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Learning to Love Your Mental Illness

Photo by Joshua Fuller on Unsplash

We’ve all been there. Those days where everything is a bit heavier than normal. Your morning cup of coffee doesn’t bring you joy like it normally does. The birds aren’t chirping. Or maybe they are, but you’re too zoned out to even notice. Those days come and they go. But when they come, doesn’t it feel like that little voice is yelling at you? Get up! Get to work! What do you have to worry about? Nothing’s going wrong, so why are you so sad? In order to make it through those bad days, you need to become friends with the voice inside your head. Some days, it is OK if all you did was make it through the day. You have to celebrate your small accomplishments like you would your big ones. If it’s a little harder in the morning to get up, just let it be tough. Sit in the silence with that little voice. Talk to it. You don’t have to figure out why you’re feeling the way that you are. However, you do have to figure out how to move forward with mental illness and still be productive.

Make your mental illness your friend

The most important thing you can do is know yourself. You’ve got to find solitude in being alone sometimes. When you’re alone with your thoughts, take the time to really understand yourself: how your emotions work and the tell-tale signs that a much-needed mental health day is in the future. Even just knowing what brings you happiness on your lowest days is enough to begin with. We all cope with our mental illnesses differently. Once you understand the way you cope, you can create an action plan of sorts. Remember, it is a bad day — not a bad life.

3 quick tips when you’re feeling down

  1. Take a step back. It might seem obvious and cliche, but you need to create space for you to process. Process your emotions, thoughts, and the situation at hand. Sometimes when you think about the reality of the situation, it becomes a way less scary monster to deal with.
  2. Do something you love. We all know that people react differently to quite literally everything. That being said, carve out 30 minutes for you to do something that makes you happy. For me, it’s reading a book and having a nice cup of coffee. For you, it might be going for a walk or calling that one friend you haven’t talked to in a while. Whatever it may be, make the time to do it. Even if it feels like life is moving a mile a minute, take that time. It’s only 30 minutes out of 24 hours, I promise the world will not crumble around you.
  3. Get back on track. Whether you have a work deadline or have cleaning to do, make a game plan! It’s OK to not understand how you’re feeling. That’s normal. Just make sure you begin to think about the things you can control and those you cannot. More likely than not, you’ll begin to see that the things you can’t control are something your present self shouldn’t worry about.

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