moany mouse

A lifestyle blog

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Ways To Combat Down Days

TW: Depression/anxiety

Hello friends. In the spirit of getting on with shit even when life is your mind is punking you, I thought I'd write a little post about the coping mechanisms I've been using to battle my depression and anxiety. 

If you read my Life Lately post you will know that my mental health took a little dip recently so these are some things I've been doing to make myself feel better. Granted they may not work for you - different strokes for different folks and all - but sharing is caring. If this post helps someone then great, amazing in fact, and if it doesn't then at least I've been able to get it all out. 

Get out of the house as early as possible

A couple of Saturdays ago I had planned to go shopping to pick up the last few pieces of my friend's birthday present. In hindsight (what a wonderful thing right?) I should have known I wasn't going to go. Y'see, I hadn't prepared for a quick getaway. I hadn't washed my hair the night before like I do when I'm working, I hadn't decided what I was going to wear on Saturday and I didn't have a list of where I needed to go/wanted to buy. Then suddenly, it was 1pm and I hadn't left the house yet. Frustrated with myself, I packed it in, had a cry and didn't leave the house all day. 

So I've found what works for me. Getting out of the house as early as possible. I get everything prepped the night before - clothes, hair washed etc. - and then I get up early, get ready right away and get out the door before I've had time to panic. I done this the day after the aborted shopping mission and was like a different person from the day before. I've been doing this with work too and I'm finding the mornings easier than I had been previously. Getting ish done early also means getting home early and having the rest of the day to spend however you please. Awww yissss.

Have clean and tidy surroundings

Alright I hear you, the cleaning and tidying of this point doesn't exactly scream with joy but stick with me. When your head is messy (this is sometimes the only way I can think of describing how I'm feeling) then you don't need any additional mess from anywhere else adding to it. 

A clean desk is more inviting and you're more likely to want to sit at that bad boy and be productive. A made bed is a whole lot more satisfying to climb into. If you don't have clothes piled up on that one chair (we all have that chair right?!) or hanging off your door, you are not going to wake up during the night and mistake them for a man standing in your room...okay that last one was a bit creepy and specific but get my point. 

For me, waking up in a tidy bedroom and then coming downstairs to a tidy house is a big weight off my shoulders. I can then act like Cinderella and fling open my curtains, let in the sun and like...sing with birds and stuff. (or I can at least feel like doing that). Anyway, this brings me on nicely to my next pointer.

Get as much natural light as possible

Now, if like me you live in bonny Scotland or some other place that likes to keep the sun a secret for 90% of the year this doesn't always mean blue skies and legs out (or taps aff ;) ) but we can make do. 

My boyfriend is a serial curtain closer. SIDE NOTE: I am legit now thinking about the very unlikely possibility that he is in fact a vampire because he also hates mirrors. Where was I? Right, yes. Curtains open. Go outside when possible. I am the least outdoorsy person there ever was so for me this means venturing into my garden with the cats for a bit or going for a drive. If nothing else it gives you fresh air and a change of scenery away from your bed. Score. 

Talk to someone

Believe it or not, this is something I find it incredibly hard to do. Opening up online is a breeze for me, but with people in my day to day life, not so much. Example: one of my favourite people messaged me last week asking if I wanted to meet up for dinner and instead of just telling him I was having a rough patch, I just didn't answer him. Not the best way to deal with things at all. 

I'm not saying you have to spill your heart and soul to someone but even just being able to say to someone "I am not feeling great and need some time" can give you the space you need to regroup and focus on you, without upsetting those around you. 

If you do feel like you need to talk to someone but don't have anyone you'd feel comfortable enough talking about things with, you could try a helpline. I recently had my first telephone counselling session and after the initial fear of "omg I hate phone calls and I don't want to tell a stranger that I'm feeling like this" I ended up speaking for an hour and came off the phone in a better mindset. 

If you'd mentioned counselling to me a few years ago I would have honestly been like "pah, not for me" but I cannot stress enough - take all the help that is available to you. We all deserve to feel better. Click here for a list of mental health helplines and contact details. 

Well, this post certainly went on for longer than I anticipated it would.  
I think I'm high on my boyfriend's birthday cake. My vampire boyfriend. Send help. 

Do you guys have any other tips you could share with me? How do you turn things back around after a dip? Have any of you ever had to deal with a surprise vampire boyfriend?!?!

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  1. I think for me, down days are about clearing my mind. Normally I'll go for a walk with my mum and we'll have a good chin wag about what's bothering us. Or you could take a soak and read a book to take your mind of things. X

    1. Clearing my mind can be a very difficult thing to do! I guess that's where the soak and book come into things x

  2. I think talking to someone is what helps the most. Grabbing a coffee or tea and just having a chat outside. It helps to draw me out of my mind on a down day. x

    1. Definitely - especially when you have someone willing to listen/empathise x

  3. Talking with someone about it all should help a lot. But in my case, it sometimes can turn out worse. I like to get as much sunlight as possible as it really helps me to stay more happy and positive. Also, getting out of the house as early as you can is a great idea!

    -Leta | The Nerdy Me

    1. The sunlight can work wonders for sure :) x

  4. Ah I loved this post! It was so honest and relatable but helpful too! I am very glad you did it! I will be book marking it for the future for sure! I hope your mental health looks up soon xx

    Thrifty vintage fashion

    1. Thank you lovely, I appreciate that. xx

  5. I agree with all of these, especially the cleanliness and sunshine!! Found the sunshine out the hard way, living in a place for a year that got zero natural light.

    I never realized it, but the going out early is something I do unconsciously as well. For school, if I just get myself out the door and on my way, then I don't have time to second guess, and am able to let the distractions of a crazy school day distract me.

    I find that keeping to a routine helps me a lot, and having a set amount of time in the morning and at the end of the day for relaxing makes me feel less hectic and anxious.


    1. You are a gem, I am definitely going to take this on board and make sure I have a set amount of time for relaxing. Been having a think about my day to day schedule and that is something that I don't set aside enough time for.

  6. This is a lovely post :) Thankyou for sharing it. I definitely agree that having a good clean and tidy can really improve your mood. Even though it can be hard to find the motivation to get up and tidy, it feels so relaxing to walk into a room that's clutter-free and inviting. I seriously need to get into the habit of letting in some natural light! I've felt the benefits of what it can do for my depression, but I find that all I want to do when I'm having a bad day is sit indoors with the curtains closed. I really should open up the curtains or go and sit in the garden :) I can relate when it comes to avoiding talking to people when I'm in a bad place with my depression & anxiety, I'll also ignore messages, especially if they are asking me to hang out. Sometimes it can be so much easier to not reply than to have to explain what's up, but I need to start trying more x