Once in a while, all of us feel tired, unable to apply focus and concentration, and need rest. However, these symptoms can persist into something more challenging and make it unfit for you to function normally. A bad mental health day can happen to anyone at any time. Having the tools to recover and stay healthy is necessary. The maintenance of mental health, much like physical health, requires consistent skill-building efforts. These efforts include monitoring where we spend our time and energy and what we pay attention to. But before learning how to feel good on a bad mental health day, let’s try to understand what such a day looks like.
What Is A Bad Mental Health Day?
Being bored, sad, or just feeling unwell doesn’t make a day bad for your mental health. These feelings are normal and, to a certain extent, healthy. On the other hand, having a bad mental health day can lead to mental illness, making it hard for you to function normally. Firstly, it is essential to increase awareness of bad mental health day symptoms to learn how you can feel good on a bad mental health day. On that note, these symptoms and signs include:
-lack of energy and no motivation to do anything,
-lack of interest in activities,
-depressed or low mood,
-excess worry or fear,
-extreme or rapid mood swings,
-poor sleep or appetite,
–suicidal thoughts, self-harm, and much more.
But how to explain a bad mental health day that occurs out of the blue?
Your life has usually been going well, and your mood has been uplifted. Or perhaps you haven’t had many mental problems in a while. Suddenly having poor mental health symptoms can leave anyone shocked. And you are likely to avoid paying attention to these symptoms. But as you should do with physical health, it’s better to consult a licensed professional either way. The next step to learning how to feel good on a bad mental health day is being able to identify the causes of one.
Causes Of Bad Mental Health Days
1. Increased stress and anxiety: Significant life events or stressful situations can expose us to increased stress and anxiety. Under performance pressure or out of habit, you might not think much of this stress. However, the physical symptoms of such worries include increased heart rate, fight or flight response, muscle pain, and other mental health issues. If an underlying condition causes acute stress, it is best to opt for treatment.
2. Prolonged low moods: Like stress, low moods can be situational or caused by underlying problems. They can signify depression when coupled with symptoms like lack of interest and irregular sleep and appetite. If you are recovering from a significant traumatic event, like losing a loved one, having prolonged low moods or grief is natural. But if there is no identifiable cause, visiting a therapist near you is best.
3. Lack of self-care: Self-care is necessary to heal and maintain one’s mental health. Some examples include alone time, talking to friends or loved ones, taking care of one’s body, meditation, and relaxing. Through self-care, you can regulate yourself and keep your energy levels intact through challenging situations. On the other hand, without self-care, your mental health deteriorates, you suffer burnout and the number of bad mental health days increases.
4. Physical, mental, or emotional needs not met: A typical example of bad mental health days is a lack of sleep or proper rest. If the need for sleep or appetite is not met, naturally, you will find it difficult to concentrate and function normally. On the other hand, emotional needs are as, if not more, essential. For instance, when you feel unsafe(or your safety need is unmet), you are constantly worried, stressed, and fearful.
The concept of mental health days, whether good or bad, might not be a good idea, to begin with. Before further learning how to feel good on a bad mental health day, let us ask a more basic question. Why mental health days are a bad idea?
Firstly, a day includes 24 hours, and even if you have bad mental symptoms for a while, you are likely to consider the whole day wrong. This attitude can make you feel negative bias about the entire day, making you unmotivated, sad, or frustrated. If you have a bad mood for a while, it’s best to divide the day into quarters and try to do your best in the next quarter. This approach is more positive and enables recovery.
How To Feel Good On A Bad Mental Health Day?
Set Up Baseline Needs Systems
Man is a creature of habit. Our habits define us and make us who we are. Likewise, they influence our physical and mental health. By regularly practicing taking care of your baseline needs, you will grow more accustomed to a normal lifestyle with the power of habit. While it can be challenging initially, consistent efforts to set up regular sleep schedules, exercise routines, and follow a healthy diet can be a rewarding investment in oneself. Eventually, these systems can help you be happy in life.
Accept Your Feelings
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy(ACT) is a treatment type that focuses on acceptance or “expansion.” Expansion means making room for the unpleasant, bitter emotions in your heart. Rather than trying to suppress or instantly overcome pain, sitting with it can heal you and help you understand yourself better. Another critical principle of ACT is cognitive diffusion, which is to look at thoughts, cognitions, and emotions for what they are rather than what they appear to be. Self-validation, a practice from Dialectical Behavioral Therapy(DBT), can help you do the same.
Setting up mood trackers, daily activity records, and routines can help you organize your day, but it has a benefit everyone seems to ignore. Monitoring yourself will help you develop greater self-awareness, making emotional regulation and self-regulation easier. Doing so can also help you determine your triggers, cues, and habits. While developing a sense of routine is essential, learning how to feel good on a bad mental health day also involves being open to new experiences.
Spend Time With The People You Love
More than any other alternative, the company of our loved ones can have a refreshing effect. Friends are important, if not essential, for good mental health. We often forgo the people around us when they deserve to be at the top of our priorities. You can also spend time fostering supportive relationships with people and spread your network wider. Meeting new people can introduce a sense of variety in life, which brings us to our next point.
Going out of the box means getting out of your comfort zone. Many of us have gotten used to a sedentary and unexciting lifestyle. Exploring the unfamiliar can help you form great memories, find a sense of excitement in life, and develop a holistic lifestyle. The latter is experienced with heightened states of awareness, where you feel fully aware and involved in the present moment. The best ways to exit your comfort zone are meeting new people, exploring your hobbies, learning a new language, and traveling.
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A bad mental health day can leave you feeling helpless and distraught, worsening your mental wellness and eventually leading to mental illness. By identifying the causes and signs of a mental health day, you can stay prepared and empowered to face such situations. In this ultimate guide on how to feel good on a bad mental health day, we discuss various techniques to help you sustain your recovery. However, the most effective solution for mental wellness is therapy with a licensed professional. On that note, here is a list of the top five affordable online therapy platforms you can access.
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