So you had a bad day. You flop down on your couch feeling frustrated and exhausted. You can’t decide if you should scream, cry or wriggle into a blanket burrito and never come out. There’s nothing wrong with taking a day off, but sooner or later you’ve got to do something that will give you the mental health boost you need. Your next step is to find a realistic self-care routine that can help guide you back to a place of mental wellness.
But adding a bunch of activities to your plate when you feel overwhelmed as it is?
No thanks. Instead of pressuring yourself to add extra self-care activities to your to-do list and creating stress, focus on taking a few simple steps.
When you have a bad day, take time away from the world to reset. Make some tea, relax, and self-soothe. Then reflect on your boundaries and create new ones. Having healthy boundaries can help to prevent bad days in the future.
Start with these realistic self-care ideas for bad days to give you a plan to revive your mental wellbeing.
Realistic Self-Care Ideas for Bad Days
Leave Your Social Media Apps Alone
While it may be tempting, diving into social media is not a great place to start when you’re feeling down. Social media is dripping with content that overstimulates us. The endless time spent scrolling often leaves us feeling overwhelmed and anxious.
As a general rule, try to avoid needless phone activities when you aren’t feeling mentally well as it can cause more stress and anxiety.
If you do feel drawn to a little distraction, try to choose something that’s uplifting.
Choose a light show, book, or audiobook over sifting through your Facebook and Insta feeds for hours on end.
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Try 30 Days of Free Kindle Unlimited Books here. (Psst, you don’t need a kindle, you can download directly to your phone or laptop!)
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Take time out from the world and deal with your well-being first.
Make Some Tea
Making a cup of tea and wrapping yourself up in a soft, cozy blanket can be a wonderful and simple activity to self-soothe.
Try a cup of Chamomile or this Yogi Kava tea. Yogi Kava tea is my absolute favorite tea. (I love it so much I even stock up on boxes to bring with me when I’m traveling!) The Kava is so relaxing and I love the earthy, cinnamon-y flavor.
Try Mindful Eating
Mindful eating is an underrated way to give yourself some love.
Try cooking your favorite meal, or order in. When your food is ready take time to fully enjoy the meal. Being intentional about being present and enjoying your food removes distractions and invites you to enjoy the pleasure of eating. It can help bring you to a calm state to get some distance from your day.
You can learn more about mindful eating at headspace.com.
When you make time for eating in a relaxed and mindful way, eating becomes a satisfying (and tasty!) way to get grounded.
>>Want to learn more about getting grounded? Learn 3 Simple Grounding Techniques Here
Self-expression is a great way to relieve stress and help you feel a little more you again. Try painting, drawing, or writing in your journal. Don’t worry about making something perfect, just dive in.
You could also try your hand at a new craft like knitting or sewing.
Personally, I love to crochet. There’s a lot of tutorials on YouTube and it’s pretty easy to get the hang of.
Try Yoga Nidra
If you’ve ever been to to a yoga class, you might be familiar with savasana.
Savasana is done at the end of a yoga class. You relax each part of your body, one at a time. This slow, methodical relaxation let#s float off into a blissful state.
Yoga Nidra is like that, minus doing yoga beforehand. It’s a great way to relieve tension and create space for healing. There are plenty on Youtube, but I’ll link to one of my favorites here.
Going for a simple walk and enjoying nature is a wonderful way to boost your mental wellness. The fresh air and movement help to move stagnant energy away leaving you feeling more grounded and refreshed.
Listen to Your Favorite Song and Move Your Body
This tip is great if you’re feeling ready to move some stagnant energy from your body.
Stand somewhere where you have some free space and turn up the volume on one of your favorite tunes.
Let the music fill you up, and express anything that comes up through the movement of your body. Allow yourself to flow free. To reap the most benefits from this practice, lay your self-judgment aside.
Give Yourself a Hug
If you want a simple way to feel more relaxed, try hugging yourself. Self-touch releases feel-good chemicals, like oxytocin, helping you feel calmer and more grounded.
Lovingly wrap your arms around yourself and settle into a self-hug.
As you do this practice, remind yourself that you are deserving of your love.
>>Want more affirmation inspiration? Learn How to Use Affirmations to Attract Love, Confidence and Success Here
Take Time to Reflect: Realistic Self-Care Ideas for a Better Tomorrow
Refine Your To-do List
If you’ve been stretching yourself thin with too many tasks, reflect on what you can cut from your day-to-day.
There are days when I try to do everything and I usually end up a frazzled mess. Other times I give myself too much to do and it all seems so daunting I never begin in the first place.
Either way, you are never going to benefit yourself in the long run by trying to take on more than you can handle.
Get in the habit of saying no to tasks when your schedule is already full and repeat after me, ‘I deserve to have time for self-care. I promise to leave myself time for daily relaxation and enjoyment. I am worth it!’
Set Healthy Boundaries
When your mental health takes a decline, it’s a sign that you need to take time to reflect on your boundaries.
Boundaries are an essential part of self-care, but they look different for everyone. It’s important to explore what works for you so I’ve included some journal prompts to help get you started.
You can start by reflecting on your responses to some or all of these questions:
-What would make my daily life better?
-Which of my daily activities or interactions take the majority of my energy?
-Do those activities or interactions provide value to my life? (Value can be anything from money to love, it’s up to you to decide what constitutes as valuable.)
-What boundaries would help me to conserve energy for activities that help me feel recharged?
-What prevents me from setting boundaries?
Limit energy spent on the activities, people, and habits that drain your energy. Use your new-found space for self-care and other things that help you to feel recharged.
Self-care isn’t just about bubble baths and face masks. Want to see results from your self-care practice? Doing the self-work and taking concrete steps to create a better life for yourself is crucial.
When you take time for reflection and self-care activities, you empower yourself to transform a bad mood into self-growth.
Which of these self-care practices for bad days resonate with you? Will you be using them next time you have a bad day? I hope you discovered a few realistic self-care ideas that will help inspire you on your path to self-love and mental wellness.
Thank you for being here,
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