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    6 Ways To Deal With A Bad Mental Health Day

    By Variddhi Gupta
    8 Feb'23  7 min read
    6 Ways To Deal With A Bad Mental Health Day
    Synopsis

    We all have a few days when we do not feel in the best of our spirits, do not want to engage in much activity, or talk to people. We might call these our ‘bad mental health days’. This article talks in-depth about how to recognise such bad mental health days, and some simple and easy ways to change them into better. 

    6 Ways To Deal With A Bad Mental Health Day
    Synopsis

    We all have a few days when we do not feel in the best of our spirits, do not want to engage in much activity, or talk to people. We might call these our ‘bad mental health days’. This article talks in-depth about how to recognise such bad mental health days, and some simple and easy ways to change them into better. 

    The term ‘mental health’ has gained a lot of attention, more so during and after the pandemic. What comes to your mind when you think of this term?

    A lot of definitions are available to us, however, for the purpose of this article, we will be focusing on the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) explanation of the term – mental health as a “state of well-being in which the individual realises their own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to their community.”

    Simply put, mental health is a state of mind that includes emotional, psychological, mental, and social well-being. Our state of mind can affect our thoughts, interactions with people, personal growth, and how we feel.

    Also Read | 5 Tips To Maintain Healthy Friendships

    What Affects Mental Health?

    There are many factors that have the ability to influence our mental health positively or negatively. Let us discuss a few of them.

    Environment

    The physical space around us has the ability to affect our mood, therefore our mental state. For example, if our work/study space is messy or unorganised, it can hinder our productivity level and make it tougher for us to focus.

    Interpersonal Interactions

    Does this sound familiar? “You are the company you keep” There is a lot of truth to this statement. The people we surround ourselves with play a role in how we feel, think, and act.

    Also Read | 5 “Old-School” Daily Practices That Can Boost Mental Health

    Experiences

    The situations we have had to deal with throughout our lives teach us lessons, help us form our belief systems, and create thinking and behavior patterns.

    Attitudes

    As we go through life, we make inferences, deductions, and observations. We also form certain attitudes. For example, person A studies for their exam every day for a month, because their attitude says, this is how they put their best. Person B leaves studying for the last minute. This is a difference in attitude, ultimately, right before the exam, person B may feel more nervous than person A.

    Sleep

    Our sleeping patterns play an important role in our state of mind (mental health). Insufficient sleep through the night can make us feel anxious and stressed throughout the day. This is because our body has not been able to rest in the way that it needs to.

    Intrapersonal Interactions

    When you make a mistake, what do you tell yourself? When we err in any situation, it is easy to feel guilty, however, what matters is whether we are able to think in different directions and talk to ourselves in the way that we do with our loved ones because it has a positive influence on our state of mind. It helps us see the situation from a more objective vantage point.

    Bad Mental Health Day, How to deal with Bad Mental Health Day, what to do on bad mental health days, mental health bad dayWhen You Make A Mistake, What Do You Tell Yourself?

    Recognising A Bad Mental Health Day

    Take a moment to think about a situation when you felt motivated and ready to tick off tasks throughout the day, or when you felt content and truly enjoyed the activities you had planned for the day. These are good mental health days. Days where we feel happy, energised, motivated, and driven.

    With every situation, there come advantages and disadvantages, right? The same goes for mental health days; while we may experience good mental health days, we may also experience a few bad ones. Going through these days is also a normal experience, it is okay to not feel completely ourselves sometimes, that just means we are human.

    Here are some signs that we can look out for to recognise a bad mental health day. There are three major types of responses or signs that can be easily picked up with a little bit of awareness.

