Part of taking care of your well-being involves protecting your mental health. We all experience seasons in our lives that are better than others. It’s normal for everyone to go through periods where they feel happy and optimistic, and then go through other times that are more challenging, where struggle seems to be overwhelmingly present. If your mental health is causing significant dysfunction in your everyday life, know that it’s okay. In some cases, you might need to seek help from a professional in order to see improvements in your mood and well-being. However, there are other times where there may be several things that you can do on your own to help yourself get out of the vicious cycle that is causing your suffering or your struggle.
The “bad days” cycle
For the most part, when a person is going through a phase where their mood is low, their activity levels also go down. In other words, when a person doesn’t feel like doing anything, which is often the case when they’re in a bad mood or when they’re sad, they stop doing things that usually make them feel better. This is mainly because they feel much less motivated than usual, even if it involves doing an activity that they generally enjoy. So, when a person feels down, they feel demotivated, and in turn, they become less active. The problem is that when they keep isolating themselves and they stop engaging in activities because of their low energy, in turn, their mood worsens. Eventually, this can turn into an endless loop which can be difficult to break if it isn’t taken care of early on.
Breaking the cycle
To avoid going into this cycle, or if you’re already experiencing it and you want to get out of it, you need to modify and adjust your lifestyle. You can do so by including activities that you enjoy in your daily schedule. When you do things that you like more frequently, this will help you get your motivation and your joy of living back. As we all have different passions and interests, we don’t get motivated by the same things, and therefore, each person would need to choose the activities that lift their mood, and see what works for them. Some people may get their motivation from sports. Whether it’s going to the gym, swimming, playing tennis, or exercising in any other way, a lot of people, especially athletes, genuinely feel better mentally when they work out. Some even find joy when they’re around people and feel that they belong to a certain community. Whatever your hobbies or interests may be, you need to include these things that you’re passionate about in your daily routine. Stressful and overwhelming events in your life can sometimes control or oppress you until they take you to a dark place. When you keep practicing the activities that you enjoy and you’re able to find pleasure in your everyday life, even when you’re going through a rough time, you will be able to maintain a positive state of mind.
What if it doesn’t work out?
If you have been engaging in new activities and doing things that you like for a while but you haven’t seen much improvement or changes in your mood, then maybe reaching out to a mental health professional might help you. Sometimes your struggles may be too deep, or you might find it challenging to overcome them by yourself. Asking for help or support from others is not a sign of weakness, but rather it’s a strength. You don’t need to go through difficult experiences on your own to be considered strong. A part of what having true strength and resilience is being able to admit and recognize when you’re going through an overwhelmingly challenging period and understanding that seeking guidance and support from a professional will help you improve your mental wellbeing. Please know that you are not alone if you believe you need professional help for any reason. You can start to feel better again by taking small actions.
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