Living with depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues can sometimes be taxing. I know I have come across this a lot—I feel down, anti-social, or just plain exhausted! While it’s true that we are starting to talk more about mental health conditions, lots of people still find it difficult to talk about what they are experiencing. It’s especially hard when you feel like you were doing so great the past few days and today you just feel like … ugh.
I often don’t know what to say on my ugh days when someone asks me, “How are you doing today?” or, “Do you want to hang out later?” Most of the time I end up just saying something like, “I feel a little tired today—must not have slept well,” or, “I think I’m just staying in tonight, I have a lot of work to do!” Usually, what I really want to say is:
My depression/anxiety symptoms are acting up, and I’m just having a bad mental-health day.
I just feel like people can relate to tiredness and stress a bit more than a real confession of mental-health difficulties. And I don’t want to feel like I’m being a downer or burdening people with my current symptoms.
However, some friends of mine have recently started being completely open about their bad mental health days!
They are very open about their feelings, posting on Facebook, “Hey everyone, I’m having a bad mental health day today,” followed by words of encouragement for their friends (“You are all lovely people!”) and requests for positive posts (“Feel free to send cute puppy pictures or funny videos!”). Not only were they able to express how they were truly feeling, but they also created a wonderful thread of positivity and puppy pictures.
It didn’t even feel like they were burdening anybody! And bonus, they now have a bunch of cute animal pictures—and who doesn’t want to see a bunch of cute baby animals from time to time?
Not everyone feels comfortable to post publicly about their mental health state. But if you have a friend or close significant other, it might be helpful to let them know if today just happens to be a bad mental health day for you! I tried this recently with my boyfriend when he asked how my day went—he was super understanding of it, and it also gave me a partner in figuring out how to make my night better.
Have you ever told someone else that you were having a bad mental health day? Let us know in the comments below (and feel free to post favorite pictures of baby animals!).