I had a bad day. Actually, I’m starting this blog while I’m still having that bad day. I had an intense high for a few days and now I’m in an intense crash…while at work. Yes it’s quite fun. Thankfully I have two hours left once this break is done. We’re not fully moved in yet and I think moving has been a part of my stress; amongst a bunch of other things. The point is, what do we do when our day is pure bullsh*t? Seriously please tell me, my day isn’t over.
Kidding aside, (yes somehow I have an ounce of humour still in me), I have a couple of tricks. They’re proven by the fact that I haven’t gone home and instead I’m sticking this out. Somehow. Whether you’ve heard bad news, are feeling depressed, anxious or hitting the bottom end of the bipolar cycle like me while transitioning to a different medication that clearly isn’t working…we need ways to get through those difficult times. Of course if this wasn’t bad enough, these rough patches can coincide with important tasks making for the worst timing. For me this is handling a move while also working three days in a row: 25 hours. My high ended around 11 a.m. on the first day. Wham…into the dumps you go. My break is done but I’ll continue when I can.
Well that’s how how far I got two days ago. I made it through that day and yesterday as well. I made a correctible mistake at the cash but it made me cry. I felt so bad because I’m really sensitive and especially now. I started crying and it took a bit to put myself back together again enough so that I could finish the shift. I did and I’m very grateful for that. I don’t like quitting!
Now it’s morning and I have three days off. I came back from work last night (only a 30 second walk because we moved in next door) and I went to bed at 7:30. I could barely keep my eyes open. There’s something important to say about sticking it out through the hard times though. Now that it’s over I feel much better about myself knowing that I completed the work week despite everything. This builds strength and confidence at the same time. Why? Because it takes strength to get through it and once we do it adds confidence in our abilities to manage those rough times. It helps us realize that we’re stronger than we may believe.
Without further ado, here is my list on how to make the harder days a little more bearable:
- Take the day one minute at a time if you have to. Get yourself into the present moment as much as you can to prevent folding in on yourself. Being really inwardly focussed draws our attention even more to how bad we’re feeling which keeps us stuck. I’m not saying we’re going to forget the pain and everything will become sunny again, I’m just saying that a little distance can help lessen the intensity. If you’re at work for example try immersing yourself in each task. That’s what I did; I threw myself into conversations with clients to help them find what they needed for their pet(s). It was really hard when things got quiet because I felt lost with nothing to do. When I felt this all I wanted to do was sit down on the floor with my knees tucked to my chest. I did do that at one point but I forced myself to get up and pass the giant broom to at least have something to do.
- Come to terms with your bad day. I know…easier said than done because everything sucks right? But sometimes all we can do is say; Ok. This is going to be rough but I’ll see where the day takes me. Maybe it’ll get better, maybe it won’t, but I’ll keep moving forward until the day is done. I really had to use this one these past few days. Every time I had a break I got to walk home to our new place. I curled up in bed for a bit and trust me…I did NOT want to move. Still, I told myself that the sooner I got moving to sooner I’d be done. I’d have to wait things out and use time as my ally. Regardless of how I felt I knew that time would progress and the day would eventually be over. It’s not much but it’s a small comfort.
- Remind yourself of the sense of reward you’ll feel after you’ve made it through the tough time. It’s a testimony to your strength and ability to handle things.
- I know I mentioned how badly I didn’t want to quit, so this is very important. That was ME and how I felt. If you feel too bad, please, don’t stick it out if things are just going to get worse. We have to listen to ourselves and even if you have to stop partway through your day of school, work or whatnot, your health is most important. Only keep going if you don’t feel in danger or way too bad and remember that you can change your mind whenever you want. A good strategy is to give yourself a certain amount of time to see how you feel. For example give yourself an hour and stick it out. At the end of the hour reevaluate if you can make it through another or simply can’t do it anymore and need to stop. Please don’t blame yourself if you can’t continue.
- try to remind yourself that having a rough time doesn’t make you weak, stupid, incapable, etc. We’re allowed to have bad days and it’s not our fault.
- Even if you don’t have much time to do it, try to insert some self-care time into your day. For me this was cuddling with my doggo while I was on break. Also make sure that you eat properly despite how you feel.
- If possible, don’t deal with the bad day alone. This is especially true if you’re having urges to hurt yourself in some way. Either way, communicate how you feel with someone you trust. If you’re at work or school and you’re afraid that how you feel is going to impact your performance, again, let someone know. If no one knows this doesn’t work so well, but the perk of a few people knowing that you can go through times like this is that they’ll understand that something is going on. They won’t wonder why you’re really not on your game. I find this takes off some of the pressure to appear ‘normal’. When things are out in the open, (and it doesn’t have to be specific; only share what you’re comfortable with) it can make it easier on everybody.
I know these tips are a far cry from fixing how badly we can feel. Unfortunately sometimes all we can do is take these tiny steps and keep moving forwards. These ideas are what help me but what’s most important is finding what works for YOU. If you have any tips you’d like to share with others please write them in the comments. I’m sure we’d all love to hear from you!