How To Recognise A Bad Mental Health Day Before It Happens
A bad mental health day is when a person is struggling with their emotional or psychological well-being, negative thoughts or overall general sadness. It can be characterized by a range of negative feelings such as anxiety, depression, irritability, or low self-esteem.
It's important to note that bad mental health days are a normal part of life, and everyone will experience them at some point in their life, some more than others. However, if you find these days becoming more common, or are struggling to deal with them, it's probably time to reach out to a therapist or counsellor to assist you through those times.
Warning signs of a bad mental health day
There are many ways to identify when you are having a bad mental health day and it will often depend on what kind of issue you are dealing with. The more you practice being in the moment and understanding your triggers and emotions, you will be able to know what causes your bad mental health days.
Identify your triggers
Bad mental health days can be triggered by a range of factors, including but not limited to:
- lack of sleep
- hormonal changes
- seasonal changes
Practice makes perfect
Bad mental health days feel pretty crap when you're having them. You generally feel down and hopeless, but there can be a good thing to come out of them. If you practice being mindful of your triggers and how they affect your mood and general health, you will be able to combat your mental health faster.
What can happen during a bad mental health day?
The effects of bad mental health days can vary from person to person, but they can have a significant impact on one's quality of life and ability to function if they deal with them often.
Bad mental health days can make it difficult to concentrate, complete daily tasks, and engage in meaningful conversations or activities. You may feel hopeless and worthless, you may have low energy or general fatigue and may find the activities you usually enjoy don't give you much energy at that time.
You may find that you get angry at things you normally have patience with, and you may find you either can't sleep or want to sleep for an abnormally long time. You may also find your appetite changes, whether it be always being hungry and stress eating, or not having any appetite at all.
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Strategies for managing emotions
Managing your bad mental health days can be a challenge, and experimenting with different strategies is going to be the easiest way to find out what method works best for you. As a starting point, try these 3 methods the next time you have a bad mental health day.
- Practice self-care: Engage in activities that promote self-care.
- Connect with supportive people: Reach out to friends or family members who can offer support and understanding.
- Practice mindfulness: Engage in mindfulness practices such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga to help you stay centred and reduce stress and anxiety.
Try a few strategies before you have a bad day
There are also things you can do to help reduce your bad mental health days. Just like the above, try different methods to see what works best for you.
- Practice managing negative self-talk: Negative self-talk can lead to negative emotions and feelings of hopelessness and sadness.
- Getting enough sleep every night: going to bed at the same time every night or within half an hour of that time, and waking up at the same time every morning.
- Finding a hobby that brings a lot of thought: Doing an activity where you actively have to think about what you are doing will help to give you some direction.
Developing strong coping skills for bad days
Once you are having a bad mental health day, it's important to look at things that can help you improve your day and mood. Give the following a try and let me know below if any helped you:
- Deep breathing
- Visualization exercises: imagining you are in an environment you find relaxing
- Spend time doing your hobby, the more physical it is the better
- Talk to a loved one: Reach out to someone who has gone through something similar and gain some insight
- Avoid alcohol and drugs: Both change your mood and can exacerbate your bad mental health
Recognizing your mental health triggers is important in order to be able to reduce how many bad days you have and how bad they are. Remember to look at your emotions and changes in your lifestyle to recognise the early stages of bad mental health days.
Another important thing to note is that seeking help in the form of a therapist or counsellor does not mean weakness or mean you are a hopeless cause. Reaching out to a professional means that you are taking your health into your own hands and you want to have the best life for yourself.