Mental Health

How I Care for My Mental Health on Good Days

Many people only talk about caring for their mental health on bad mental health days. In the past, I was one of those people. Not anymore.

I’ve finally realized that caring for my mental health on good mental health days is vitally important. I believe this is important for everyone, not just people who are living with a mental illness.

Before I explain how I care for myself on good days, I want to make one point clear: mental health and mental illness are different things. Everyone has mental health, yet only people with a mental illness have mental illness. Although, I believe everyone should care for their mental health, whether they live with a mental illness or not.

I’m living with mental illness; I have bipolar disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder. These disorders create a balancing act of anxiety and depression that I’ve become accustomed to living with. I have bad mental health days and good mental health days.

In the past I’ve focused heavily on my mental health during bad days; the days when depression was relentless, or when my anxiety spiraled out of control. On good mental health days, however, I never really gave my mental health much thought. I just enjoyed my good day, milked it for all it was worth, and moved on… knowing that another bad day would soon follow.

This approach potentially caused me to have more bad days. I recently looked back in my calendar at some of my very worst mental health days. I quickly noticed a trend; my worst days frequently fell right after some of my best. I realized: I’m absolutely exhausting myself on good mental health days, I’m doing too much, and I’m causing myself to crash.

I started thinking… When someone is drinking, you’ll sometimes hear them say, “I’m gonna have a hangover tomorrow, I should stop.” When someone is working out, you’ll sometimes hear them say, “I know I’m gonna be sore tomorrow, I should slow down.” So, why shouldn’t I do the same for my mental health?

On good mental health days, I’m typically capable of doing more, but that doesn’t mean I should. I’m capable of doing more house chores, socializing more, and staying out later… but that doesn’t mean I should. What I should do is think about my mental health, and the “mental health hangover” that I might cause if I do more.

So, that’s what I’ve been doing, and it’s amazing. Since I started implementing this I’ve had many more good days. Additionally, I haven’t experienced the crashes that typically follow a really good day.

Here’s how I do it, on good mental health days I ask myself; “how will this make me feel tomorrow?”, “how much energy will this take?”, or “have I reached my limit for today?”. If I feel like I’ve passed my limit I simply say, “I’m done for the day”, or “I’m going to save that energy for tomorrow”.

For example: Yesterday was a really good mental health day for me, because of that I was able to accomplish a lot around the house and have some fun. Yesterday night my husband asked if I wanted to go out. It sounded like a great time; book stores, video game shops, and other fun places. The ‘old me’ would have went, I would have walked from store to store, socializing with everyone I came across, attempting to take full advantage of my good mental health day. Then, today, I would have crashed from exhaustion. However, ‘new me’ said “no” to going out. I simply said, “I’ve hit my limit for today, I think I should save that energy”. My husband completely understood, we spent the night resting at home, and I feel rested today. No crash.

Basically, it’s about knowing your limits, and caring for your mental health needs on the good days as well as the bad. This method has sincerely worked for me.

I can’t remedy all bad days. Bad days are a part of life and a part of living with a mental illness. What I can do is care for my mental health on good days so I don’t experience a “mental health hangover” crash.

Sincerely, Elizabeth – Uncustomary Housewife

img_4891

You can connect with the Uncustomary Housewife on social networks: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can also subscribe to the Uncustomary Housewife Blog

MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES: Every time you call out, you’re a little less alone. You matter, and you deserve support. For a list of mental health support systems and online communities, visit; Uncustomary Housewife – Mental Health Support Systems and Communities

img_4893

16 comments on “How I Care for My Mental Health on Good Days

  1. Awesome! I am also learning this! ♥️🙏🙌🏻

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

  2. I think it’s great that you’re prioritizing your mental health on good days too! I have the same pattern of pushing too hard on good days and then crashing. I’m still working on reining it in. Thank you for talking about mental health on good days.

    • Thank you for reading, Fiona. I’m growing, and learning. I’ve found that pacing myself on good days sincerely helps with crashing. Hopefully I can keep this form of self-care up in the future.

  3. This is something I haven’t thought about much but it totally makes sense! I should pay attention to my mental health all the time, not just when I start to struggle. Not that we can always prevent a depressive episode or a crash, but I feel like there is more I can do when I am feeling “up” to prioritize my mental health. Thanks!

    • Thank you so much for reading, and for your kind comment. I sincerely appreciate it. I’m glad that my blog might help you think more about your mental health. I’ve found that prioritizing my mental health on good days really helps prevent a huge crash on bad days.

  4. Not sure why that works but glad that you found out that it does.
    Maybe the bad days are the body’s (and brain’s) way of recuperating and getting energy back and processing the experuence’s of the good days overextendions.

  5. I often have social hangovers in much the same way. Great and insightful post! So nice that you have an understanding husband too!

  6. Well said! I love the phrase “mental health hangover”

  7. Pingback: Uncustomary January: A Rundown of my Month – Uncustomary Housewife

  8. This is a really good point! I’m definitely guilty of mentally burning myself out on good days and I’ll have to remember this!

  9. Pingback: Broken and Worthy of Being Put Back Together – Uncustomary Housewife

  10. I force myself to rest on Sundays
    It is so hard all day
    Our minds keep tricking us that we must do do do because we’ve been sold bs that we as women wives daughters sisters have to be productive with our time
    I’m learning that I’m happier on Monday because I took time to do nothing !!!!!!!!
    Do nothing, breakfast in bed, coffee all day, tv, book, UTuve and calls to friends CNA I felt better because I acted like I did before I got married, had kids, dog, cat, relentless house work !!!!!!!!!
    Now I’m back to me and looking away from reminders carrying guilt trips. Not today! It’s my free day to be me wherever whatever I feel like doing being so I can face the exhausting work week
    No one ever taught us to be ok with just being. Lay in bed and retrain your guilt ridden thoughts to leave you a free little girl in a nest of peace until you feel YOU WANT TO GET UP!!!!
    Enjoy

  11. You have amazing insight! I absolutely love your writing and how you relate mental health with physical health. Of course we need to take care of our minds as well as we take care of our bodies. I can’t wait to hear more. Thank you for sharing!!

  12. Love this! I tried to describe this feeling to my Mam earlier today. I woke up feeling really anxious & flat with no energy but knew I had to get on with my day (I was going to training for work!). Nothing in particular had happened- if anything I had a lovely day yesterday going out with friends for a lovely tapas meal. It was the fact that I finished work, rushed, went out for a meal, got home, showered, bed. It was a lovely night but where was the time for me & my self care? Describing it as a “crash” the next day is exactly how I feel today & have felt days after a big event in the past & I have never known how to describe it. Thank you for this.

  13. brianlazanik

    Great post Elizabeth. Thank you for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: