When you’re feeling down, going through a rough patch or struggling with your mental health it’s extremely important to give yourself credit for the little things that you accomplish doing in a day.
For those of you who struggle with mental health, you know as well as I do that on the worst days it can take everything in you to just peel yourself out of bed. Depression can make doing everyday normal things seem like the most daunting challenges and things you just begin to ignore. Giving yourself credit for the little things you allow yourself to face even though you feel like you just can’t, is a big step towards replacing some of the negativity that’s circling through your thoughts to a little victory and positivity.
For me, personally, when I’m at my lowest point I not only neglect my emotional needs, but I start to neglect my physical appearance.
I do believe that what you feel physically has an impact on what you feel emotionally and vice versa. It’s easy when you feel bad to ignore the fact that you haven’t showered, or brushed your hair, or brushed your teeth- it’s a fight I continue to have with myself during my rough spots. But I try to fight it and I do it by counting those everyday normal things people do to care for themselves as victories.
I feel my best when I get up and take a shower. It’s something that makes me feel physically better and in turn makes my mood slightly better- a small victory. When I get out of the shower and actually brush my hair, that’s another small victory. When I’m feeling down, it’s so easy for me to just keep throwing my hair up once it’s dry and it results in a matted mess that in turn makes me feel not so good about myself.
I think it’s small victories like that (that make me feel just a little bit better) are what matter the most when it comes to feeling more positive. When you do small things for yourself that make you feel better physically they add up and eventually impact your overall mood.
Accomplishing small tasks
Whether you have homework, a blog post waiting to be written, a work deadline, or like me you have to self promote your small independent business- working on a little bit at a time can be a small way to ease your mind from the stress of a big project needing to be completed.
What I’ve come to realize is that it’s good to know what you can and cannot handle and not to be ashamed to admit what you can’t handle. If you can only handle working on little slivers of whatever project you need to complete then count the work you accomplished as a small victory towards the bigger goal. Give yourself credit where it’s due!
Starting off small is always better than not starting at all. I’m not saying you have to clean your whole house (unless cleaning makes you feel better!) but I’m talking about minimal things you can even do in your bedroom. Because let’s face it, if I’m feeling down, I’m staying in my room.
You’d be amazed at how much better you’ll feel after even just doing something as small as making your bed. It’s a small victory that will help make you feel a tiny bit more put together, even if you make it and then climb right back in.
I talk a lot more about how the state of your bedroom affects the state of your mental health in a previous blog post so I won’t elaborate too much further on the house hold/bedroom tasks.
It can be easy to distance yourself from your friends and family/loved ones without even realizing it when you’re in a bad mental health state. Don’t blame yourself for this separation and disconnect, instead try to remedy it.
Sharing updates on Facebook and replying to the comments is a small victory that allows your friends and family to be apart of your life and talk to you in a way that doesn’t require you to carry on a full conversation.
Replying to a text is a small victory even if the text is a few days old. Whoever sent it will just be glad to hear back from you, don’t be scared to hit that send button.
If there’s anything that I’ve learned throughout my journey with my mental health that I would pass on to others, it’s this: don’t be scared to reach out to your loved ones or someone you trust for help. They love you and they want to do anything and everything they can to help you get better and keep you here.
I don’t usually open up about my mental health, let alone on a platform like this, so bare with me if that was choppy or didn’t make sense. But I figured that it’s nice to know you aren’t alone, and I’m hoping that this post can help at least one person because sometimes I know it’s what I could have needed.
My mental health journey is far from over. It’s been a year of self-discovery and self-realization. Realizing that I need help to cope and actually wanting to get that help is a small victory that I’m counting in my journey towards self love and a better mental health state.
Knowing that it won’t happen over night and accepting the small victories is what I use to keep me going, knowing that one day I won’t have to live with the fear of depression grabbing me and pulling me under again.
I hope that you guys will learn to love yourselves again along side me (as I learn too) and count your small victories from here on out.
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