well, it’s now almost the fifth sunday of 2019. and other than the fact that the fifth sunday of 2019 means january is now over, it also means (in my case at least) that i am severely behind on my blog posts. but it’s not for a lack of trying. i have indeed written three other blog posts but every time i go to finish them up and post, i do this super fun thing where all the self-doubting feels go running through my mind telling me that no one would actually want to read anything i am writing. that it is completely and utterly pointless to be doing whatever it is that i am trying to do. and ya know what, maybe that is true. but what is also true is that maybe there is someone out there in the world who may need to hear whatever shit i am spewing onto the internet. and in the words of caroline calloway, my most favorite instagram writer, WE CAN DO HARD THINGS.
so in that spirit, we are doing hard things by writing this ~vulnerable~ blog post about what to do when you got the blues and that voice in your head keeps shutting ya down. because i have been here too often lately and needed a reminder myself.
now, for a little bit of background. i am someone who has dealt with a generalized anxiety disorder for what has probably been all of my life. however, it wasn’t until late in my sophomore year of college that i began having panic attacks multiple times a week. for a long time i didn’t do anything about it and i didn’t tell anyone. i felt really hopeless and had no idea what was going on with me. by junior year i had completely broken down and it was bad enough that i really needed help. and luckily i was able to find it. and since then things have gotten much much better. but as anyone who deals with any range of mental health issues will tell you, it doesn’t get better right away. it’s something you work on day in and day out. and just like with every other person on the planet, there are good days and then there are also bad days.
i wish i could have handed my younger self a list of all the things to do to make the good days even better and the bad days a little more bearable. but i can’t go back in time, so instead, i will leave this here for anyone else who has been struggling with their own mental health issues or maybe just has been having a few bad days lately. and hopefully maybe someday someone out there will read this and it will help them out of their blues, or at the very least just not feel so alone in it.
*** a nice lil disclaimer*** these are just things that have helped me manage my anxiety and may not work for everyone. if you are having a serious crisis, please visit the site below, which contains a list of different helplines where someone is always available to help.
for the mind
journal: the good days
ya know when you’re just having a great day and suddenly you are able to notice and appreciate all the little tiny intricacies that make us happy in this life that we have? yeah, on the good days, i try to remember to write those down. admittedly, i am not the best at remembering to do this, but i do keep a running list of all the things, big and small that make me happy.
journal: the bad days
the journal aspect on the bad days is two-fold. one in the sense of sometimes it can be really really good to journal out all those negative feelings. but usually, i don’t like to keep these journal entries chilling around afterward because re-reading them on future bad days, is a very toxic and sick habit that i for some reason take part in. inevitably re-reading other sad moments just continues to make me feel worse. so once i finally realized this, i started writing them down and then destroying them. usually, i just rip them up and throw them away but i think it’d probably also be fun to very safely and very carefully burn them??? idk just a wild thought there.
ok and the second part of this is that once all those gross, icky other things are out of your brain, i bring out that list of things that makes me happy. i rarely make it through the end of my list without smiling about something on it.
get out of your thoughts: the good days
ok so this one is pretty basic but never underestimate how much fun you can have listening to your favorite songs through headphones and just chillin in your room. bonus points for dancing because it’s especially fun to dance when no one else is watching!!!!
get out of your thoughts: the bad days
although binge watching netflix is probably not a super healthy habit to adopt on a regular basis, it can be really good to just leave behind whatever has you worried in this life and be compeletly absorbed by a someone else’s story. whether it is an old favorite tv show, a new movie or a really good read, transport yourself to another time and place. just don’t forget to come back.
for the body
eating a healthy meal: on the good days
even though it does mean having to clean ze pots and ze pans that you use, there is nothing like a nice healthy meal that ya cooked for yourself. when i get days that i do this, i usually cook 2 or 3 servings so that i have another nice healthy meal that is reheatable for those not so great days.
eating a healthy meal: on the bad days
this is a big one. because on the really really bad days, it is hard to do this. cooking is just absolutely not an option and i usually am looking for something that requires the least amount of effort possible to put into my body. so i literally stockpile amy’s frozen meals in my freezer. the pesto tortellini is my favorite, but they have so many yummy comfort food options that are relatively healthy there is something for everyone. and well, maybe they are not as healthy as a fully homecooked meal but they are healthier than eating a bag of chips or a carton of ice cream for dinner and most definitely healthier than eating nothing at all.
exercise: on the good days
if you are someone who can muster up the courage and face all the other sweaty human beings at the gym, that is great. if you are not a gym go-er have no fear, walking is also great exercise and is super easy to work in to literally any aspect of your day. exercise is so good for ya and even though it is listed under the body section, those endorphins and stuff are also good for your mind. because in case you forgot like i do, your brain is also an organ within your body and it benefits from exercise as well.
exercise: on the bad days
honestly, on my bad days it’s all i can do to just make it out of bed. there is no hope for exercising on these days. so instead i just try to be kind to myself about it. you can’t beat yourself up for having a bad day. besides, one of the best things about life is that you can go to sleep, wake up to a new day and try again.
get a good night of sleep: on all the days
getting a full night of sleep and feeling well rested is essential. always.
for the soul
do something creative: on the good days
maybe not everyone will relate to this, but creating something for yourself is one of the most therapeutic and enjoyable things i do. sometimes it’s doing a really intense piece of fine art and other times it’s literally just scribbling with markers on a piece of paper until i feel like i’ve had enough. but eventually, something kinda cool will come from this and when it does you’ll be really super proud of yourself that you did that and you did that all by yourself. i hang those things up in a little corner of my room and like to look at them on the bad days to remind myself that i can do things and i can do them all by myself.
quality reminders: on the bad days
chances are that if you are having a bad day and not making out of your apartment, you’re probably engaging in some form of social media. and even though it can be dangerous to be scrolling through other people’s best moments when you are having some of your worst, it’s not all bad. i like to add some gentle reminders to my feed by following some great self-love accounts that focus on spreading happiness and building positivity. here are a few of my favs: @recipesforselflove, @selfcareisforeveryone and of COURSE @carolinecalloway
be with people that you love: on the good days
do something fun with the people that you love most in this world! laugh and giggle and smile! and document it (to some degree, i mean also be present in the moment) so that you can look back and remember that life is good even if not every moment is good.
call someone that you love: on the bad days
and last but definitely not least, when it’s too hard to actually go and physically be with the people you love, try to at least call someone that you love. the sound of someone’s voice can really really change your mood and help you get a little bit further in your bad day. and both my parents and close friends can tell you, this is something i do OFTEN.
well that about does it for all of my things that don’t involve lighting candles and using essential oils.
if you read all the way to the end of this long a** post, let me know what you do when you are having ~the blues~. and always remember that it will, eventually, get better.