We will all go through periods of feeling mentally fragile. In July of 2019, 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 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.
I started on Citalopram which didn’t give me too many side effects. Apart from a DRY mouth that felt like I was living in the Nevada dessert. Citalopram ultimately changed my life and I shared my experience of anxiety medication here. I also signed up for a group worry management workshop. ME. The most awkwardly anxious person in the world voluntarily put myself forward for a workshop.
The workshop / group CBT turned out to be one of the best things I could have done. Despite the fact that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy doesn’t work for me (but please don’t let that put you off trying it if you need to, it’s hugely beneficial for so many people), I actually met one of my now best friends at that group therapy program!
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. Some days are for smashing the goals and stepping outside of our comfort zones and others are simply for nurturing our bodies and minds and taking care.
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 feel mentally fragile and 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 realize I’m doing it, I do it more. Because it really does help. And that’s slowing down and doing things with more intention. 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 self care that needs taking care of the most. We can often jump straight to the manicures, the spa trips, 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 has 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 restorative Yoga 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).
Want some more Yoga content? Check out these posts:
- 6 Tips To Help You Maintain A Yoga Practice Whilst Traveling
- 6 Things You Need To Start Your Yoga Journey
- Yoga Poses and Other Pain Management For Lower Back
Coping tips for when you feel mentally fragile continued:
When I suggest journaling, I never mean anything elaborate (unless that’s what you want to do). 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.
If you’re really struggling to collect your thoughts, here are 30 journal prompts for mental health.
On the days you’re feeling mentally fragile, I think it’s so important to let all the expectations go. I’m often powering 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.
Just do what you need to do when you feel mentally fragile
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.
If you’re feeling mentally fragile right now, please know that it’s okay. It will pass but for the time being, take care of yourself. Be gentle with your body and your mind. Do what feels right but be open to trying some new things to release any anxious energy. And of course, if you’re really struggling, please go and see your GP.