Welcome to our Shattering Stigmas Mental Health event, where we talk about anything and everything mental health related. About 1 in 4 people have or will have a mental health problem at one point in their lives. That’s a lot! Yet we still bump against a lot of misunderstanding and prejudice when we try to talk about it. This is what our event is for — to shatter that stigma, to get rid of that taboo, to tell you a few things you may not know, and to let you know you’re not alone. We’ve got a lot of exciting posts for you, including books representing mental health, author interviews, guest posts, personal posts about our experiences with anxiety and depression, and your stories as well!
To kick off this event, both Shannon and Kayla share their stories with anxiety and depression. Since I’ve been chronicling my journey already (which you can find here), I wanted to talk about ways to make yourself feel better when you’re feeling poorly. Don’t worry, I’ve got plenty of angst-ridden anxiety posts lined up for you, but I wanted to start out on a positive note. Those who suffer from depression know that any day could just be “one of those days”, where you feel moody and bleh. And even those who aren’t depressed have blue days out of nowhere. They’re useless and kind of suck, but you have to get through it anyway. So what can you do to make yourself feel better, even if it’s just a teensie bit?
Take care of your basic needs
When’s the last time you had something to eat or drink? Get yourself a glass of water, or something else that makes you feel warm and cosy, such as tea, coffee, or hot chocolate. Treat yoself! Also find something nutritious to eat, like cereal or fruit. As much as I understand the need to inhale a pizza or cake when you’re feeling blue, your body could really use some good foods right now. Also take a shower if you haven’t done that already!
Go for a walk
I get it, you don’t feel like going for a walk. But even five minutes in the scary outdoors can give you an emotional boost, and you get some fresh air on top of that. Could clear some of those muddy thoughts right out of your head. If you really don’t feel like walking, try just sitting outside.
Listen to music
By this, I don’t mean those emo songs you like to wail to when you’re feeling blue. This is no time for Total Eclipse of the Heart or My Heart Will Go On. I mean songs that either relax you or make you feel good. Songs that put a smile on your face. If you’re up for it, dance your heart out!
Take a nap
Naps. Naps are good. There is absolutely no shame in just wanting to sleep the day away. The faster it goes by, the better. Perhaps you’re feeling low because you haven’t had enough sleep and you’ll feel better when you wake up! Just make sure you can also fall asleep at night.
Talk to someone
You are not alone. You are never alone. Find a friend to talk to. Even if they don’t have all the right things to say, sometimes it helps just to have someone who’ll listen to your venting. Someone who’ll say “That must suck” or “I understand”, just to have your bad mood justified, will help immensely. Bonus points for a funny friend who’ll make you laugh.
Do something you love
Watch your favourite TV show or movie, read a good book, do something artsy, exercise, play a game. Something you know you enjoy. Find something that distracts you. I recently found a new hobby in adult colouring books. They make my inner child happy, they allow me to be creative, and they keep me busy for a while.
Hug it out
A good friend, a family member, a special someone, or a pet. As long as it’s a living thing you can hug, it totally counts (although you might want to be careful with the smelly hobo across the street). Hugging releases endorphins or that other stuff in your brain that makes you happy. I don’t know, I’m not a scientist.
Finish a small task
If you’re feeling useless, try finishing a small task to make you feel more accomplished, like that e-mail you need to reply to or the dishwasher that needs to be unloaded. Only takes a few minutes, but you’ll feel a little better straight away.
Write it down
I think this helps especially at night, when your thoughts keep rolling around in your head. Write down what’s bothering you, so you can structure your worries a bit. Then put the notebook aside and try to get some sleep — your thoughts will be there in the morning, and you’ll have a whole day to figure things out. It’s also very cathartic and helps you clear your head.
Do something nice for someone else
I find that kindness always helps me feel better. I know I’ve put a smile on someone’s face, which makes me smile in return. It doesn’t have to be anything big. Just a simple text to tell them they’re amazing will do the trick more than splendidly. I promise you’ll make someone’s day with it!
I can (almost) guarantee you that one or more of these things will make you feel at least a little bit better. Although the day after I wrote this post, I had one of those “bleh” days, and reading all of these options just made me go “ugh, no”. Just remember that this is just one day. Tomorrow is a new day, with new chances and new opportunities. Don’t value your weakness based on your bad days – because getting through those days makes you stronger than ever. Remember you’re amazing and loved.
Here is a massive hug from me to you.
What makes you feel better?