Down Days – Tips & Tricks For Better Mental Health

Living with anxiety (& the subsequent depression) for pretty much my entire life, I’ve had my fair share of days that really are less than amazing. Tons of days where I don’t feel like getting out of bed and facing the day, and my bed and space seems a thousand times more comforting than the rest of the world. Living through these experiences for years, I’ve picked up my fair share of tricks to help break out of the funk and get back to business. School doesn’t have time for a lot of down time, so finding myself back into a productive sort of mood is super important. Mental Health correlates to your overall wellbeing, so it’s important to take it seriously.

Some of my favorite tricks are:

  • Read a good book. Even better, take that book someplace outside of the house; a park, coffee shop or even backyard are great options.
  • Walks. Exercise is one thing that seriously can kick sad feelings to the curb, just from a chemical standpoint. I like to go for walks in the evening, bring some headphones along, and just try to clear my mind of everything that could be cluttering my head.
  • Go on a tiny day trip. Even if its just to a nearby town or city, getting out and experiencing new things can help to lift your spirits.
  • Have a spa night. If you can’t bring yourself to leave the house, you can always pamper yourself at home with face masks, nail polish and snacks! Sometimes I like to put on a favorite tv show, and just hang out while my nails dry.
  • Call up friends. Support from friends & family is super important!
  • Clean up your space. Living in a clutter free & clean environment can make everything  a little better!
  •  Listen to music. Sometimes it’s just nice to lay down and listen to some music and reflect.
  • Go to the gym. Again, exercise is key to chemically beating bad feelings and boosting up energy.
  • Indulge in a new hobby. I’ve recently started to care for some tiny plants, and sitting and caring for them always makes me feel better. It’s a whole new hobby for me to learn about and keep me occupied.
  • Bake/cook a treat. There’s nothing better than something home cooked and tasty to help you feel better!

Of course, as always, everyone has their own techniques and tricks to help themselves feel a little more energized on days that drag. Finding them might be a little bit tedious, but it’s worth the energy!

Do you have any techniques that help you feel better on bad days? Share them in the comments below.


Celebrating Little Victories – Weight Loss Progress

They say you gain your “Freshman 15” when you move away and start school. Apparently for me, I didn’t want to leave it just to my freshman year (hah!). As soon as I left home, I found comfort in unhealthy foods, snacking all the time, and eating whatever was easiest, regardless if it was full of fat and sugar. Food was something I could find comfort in, whether I was hungry or not. So the weight naturally packed on, and I felt stuck.

How would I get back to where I was before I started college? Was it even possible? Would I have any semblance of willpower to let me lose it and get healthy again? In all honesty, I thought no.

I guess around Christmas time, I finally felt tired of looking and feeling fairly unhealthy. I wasn’t massively overweight, but certainly there was room for improvement. I started counting calories and didn’t really look back.

Since then, I’ve lost about 17 pounds, 5 of those since starting on a Weight Watchers program. The biggest excitement this weekend, was that when I went home, I was able to move down one pants size. This is a massive deal for me, because I haven’t worn them for two summers now.

It may not seem like a huge deal to most, but I’ve decided that the little victories in my life are worth celebrating and acknowledging. I’ve had moments where I thought I would only be happy until I reached my long term goal. I’ve found that I am much happier with myself when I allow myself to celebrate the tiny moments even when they aren’t the end of the journey. This gives me the motivation to keep moving along, working on myself, and improving everyday.

Somedays are harder than others, but I hope that moving forward I can look back on the days where I experienced success and use that to channel energy into the bad days. Not everyday will be absolutely perfect, but I can try my best to make the best of it.

What are your current goals? Still working on New Year’s Resolutions? Let me know in the comments section below.

Happy Monday!


No Zero Days – My Mindset on Living With Anxiety

I’ve had anxiety for as long as I can physically remember. It’s always been lingering around, not always giving me too much of a problem, but definitely rearing its head from time to time and showing up in annoying ways. With anxiety for a lot of people (myself included) depression can be a serious comorbid problem that pops up somewhere along the way. This can seriously make things more difficult than they were before, and honestly, can make life really difficult to live. Sadly, this is a really common problem that so many people struggle with, but next to no one wants to talk about. 

Oh well, I’m going to talk about it, because it’s important. I’ll throw some caution to the wind and just be candid.

Anxiety and its related illnesses have left me laying in bed all day more days than I’d care to admit.  I really had a hard time during my high school years, and really ended up feeling like I was someone on the outside looking in. Things looked up for me once I started university, but it was around then that I stumbled upon someone describing the idea of “No zero days” and my outlook on my problems changed drastically. I would love to think that this little technique has saved me a lot of problems and sadness along the way. 

I wish I had a link to where I found this technique, but it’s likely lost somewhere in the archives of reddit. If you know me personally, you know that I pretty much live for reddit, and for once, it came in clutch with an idea that is really useful.

In my eyes, the idea of a “no zero day” is something that comforts me when I can’t really pull things together as much as I would like to on a normal day. All I have to do is one thing that is productive, which constitutes the day as a “no zero day”. For me, usually it’s making something to eat, cleaning up a little, or doing some homework. For others, it might be getting up and taking a shower or something else. It really is vastly different for everyone. 

I love “no zero days” because it takes back the little sense of control that I can, in fact, make something positive happen in my life on the days that are more difficult than others. It keeps the day from being a total wash, while also not putting exorbitant pressure to be perfect on the days that are a little more down than others. 

Like I said, it really has changed my life for the better, and helps me to get moving on days its too hard. Completing one task for me often leads to completing another, and gets me up and moving and on a much more positive path than I would have been on if I had stayed in bed or not left my apartment. It puts the power back in my hands, on days I feel like I have no control at all. Then, it’s really up to me on how much I can complete, or if it’s day than I should stay in and just try my best to take care of me. Both options are positive and fine by me.

So, how can you have a “no zero day”? It really is all up to you. Pick one task to complete, and then reassess and see if you feel up to another. No task is too small (or too large) and everything counts. Getting up and moving really can make a difference in your mood and overall health. Remember it’s okay to have some days where you just stay put too!

Do you know someone who struggles with similar issues, or do you yourself? What are your favorite ways to combat anxiety or other similar conditions? Share in the comments below, I would love to know and try out some new techniques! 

Happy Tuesday!