A Few Things To Try on Your Down Days
I have been experiencing a lot of down days lately. With the workload increasing, I struggled to find time to pause and refresh my thoughts, which resulted into substantial drainage. It has been especially hard to be in the right headspace for anything outside of work duties. Nonetheless, I have been intentional to try different activities that I know to get me back in shape mentally, progressively. In light of September being a suicide prevention awareness month, I thought I would share a few things that I often do on my down days. These are things that, I have come to discover through extensive research and personal experience, help me cope best with my depression and anxiety. Some of these activities are clinically approved to be effective, while others are just tending to my mental needs at that moment. They are not guaranteed to be effective seeing as though they require that you find time, get up and put in some work. All in all, I hope they enlarge your steps towards a better mental state.
Colouring influences my mind to think positively because it is an activity that allows me to control an outcome. I decide which colours I use and how I use them, giving me a sense of accomplishment when I am done colouring. It also encourages my mind to wander in a relaxed, casual manner. Research says that colouring in adults is soothing because we tend to focus more on ensuring that colours do not go past the line or that certain colours in similar patterns are uniform.
I enjoy reading crime and mystery novels the most. When I am depressed, the reading is not necessarily as enthusiastic, though it still distracts my mind from unhappy thoughts. Consequently, getting lost in solving a mystery in a book adjusts my thinking. On my down days, I increasingly struggle to sleep throughout the night, resulting into delaying beginning my day. When I read for a small amount of time, it helps with my sleep whereas surfing the internet or scrolling through social media increases my stress and inability to sleep until morning.
3. Morning or evening strolls
Honestly, I still struggle with morning or evening strolls. The few times I have gathered myself to take a walk in the morning or the evening, with the company of a successfully assorted playlist, it has made a difference. But I sometimes struggle to find motivation for a morning walk, and most of the time, evening walks make me feel unsafe. Nonetheless, walking helps me rearrange my thoughts. I tend to focus on the instruments playing in the background of a song or the view of the environment surrounding me.
4. Binging comedy series or movies
Watching movies or shows for a long period, in solitude, often elevates my depression. But specifically, comedy shows or movies, boost my mood after time spent laughing. Finding a series funny does not mean that I am happy, but it takes a load off my chest and mind, that I am left somewhat uplifted than I was before.
5. Trying a new self-care routine
Something about self-care routines makes me feel like I have my life together, and therefore my worries and negative thoughts become significantly small. Of course, I do not always keep up with the routine after a few days of starting it, but it makes me feel better about myself. When I am feeling depressed, I struggle with self-esteem and self-love. It gets harder for me to appreciate myself or even find myself beautiful in any form. Trying a new homemade face mask, journaling down my gratitude or different things I like about myself, or giving myself a manicure, are various ways that motivate me to think positively about myself.
Take time out of your busy schedule to tend to your mental health. There is only so much you can do without your mental health intact.
Someone that understands.