As most people know, living with a mental illness isn’t one upward motion. There are a lot of ups and downs. Sometimes your struggles are situational, you might have some bad news or a lot of stress, other times your illness just goes into overdrive for no apparent reason and, personally, I find that even harder. I live with Depression and Anxiety, a common but tough combination that has had a big impact on me in the last 10 years.
So, how do you manage? As some of you know I work full time, I blog, have an active social media, relationship, some health issues, family and friends. I have a lot on, probably more than I should BUT that is how my life currently is. That said, when I do have mental health struggles all of this feels incredibly overwhelming and can leave me very, very low. Over the years I’ve found ways that help me with mental health struggles such as
Taking Baths or Showers
When I’m in a bad way, panic attacked, tears etc water is something that calms me. It’s been that way since I was a young teenager and had regular panic and anxiety attacks. If I’m at home or heading home this is a great way to relieve some of the stress.
Most of my poetry is written when I’m struggling. It is a healthy way to get out my thoughts and feelings. It also means that if people read it they think I’m a little dark, which is fine. I see the creativity from a really dark place as something positive.
Letting friends and family know
I’m not as good at this as I want to be but having to let people know when I’m not doing okay. When people know they can help you out, cheer you up etc.
Giving myself an early night or a weekend lie in
Getting enough sleep is really important to my mental well-being, but it’s also the easiest thing to let slip, especially as I’m known to suffer with sleep disturbance when I’m stressed. Making sure I can get an early night or a lie in at the weekend is crucial if I’m struggling – which can also mean saying no to plans.
Trying to remind myself that this will pass
It’s hard but reminding myself that this has happened before and I got through it can help, although not always.
Taking note of the changes and getting help when I need to
It’s good to get an idea of how much you’re struggling and recognising when you need help. I, personally, really find this difficult because of past experiences but there are some wonderful teams and excellent resources out there to help.
Take time off/away if you need to
I try and keep a few days holiday in reserve in case I’m feeling really run down, tacking an extra day on to a weekend here and there to have some me time works. Of course, if you are severely struggling and need to take a mental health day then that is also ok.
Is there anything you would add? Let me know in the comments below!