    Physical Signs

    Following are some physical signs of a bad mental health day:-

    • Feeling sleepy or taking longer naps
    • Feeling lethargic or lack of energy to get through the day
    • Lack of or excessive appetite relative to what you usually eat
    • Experiencing unusual or random pains and aches in your body

    Emotional Signs

    Some emotional signs of a bad mental health day are:-

    • Feeling a sense of numbness – a lack of emotions when something good or bad happens
    • Feeling the need to withdraw and disconnect from friends and family, not having the energy to interact
    • Getting angry, irritated, or agitated with small things or people around you.
    • Bouts of sadness
    • Sudden mood swings

    Mental Signs

    Look out for these mental signs when trying to recognise a bad mental health day:-

    • Thinking back to past experiences that brought discomfort
    • Thoughts that promote self-doubt
    • Unhelpful beliefs creep up leading to a dip in motivation
    • Playing extreme hypothetical situations in your mind

    Also Read | 5 Mental Health Apps You Should Use For Your Well-Being

    Dealing With A Bad Mental Health Day

    If these signs crop up once in a while, it is an experience that can be recalibrated with small steps that can prove to be very meaningful. However, on days like this, when we become aware of what we are experiencing, it is essential to put in conscious effort to move out of that space and into a more positive one.

    Music

    Auditory stimulation is a very powerful way to break the cycle in our minds. This can happen in different ways.

    Play An Instrument | Playing an instrument can take us into a state of flow, which is when our focus is completely immersed in the activity we are doing at the time. More importantly, playing an instrument works as a method of catharsis.

    “Feel-Good Playlist” | Create a ‘feel-good’ playlist with songs that are upbeat. On days when we feel under the weather, listening to a song that emulates a positive emotion has the power to break the cycle of a bad mental health day.

    Bad Mental Health Day, How to deal with Bad Mental Health Day, what to do on bad mental health days, mental health bad dayAuditory Stimulation Is A Very Powerful Way To Break The Cycle In Our Minds

    Art

    If art sounds appealing, find some time in the day to engage in creating art. This could be through painting, adult coloring books, or digital art. These three activities require focus and patience, both qualities can take us into a state of flow.

    Self-Care Routine

    Make a list of different small things that fall into the category of self-care. It could be putting on a face mask, drinking a cup of coffee or tea, cooking, or watching a show or movie. Choose small, mundane activities that help in evoking a sense of happiness.

    Movies

    Sometimes during bad mental health days, it helps to temporarily move out of that space. A good way to do this is by engaging our sense of sight. Take a moment to create a list of “feel-good” movies or TV shows. Watching these storylines helps get some space from the discomfort that would arise on a bad mental health day.

    Setting An Intention

    During bad mental health days, it is very important to take a moment for ourselves and set an intention on how we want the day to proceed. It could be for something as simple as intending on doing one positive, small activity during the day.

    Organise The Space

    Whether it is the room or the study area, take some time to make small changes to the setting or organise the space. These small transformations have a ripple effect on our inner condition. Making these organisation changes has a cathartic effect because we spend time planning and moving things around for an observable change in our environment, leaving us feeling refreshed.

    When to Seek Help

    The signs and responses mentioned above are the same, however, the difference comes in based on how long you have been experiencing these signs and the duration of which it lasts. If you are experiencing these symptoms consistently and intensely, that is when it is time for you to seek help from a professional trained to help you navigate through these feelings and experiences.

    Here are some of the signs you need to look out for to know if you should reach out to a mental health professional:-

    • Lack of joy
    • Bouts of crying
    • Episodes of sadness
    • Sleep excessively
    • Lack of sleep or sleeping very late
    • Fatigue
    • Heaviness within
    • Eating too much or too little
    • Lack of motivation, energy, or concentration
    • Withdrawal from different situations and people

    These signs or responses, on their own, don’t mean much and are normal to a certain extent. However, if you are consistently feeling like this, then there is a need to seek help. A counseling psychologist, counselor, or clinical psychologist can help you unravel the root cause of these experiences. Sometimes it’s good to take help from a third person, it gives us access to new vantage points and perspectives.

    “Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.”— Buddha

    Also Read | 5 Ways Empathy Helps Build Stronger Relationships


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    • Metaphysics of mind

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