Mental Health

10 Things I try to do when I’m having a bad day.

Having a bad day?

As much as we try to be happy and keep ourselves well all the time, there will always be bad days in our lives. It’s all about how we deal with it and what strategies we can use to turn our day around.

When I had Postnatal depression all my self-care completely went out the window and I couldn’t have cared less if I did anything for myself or not and to be honest I was so low that I wouldn’t have had the motivation to do anything anyway.

But after many years and recovering I have realised that if I don’t take care of myself then I won’t be able to take care of my family the best way that I can.

As the saying goes “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” That saying couldn’t be any more spot on. I always find that if I have had a bad day and just don’t feel great then I’m far more short tempered with everyone around me and will often do more harm than good.

So instead of waiting for things to get worse why not give your self that much deserved time to do something that makes you happy.

Take the time out for yourself, you’ll feel so much better for it and your family will see the benefits too.

Don’t let a bad day turn into a bad week or a bad month. When those bad days do knock at the door make sure to be gentle on yourself and do something that will lift your mood.

My top 10 things that I do to pick myself up on a bad day:

  • Read a book.

    I love reading books and for me it’s a wonderful way to escape to another place even if it’s just for 30 minutes. And I will often encourage the kids to grab a book and read as well, so that I know they’re busy and I can enjoy reading for a bit.

  • Colouring in!

    It probably sounds really childish but you wouldn’t believe how therapeutic colouring in can be. There’s so many colouring books designed just for adults these days that you don’t even have to wrestle your child to borrow their colouring books. And just the same as with the reading I will encourage the kids to grab some books and pencils and join in, its always quite fun and because they’re concentrating on the colouring they can often be quiet for 10/15 minutes. Which isn’t bad for kids who talk nonstop.

  • Go for a coffee with friends.

    This one is definitely one of my favourites! I will often meet up with a friend at a play centre so we can let the kids run wild while we have a catch up and I always feel so much more refreshed for the day ahead knowing that I have had that time out and was able to enjoy an adult conversation instead of listening to CBeebies again.

  • Have a bubble bath.

    I know it’s something so simple but it’s so effective. Why not buy yourself some nice scented candles, some bubble bath lotion that doesn’t have Peppa Pig or Barbie on the front of it, maybe even some essential oils or bath salts. And just have a nice long bath while the kids are in bed. Just lie there and enjoy the peace and quiet. It’s a great way to unwind after a hectic day.

  • Treat yourself to your favourite dinner.

    Instead of dishing out something that you know your kids love but you’re not too keen on (sausages and mash every day) why not make something for them and then make something just for you and your other half. Food can be so comforting and you have the added bonus of having dinner alone with your other half without having to tell your kids to use their cutlery and not to spit their food out. I know it sounds time consuming but if you do it just once a week say at the weekend when you know you have that extra time, it will be easier and you will be glad you’re not having chips and chicken nuggets again.

  • Go for a walk.

    Why not get your other half to watch the kids for 30 minutes or whatever is doable for you and go for a walk on your own? Being out in the fresh air will help you clear your mind and give you some time to breathe. Not only is it healthy for your body but also for your mind and will help you slow yourself down if you’ve had a hectic day.

  • Why not set up a movie night?

    We often have movie nights at the weekend. Why not take the kids to the shop to pick out the sweets and popcorn they want and then go home and pick a movie to watch together. It’s a great way to bond and we always have a great time, not to mention it’s far cheaper than going to the cinema and ending up spending a fortune.  Or you can always have a grown up movie night (and I don’t mean watching a dirty movie 😂 unless that’s what you want of course) I mean the same as above only without the kids.

  • Listen to podcasts.

    I quite enjoy doing this one. You can type into google the person you want to listen to and see if they have any podcasts or you can just type in podcasts and search from there. There is something for everyone. I will often listen to Oprah’s Life Lessons, and Magic Lessons by Elizabeth Gilbert. Two people that I find very inspiring and I have learnt so much from listening to their podcasts. Or even just listening to something funny that will lift your mood if you need a good laugh.

  • Listen to music.

    I find that music is really good therapy to help your mood. Just listening to a happy song can really turn your day around. Why not listen to music that reminds you of one of your happiest days or a song that has a special meaning to you. I always find I feel much better after listening to music, and the kids love it too and will often dance along to it. Which brings a smile to my face.

  • And lastly one of the biggest ones that is so important is sitting down at the end of the day and just reflect on your day.

What are you grateful for today? You’ve had a bad day but when you think about the things you’re grateful for you’ll realise that even bad days have some good in them. If you find that you can’t think of anything at all then that’s ok too. Some days are just too overwhelming and can have your head so full you can’t think.

At the end of the day you’re doing your best everyday and that’s really all you can do. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you made that day, be gentle on yourself you’re only human and will get bad days.

Tomorrow is a new day and you have another chance of having a better day.

Elisabeth x

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