Self Care for a bad Mental Health Day

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What do you do on a bad mental health day? Those days when even just getting out of bed feels like the world’s biggest task. Sometimes it can be caused by stress or depression. Other times maybe everything just feels overwhelming.

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10 Self care ideas for a bad mental health day

Here are 10 self care ideas for bad mental health days to try and help get you through. So you are better able to relax, rest and fight the next day.

Related post- the ugly side of self care

Wash your face

If it’s a day where you just don’t have the energy I suggest using a makeup wipe. (Random tip: buy makeup wipes on sale (store brand work just fine) and keep them in your bathroom or by your bed. This way you have them ready to go when you need them).

“>Dermalogica has some really fantastic skin care products. (They are one of my favorite high end skincare lines). There products are extremely concentrated so a little goes a long ways.

Wash your hair

If this isn’t possible do NOT beat yourself up. (Personal story: I have gone 3 weeks without showering or washing my hair). Sometimes it’s just not possible for you and that’s okay, you can try again the day after.

If you have dry shampoo on hand that is a great option if fully washing your hair can’t be done. If you don’t have dry shampoo put a bit of baby powder in your hair around your scalp. “Rub” it in. This will help absorb access oils. If you have dark hair like me it may take more vigorous rubbing to not “look like you’re playing ghost”

Put on clean clothes

You don’t want to be in dirty clothes. It never feels nice, even if you just whip on a clean nightgown or a pair of sweats and a tshirt. (Reminder: If you can do nothing else, change your underwear. The last thing you want to have is a infection to worry about).

A suggestion for helping your future self, when you are feeling up to it organize your closet according to what helps you most. For example: work clothes, date night outfits, outfits you can whip on during a bad mental health day ect.

Brush your teeth

It will sound really gross to some but this is one I struggle with. I don’t enjoy the sensation of the brush on teeth. It’s something I’m working on . To better assist myself with daily brushing I buy a little Batman electric toothbrush. Yes, it is for children, but that’s okay. Do whatever works for you.

Eat something healthy

Maybe you make a smoothie, or drink a V8. Or maybe you make eggs and toast. Something small is better than nothing at all. Fruit is a fast and easy go-to option when you just don’t give a crap.

When you are feeling well a good idea is to prep some of your favorite foods and have them in containers in your fridge. This way you can just grab and eat.

This is fruit I washed and cut up the other day

Get some fresh air

Even if it just means you stand or sit by an open window. Sunshine is best, vitamin D will help you feel happier. (A library by me has lights that mimic the sun. If the outside isn’t your cup of tea, check into that option).

If you can, go for a walk. Even a short one counts. Walking can help clear your head, relax you, and increase blood flow.

Related post- Self Care ideas while Quarantined

here’s more suggestions

Try yoga or meditation

No this is not hippie advice, it can actually help center you. Doing something that focuses on your breathing can help calm you, plus stretching is really good for your muscles and helps relax your body and relieve stress.

Practice mindfulness

Work on being self aware. What are your triggers? Did you talk or text someone today? Did you hydrate? (Water, herbal tea, Gatorade). If you have the urge to eat an entire bag of cookies, consider why that is. Do you actually want all those cookies?

I’m sure eating an entire bag sounds great in theory but you want to try and avoid behaviors that will make you feel worse. Ie: you will probably end up with a pretty sore stomach from all those cookies.

Write or color

Journaling can help get thoughts and feelings out. Write down anything that comes to mind, nothing is too small. Adult coloring books are also very popular with some. I’ve been told they are great for distraction and relaxation. (Honestly I don’t see it, but that’s just me. They drive me nuts, haha).

I have recently started doing a “brain dump” daily are 9pm. This helps clear my head of all the thoughts that had gotten themselves intertwined with other thoughts. It has made sleeping easier as well, which is always a good thing!

Take your medication

If you are on daily medications do not skip them. That could make things worse and you don’t need that. Do your best to take your medication as prescribed and on time. You don’t need repercussions of missing your medication or by not taking them as prescribed.

What helps you?

What are some things you do or can do that help you during a bad mental health day? Let me know down in the comments below.

What would you like to see on this blog? What would be helpful to you?

Till next time,

Tanya xoxo

75 thoughts on “Self Care for a bad Mental Health Day”

  1. These are fantastic tips, Tanya. I agree, when we are not feeling great, having a wash and putting on clean clothes can make us feel so much fresher. My favourite thing to do is to have a bath and get an early night, and hopefully feel better in the morning. Thanks again for sharing, lovely post ❤ xx

    Bexa |

    1. Thanks Bexa, I know will probably be like “why do you need to suggest these”, but when you’re not in a good head space it’s extremely easy to do nothing. I’ve been there, believe me. I use to have a daily check list when I was at my worst.

