No matter how hard you try, on some days things just don’t feel much better. That’s the trouble with the “dark cloud,” whether you have a diagnosed disorder or are going through a rough patch. And this lack of progress can only make you feel worse about yourself and your abilities. If today is one of those bad days, here are some ideas to help even if only for a bit.
1. Look Into Prescription Medication
Depression is unfortunately a common symptom of most mental illnesses and can also manifest on its own. In these cases, it’s often the result of a biological condition or a biological condition itself. In other words, it’s something that may not be able to be remedied through mindfulness practices alone.
This is where prescription medication comes in: it’s likely that medical depression treatment will be a more practical solution. If it’s one of those days where the idea of leaving your house seems like too much, consider online services. You can get a prescription online, and the medicine can be delivered straight to your door.
2. Find a Therapist
You may already be experienced with mindfulness practices and discover that medication is all you need. But if you are not, then consider looking for a therapist that can help you learn about grounding techniques and yourself. Having a licensed professional to talk to can make a huge difference in developing coping skills and new perspectives.
There are luckily numerous options for different types of therapy and therapists themselves. You can get online therapy for convenience’s sake or look for a professional that fits your personality. Don’t feel bad if the first therapist you talk to doesn’t seem like a match. Just like any relationship, finding someone you enjoy talking to is important, but it can be challenging.
3. Reach Out to Supportive Loved Ones
Mental health struggles are more difficult alone, and even just having a friend or family member to listen can help. It’s a good idea to surround yourself with supportive company, particularly if you struggle working through dark clouds on your own. Who do you know that will sit with you, whether to listen or just to spend time together, without judgment?
It’s important to note that not everybody has a developed support system, and that’s okay. You can always try browsing online communities of people helping each other through similar issues as well. One of the main reasons to have a support network is to remind yourself you’re not alone. Connecting with others online or in-person can be helpful.
4. Be Patient With Yourself
Remember that there is no true immediate fix to mental health struggles, and it’s okay to not be okay. You won’t be able to make progress every day or even every week, and that’s normal. You might feel like you’re putting a world of energy just into maintaining your mindset, and it’s not improving.
Understand that putting in effort, in itself, is a massive accomplishment — you are actively working to keep yourself afloat. It is YOU doing that, and nothing is more powerful. Don’t rush yourself as you navigate the situation.
5. Allow Yourself to Feel
Along with this self-acceptance, keep in mind that having bad moments, days, or weeks does not mean you aren’t progressing. Emotions are a fundamental part of human perception and, as a result, are important to let through. They can be rational or irrational and will not make sense to you at times, but that’s okay.
It’s better to let out confusing emotions than to bottle them up because they feel wrong or unrelated. The truth is, you deserve to feel those feelings, and you’ll be surprised how cathartic a nice cry can be. Remember your feelings are valid.
6. Practice Self-Care
Just because you’re experiencing discomfort inside doesn’t mean you have to be uncomfortable on the outside. A little bit of self-care can go a long way in creating a more comfortable environment. Self-care is essentially any bit of effort toward improving the moment — even if it’s a small change.
Set aside any preconceived notions of productivity or mindfulness and turn on the Xbox or go for a walk. Do whatever makes you feel good. These little things add up, and can make you feel better.
7. Add Predictability to Your Days
Maybe your work is unpredictable and gets in the way of you letting yourself be comfortable. A solid, predictable routine, even if only at home, can give you something to lean on in the meantime. A common example of this is to rewatch a TV show you really like or connect to. The predictability of it can be comforting, and you already know it’s something you will enjoy.
When you aren’t watching, you can look forward to doing so and use it as an anchor of your day. The same goes for any comforting activity you can depend on to provide a similar amount of occupation each day. The trick is to try to incorporate an activity into your daily routine that you enjoy.
During those periods when the dark cloud just won’t lift, you aren’t hopeless. Your confusion and struggles are valid, and you deserve to feel better. If you find yourself in need of support of any kind, here are some resources. There’s no shame in doing what’s best for you; in fact, just looking for solutions is incredibly brave.