Back in July, my mind sort of, broke. I went through a period of seriously intense health anxiety. Which ended up with my nurse making an urgent doctors appointment for me for the very same day. It was that bad. I got referred back to therapy. I was put on medication. It was a THING. So it’s safe to say, I was feeling mentally fragile. Like, China Doll fragile.
Luckily now I’m feeling much better. I started on Citalopram which didn’t give me too many side effects. Apart from a DRY AF mouth that felt like I was living in the Nevada dessert. And I signed up for a group worry management workshop. ME. The most awkwardly anxious person in the world voluntarily put myself forward for a workshop.
I’m all for moving forward and trying new things to help with my mental health and well-being. But during that period, I was seriously feeling mentally fragile. I felt like at any moment, I was going to go over the speed bump which causes the chip in the glass to finally crack and shatter.
Which got me thinking how it’s okay not to feel strong mentally all the time. We all have times of feeling mentally fragile where we need to go extra easy on ourselves. That’s life. Shit happens.
So whether it’s a bad mental health day, a break up, an argument or something else, here are my 6 favourite coping techniques for those days we need a little extra self love.
Slow down – literally
This is something I’ve noticed I do more sub-consciously than anything else on those days where I’m feeling mentally fragile. But once I realise I’m doing it, I do it more. Because it really does help. And that’s slowing down. Like reaaaaaally slowing down.
I know this isn’t doable 100% of the time, depending on work or kids or pets or whatever. But when you can, just slow TF down. Stop multi-tasking. Stop rushing. Move your body slowly. Take time eating your dinner. And make every tiny task, even just making a cup of tea, the most important thing in the world.
Take care of your basic needs
Sometimes we think self care is this grand ol’ gesture but really, especially on days where you’re feeling mentally fragile, it’s the exact opposite. It’s the small stuff. The basic stuff that needs taking care of the most. We can often jump straight to the manicures, the spa days, the 8 mile runs…
but have you drank enough water today? Have you brushed your teeth? Have you eaten a small meal? Had a shower? Got some fresh air? Really, truly my love, take care of the basics first.
Meditation or gentle Yoga
Meditation and Yoga isn’t just this hippy dippy thing anymore that all the cool kids are doing. It’s got scientific backing and health benefits which are widely recognized. I know I sound like a broken record sometimes and you’re probably bored of me screaming at you to DO YOGA all the time but really…
…do some goddamn Yoga. Yoga is usually my first thought when I’m feeling mentally fragile. And I always opt for the gentle practices. The moving meditations. The nurturing practices which will help me slow down, reconnect and focus on my breath. Give it a go. Just once (if your body and/or mind allows of course).
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When I suggest journaling, I never mean anything elaborate. Bullet journals are great but in those moments where you’re feeling fragile, you just need to get your thoughts out. And that’s exactly what I do. I have a crappy £1 notebook from Tesco and I just write. And damn it’s therapeutic.
On the days you’re feeling mentally fragile, I think it’s so important to let all the expectations go. I’m often powering on through a to-do list but some days, I just can’t manage it. And that’s okay. We can’t be “on it” 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And it’s taken me a long ass time to come to terms with that.
Because let’s face it, you’re not going to perform at your best if you’re not feeling your best. If you can just about manage to brush your teeth, then how are you going to put your energy into writing, editing, formatting and promoting a blog post? If you can, great. But if not, it really doesn’t matter. No expectations.
I asked Twitter how they manage when they’re feeling mentally fragile; check out what they had to say!
Just do what you need to do
Ultimately, you just gotta do what you gotta do. We’re all different and these are just suggestions of things that have worked for me. Which hopefully might give you a helping hand if and when you need it. But on those days where we don’t know how we’re going to get through the next hour, let alone the day itself, you just gotta do you.