      I’m with ya girl, a relaxing bath and a good sleep can work wonders! <3

  2. Brushing teeth is an issue for me. Even the thought that my teeth will rot and fall out doesn’t seem to be sufficient to make me care enough to actually do it.

  3. Great suggestions. I find the really basic forms of self care like brushing my teeth, eating a meal or having a cup of tea really can do wonders on bad mental health days. Don’t underestimate the little things! Xxx

    1. Honestly I find it’s the little things that tend to get missed, it’s the simple daily things that people can just tend to think “I’ll do that tomorrow”.

  4. I’d have to agree with you on taking a shower to improve your mood on bad days. I also just do “nothing” on those days. I give myself permission to just be, and be lazy (meaning it’s going to be a Netflix day).

  5. I really appreciate this. When you’re suffering, the idea of self care like a jaunty facemask or a meetup with friends for a nice lunch is impossible. This is a great reminder to start with the small things like brushing your teeth and move slowly away from self-destructive behaviours.

    1. I know from personal experience how hard the little things can be. Sometimes the tiniest task can seem overwhelming 🙂

  6. This list may seem obvious to someone who doesnt battle with depression, but it’s a victory sometimes just to wash your face and brush your teeth on a really bad day.

    1. Believe me, I know. Like I honestly said, I’ve gone 3 weeks without showering before. I find having a list extremely helpful (I’m also very task oriented).

  7. These are some great tips! I always feel more myself after a shower, feeling more refreshed. But I like to listen to my body too and not take on too much that day! Thank you for reading and commenting xx

  8. These are fantastic tips, sometimes when you are having a bad day having a shower and washing your hair can pick you up a bit or even doing something you enjoy like reading!

    1. Exactly! And I know sometimes even washing your face can be a monstrous task. I keep facial wipes in my bedroom just incase. 🙂

    1. I find the same thing. It’s like if you can manage to wash your hair it just feels better.

    1. Those are lovely ideas Amber. Silence has not been my friend but I have found it helpful to put on some music (I usually go for spa or nature sounds). xx

    1. Me too! I don’t know, it’s like it just gives you that added push to get through the day <3

  9. Great list!

    Some additional things that help me:
    1. exercise – it’s really hard when I’m having a low day but if I can force myself to do it, it really helps!
    2. watching a happy show, movie, or book – it’s a bit of escapism so I don’t recommend overdoing it, but sometimes just the right show can help my mood
    3. encouraging someone else – I’ve found that when I push the attention off of myself and can encourage or help someone else, it really makes me feel good. Helping others often helps me.

    1. Great additions Anna! I find watching (well rewatching) sitcoms like the big bang theory really help me. It feels kind of like meeting with a old friend. Hoping that doesn’t sound too weird. I just mean its comforting. <3

      1. Oh I totally understand! I feel the same way watching Gilmore Girls 😊 It really is like coming back to visit an old friend. Very comforting!

  10. Hey Tanya! These are all helpful solutions👏🏾 I find whenever my brain feels foggy or I can’t focus on tasks at hand, like writing, I go outside. It’s just something about being outdoors that revives the spirit. It works for me everytime, even if it’s cold outside😊

    Natonya |

  11. This is a great post! Getting up and getting dressed the first thing I do when I’m not feeling tip top. Thank you for this.

    Al x

  12. Not going to lie it’s the simplest things that help you with your mental health. This post is definitely helpful. Since when been in quarantine I felt like it’s no use to do my hair or get dressed up since I don’t have anywhere to go. But then I thought about it like I feel so much better when my hair is done and I got on a nice outfit. It’s not even about being seen it’s just about feeling and looking good. When I look good I feel good and go into the day with more confidence.

  13. I’ve bookmarked this post to come back to when I’m having one of those “I can’t do anything” days to see if maybe I can check somethings off from this list. I meditate every day for at least 30 mins but normally it’s for an hour. I find this definitely helps me clear my mind from the day before and start a fresh. Great post!

  14. Great post!! I literally just had a mental health day and had to take an hour or two to take time for myself. I was able to soak, meditate and wash my filthy hair and I swear that did wonders!

    1. It really does! For me washing my hair feels like a “do over” if that makes sense. Thanks for reading Jess <3

  15. Lovely ideas! It’s always the smallest of things that help on hard days. Something that helps me is to watch something lighthearted and uplifting, like a short YouTube video. It helps to distract me from my own overwhelmed or sad mindsets for a little bit.

    Thanks for sharing these!

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