basis for this post today. I was struggling with a lot of overwhelm that I’m working on pulling myself out of with the help of a therapy appointment I had last week and the work that I have to do on my part. I felt like I was reaching a breaking point with an ongoing preoccupation I had developed with trying to save everyone in the world coupled with a simmering rage that I felt at the world of social media and it was just too much for me. I needed a break.
So even though I sat in front of my computer trying to come up with something to write, I just couldn’t. Instead, I took it easy, played video games, cuddled with Donut, and ate Trader Joe’s mac and cheese. I sat with Miles while he played and worked on being present in the moment. I slowed down a bit. All this got me wondering what other people do when they are having a bad mental health day.
I sourced these suggestions from my community on Instagram (thank you all so much!), and I noticed a couple of things: 1) I got a LOT of responses and 2) so many of the responses were the same. Take a look and see if you can relate or if you see something you may want to try next time you have a tough day. Some responses may be contradictory and that’s ok — it’s about what works for YOU.
I will advise checking in with yourself repeatedly throughout this process. If your bad mental health day turns into a bad mental health week or month, it might be time for you to look into getting some outside help (or affordable therapy). For example, one of the suggestions on this list is to take it easy and give yourself a break, which could be used to ignore a more serious issue over time (which I know all too well). It’s fine to take it easy for a day or two, but if you’re letting responsibilities or deadlines fall through the cracks, it’s time to figure out a different solution.
It should also go without saying that there is a spectrum of what constitutes a “bad mental health day.” These suggestions are for those that are on the milder side. If you’re really struggling, please consider getting help or calling an appropriate helpline.
1. Watch something funny
2. Talk to someone close to you
5. Listen to sad music
6. Listen to happy music
7. Get out in nature
12. Hug a pet
13. Focus on self kindness to break the cycle
14. Order takeout
15. Go to sleep early
16. Remind yourself “this too shall pass”
17. Take things easy
18. Make a therapy appointment
19. Read in as cozy a place as possible
20. Watch ASMR videos
21. Give yourself space or reach out to trusted friends
23. Play video games
24. Take a bath
25. Cuddle in blankets
27. Buy something small that makes you happy
28. Deep condition your hair
29. Wear comfy pajamas
30. Exercise — yoga, running, whatever helps you
32. Do one thing from your to do list
33. Listen to a podcast
34. Anything not isolating
35. Weighted blankets
37. Let yourself be unproductive for a bit
38. Eat a great dessert
39. Alone time
40. Make food with lots of veggies
41. Bake something tasty
42. Coffee date with a friend
43. Let yourself feel it
44. Longer walks with increased focus on present surroundings
45. Write a gratitude list
47. Take a break from your phone
Did I leave anything out? What are some ways that you help a bad mental health day?