Friday, 22 July 2016

How To Cope On A Bad Day / Collab

(Credit goes to Hope for her wonderful photography!)

We all have bad days from time to time. Even those who are always smiling and have a face that is lit up like the suns the whole time. They struggle too, believe me. For those who struggle with a mental illness, it can become even more of a tough time than it is for those who have never experienced any concerns with their mental health before. However, fear no more. Hope & I are here to help you. Please go and check out her post too, because I'm sure it's going to be just as insightful and reassuring as I hope this one will be for you. She's also an absolute angel and it's been a pleasure to talk to her for quite a while now! Anyway, just go and give her blog a read. I'm sure you will love it just as much as I do! So anyway, put down that box of tissues, turn off the melancholic music and breathe. You will be okay.

Take deep breaths and focus on that moment in time - I understand that this may sound like a pretty self-explanatory one, but it's so important. If you don't take deep breaths and find some way to ground yourself back into the present, then you are going to end up in a constant cycle of anxiety that could last for hours and trust me, nobody wants that. I know that when you're having a bad day, it can be difficult to breathe, but just try your very best. Inhale for a couple of seconds and then exhale for a couple of seconds. Repeat this as many times as you need to. If you're feeling overwhelmed, then take a step back and go somewhere alone, or relatively quiet. Take a couple of sips of water and just try to take deep breaths. Remind yourself that you won't feel this way forever. It's a temporary state of mind. You can break out of it and you can be stronger than it. Just remember that even the worst day only has 24 hours in it and after that, it's over.

Practise mindfulness techniques; breathing, concentration, awareness of your body, releasing tension and walking meditation - Mindfulness is essentially being aware of the things around you. Finding peace in a frantic world, if you will (yes, that's something I found on the internet aha). Sometimes, we rush through lives without taking a step back to actually recognise our surroundings. Paying more attention to your thoughts, your feelings and your surroundings can really make the world of difference to your mental wellbeing. That's what all of us want, right? Notice the things that you may otherwise take for granted. Fresh flowers on your walk to school, the smell of freshly cut grass, the taste of a home cooked meal, the feel of a warm hug from someone you love. All of these things are examples of mindfulness. Maybe on your walk to school every morning or every afternoon, you will make more of an effort to notice the things that you may have otherwise missed if you weren't being mindful.

Leading on from that, you should recognise the thoughts that you are having too. If you think positive thoughts, then positive things will happen. That sounds cheesy, but it really is so true. Having a negative mind set and surrounding yourself with negative people won't help anything or anyone. It will just make everything 1000 times worse. So, look for the positives in every situation. Even if you can feel negative thoughts coming on, quickly try to replace them with positives. As I also mentioned in my previous point, you should become more aware of your breathing, as if your breathing is all over the place, it really can make you feel so much worse. Concentrate on the things that are around you and become aware of your body. Release the tension that may be inside it and practise walking meditation if you can. A good idea would be to download the 'Calm' app or the 'Headspace' app onto your phone. Just give it a go and work through the various different exercises. You could also make a calming playlist on your phone.

Spend time doing the things that you love and enjoy - There's a reason why I've put the word 'you' into italics. The reason is because I'm trying to make you realise that you (there we go, I've done it again!) are what is most important. You need to put yourself first, especially if you're having a bad day. Do what you love and do what you enjoy. Do those things often. When we get wrapped up in everyday life, we sometimes forget to take time doing the things that we love and enjoy. Make time for them. They shouldn't be pushed away! If you love reading, then set aside 30 minutes of your morning or your evening to read a couple of chapters of a book that you have wanted to read for ages. If you enjoy baking, then spend one day out of your weekend making some sweet treats. Just do what makes you happy and do it often. Life is too short. On a bad day, treat yourself. Take time to do what fills you with happiness. It could complete change your mood around. Don't force yourself to work too hard. Don't push yourself to complete all your tasks. Relax. Breathe. Unwind.

Ask for help if you need it and don't be afraid to seek support - We all need some support sometimes. Whether it's with a little thing that seems insignificant at the time or a big thing that feels like it's weighing you down like a tonne of breaks the more you think about it. People often convince themselves that seeking support is something that weak people do, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Opening up to someone else about your problems and admitting when you're struggling takes a lot of courage. It can be so scary and so difficult, but once it's done, you feel like you can breathe again. Talking to someone else is always a sensible idea. If you don't want to tell them everything, you don't have to. Remember that you're in control. It's just helpful if you give them a rough idea as to what's bothering you, because I'm sure they would be more than happy to help. Even just getting someone else's opinion can help you to put things into perspective or consider things in a way that you may not have done so before. If you have nobody to talk to, then you're always more than welcome to talk to me. I will always do my best to listen and offer a hand to hold.

Take time for yourself. It will do you the world of good - As I mentioned before when I said that you should spend time doing the things that you love and enjoy, it's important to put yourself first sometimes, especially if you're having a bad day. Pamper yourself! Take a warm bath, light some candles, tuck yourself up in bed with a cup of tea or a beverage of your choice. It's not selfish to put yourself first every once in a while - it's necessary. Make sure you're eating the right amount of food that you feel you need. Don't limit yourself. If you want that chocolate bar, eat it. If you want that bottle of coke, drink it. You shouldn't feel the need to restrict yourself, because if you want something, then you should just go for it (well, in moderation, of course!). It's also important for you to get enough sleep. Take a break from social media and allow yourself some time to switch off before you catch those zzz's. Build positive relationships with the people around you - Ultimately, the people that you form relationships with around you really can have a huge effect on your mental health. If you surround yourself with negative people, who are willing to tear you down, then you're going to become stuck in a negative, fixed mind set yourself. When you're having a bad day, the people around you can either make you feel 10 times worse, or 10 times better. When you feel a little down in the dumps, it can be so nice to just spend time with someone you love, who will lift your spirits and cheer you up within the same of a few hours. It's good for the soul and also good for your self-esteem. Those who just want to tear you down should be removed from your life. They will only make them bad days come more often and that's not what we want. At all.

I hope you found today's post helpful! If you want to see what some of Hope's top tips are, then head on over to her blog to give her post a read.

Let me know in the comments below what you like to do to help you cope on a bad day!
Lots of love always,
Jade xo

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