Many people think healing is a linear process where you consistently progress towards getting better and living a happy, sober life. However, this is not the case – recovery is full of hills and valleys as you learn more about coping with the negatives that life may throw your way. The good days are for celebrating, but the bad days can leave you feeling hopeless in your recovery. The key to overcoming the bad mental health days is learning how to cope with them so you can pick yourself back up to keep going.
Talk to Someone
It can be easy to fall into a depression spell and not want to talk to anyone, but isolating yourself can be detrimental to your recovery. Isolation allows you to sit and wallow in your negative thoughts, which can trigger a relapse. Reaching out and talking to someone you trust about how you are feeling can help you overcome the negatives you are feeling. Reach out to a friend, family member, your sponsor, or one of your sober buddies to help you get through the bad mental health day.
Unplug for a Little While
Social media is often one of the primary causes of bad mental health days because it causes you to be overloaded with news, people’s lives, and false versions of reality. You can end up comparing yourself to these impossible images or get wrapped up in the negative information of the world, causing you to drown in feelings of loneliness, depression, and anxiety. If you are feeling down, unplug for the day, spend time outside, read a book, or listen to your favorite records. At the very least, stay off of social media so you can relax and not be overwhelmed by the stress of the internet.
Make Sure You Eat and Drink Water
When you’re feeling down, you probably aren’t feeling up to cooking your usual lunch or dinner meal. Instead of stressing out about this and depriving your body of food, try to eat little snacks throughout the day that give you the necessary energy to push through the negative thoughts. Consider fruit slices, peanut butter, and other small snacks that are easy to consume. Don’t forget to drink water as well, as staying hydrated will keep you alert and healthy throughout the day.
Get Some Sleep
It is common to say, “sleep is the best medicine,” which is correct for bad mental health days. You are most likely feeling mentally and physically exhausted, as well as overwhelmed by the world around you. Taking an hour or so to relax and take a nap can help you rest and wake up with the energy needed to cope with the bad day in healthier ways. It can be easy to fall into a working schedule and forget to stop every once in a while to rest. Take this opportunity to catch up on your sleep and improve your bad day with a nap.
Engaging in self-care activities will boost your motivation to get through the day. Depression and doubt in your recovery can cause you to be harder on yourself for not pushing harder, but it is crucial to keep in mind that everyone has bad days. Cut yourself some slack and do some of your favorite self-care activities, such as taking a bubble bath, meditating, reading your favorite book, or going on a drive through the countryside. This can lift your spirits and remind yourself that you are worthy of self-love and good things, even on your bad days.
Let It Out With a Cry
There is a stigma associated with crying that associates it with being weak, but this is far from the truth. Having the courage to cry and release your feelings is necessary for getting out of the tension you are holding inside your body. If you feel like you need to cry and hold it in, it can cause you more stress and leave yourself feeling even worse. Let out your tears and feel your feelings so you can acknowledge them and move on.
When you feel overwhelmed, a great way to cope is by engaging in deep breathing exercises or mediation. This allows you to stop and take a moment to center yourself to better focus on improving your day the best you can. Look up deep breathing exercises online to get an idea, or find a guided meditation that you can do. Being aware of how you are feeling and what is causing it can help you find the source of your bad day and encourage you to relax and know that it will pass.
Bad mental health days happen for everyone in recovery – don’t beat yourself up when you experience one. The critical thing to remember is that even your worst days last 24 hours, so this bad day will be over when tomorrow starts. However, to help get through your bad day, you can engage in healthy coping mechanisms such as deep breathing, meditation, self-care, crying, and unplugging from social media. You should also remember the basics such as feeding yourself, drinking water and getting some sleep if you are feeling tired. If you need to, reach out to someone you trust to encourage you and support you through the day. Remember that you are loved and deserving of good things, so don’t think that your bad day will last forever. If you need further help, the staff at Everlast Recovery Centers can help. Call us at 866-DETOX-25 to receive more coping techniques for bad days. We are here to help you heal and support you in your recovery!