Hey there, welcome back and happy Mental Health Awareness Week!
If you haven’t been keeping up on my Instagram page, I have been posting a new tip each day on how to get through tough weeks and how to make your mental health a priority week in and week out. I am commemorating this as the theme for this week’s Working Wellness Wednesday post: How to Show Up as Your Best Self
Mental health awareness is super important to me because (if you can’t already tell from previous posts) I have an ongoing mental illness and, in full transparency, some days are better than others. Some days I celebrate tiny wins like taking a shower and brushing my teeth, other days I celebrate BIG wins like batching all my social media content for the month or working ahead in my to do list. It literally happens to all of us: these waves of ups and downs. Today, I want to talk about how to show up as your very best self no matter what wave you are currently on.
This can look like:
- Extreme tiredness
- Difficulty focusing
- Difficulty holding a conversation
- Difficulty staying awake
- Loss of motivation
- Lack of appetite
- Sudden irritation at minuscule things
- Consistent lack of attention
- Extremely emotional
- Lots of tears
- Difficulty showering or basic care
- Loss of creativity and drive
- No desire to do things you enjoy
- Not even food makes you feel better
- No desire to move
- Completely absent
Of course, these are only examples of what this can look like. Everyone experiences these down waves differently – and it’s OKAY. My Mom always tells me “it’s okay to cry for today, you just need to get back up tomorrow” and while this may not always apply and it may take more than a day, it’s okay to allow your feelings and emotions to kind of…wreck you. Sometimes you just need that release from everyday life to remind yourself it’s okay to feel all the things and allow yourself to be emotional. I cry about EVERYTHING (the good and the bad) it used to bother me but now I know that it’s just how I feel things and it’s okay
How to Show Up as Your Best Self on Your Down Wave Days:
NOW, there is a good way in dealing with this and there are good ways in showing up as your best self even on your bad days.
- Allow yourself to feel all the things and be patient. Sometimes showing up as your best self is just showing up for yourself
- If you know that you are unable to get work done or make any meaningful progress worth anybody’s time – be transparent. Let your boss know, let your coworkers know, let your people know. It is completely okay to feel the way you are feeling and have a right to deal with it (but if being busy and working will help, then do so)
- Write it out. I say this ALL THE TIME but journaling, or even just writing letters to your future self (Glennon Doyle talks about this in her book Untamed) can be an amazing release and a beautiful reminder of how far you have come when you look back at these things
- Reach out. Talk to a loved one, call your therapist, find a therapist, talk to your dog, just let someone know that you are feeling the way you are feeling. I understand if you are one of those people that likes to just stay quiet and deal with it internally, and that’s fine, but you might feel better just being around someone else – even if it’s just to sit there
- Re-evaluate at the end of the day. Sometimes I just need a later start to my day, sometimes I just need an early end to my day, sometimes I just need a nap. Be familiar with what you might need and re-evaluate your needs at the end of the day. Ask yourself: can I try again tomorrow? do I need to reach out tomorrow? how can I feel better tomorrow?
Of course, if your down wave days are lasting longer than a few consecutive months with no ease in deep emotions or they entirely too overwhelming, get help. Your mental health is so, so important and it’s important that you are treating your mental health like you would your physical health – get help.
This can look like:
- Feelings of overall happiness
- Contentedness with life
- No pressing matters to cause worry
- ‘Go with the flow’ attitude
- Wanting to enjoy all the things
- Wanting to be active and do all the things
- Patience with your surroundings
- Can-Do attitude to get things done
- Working ahead
- Completing tasks in a consistent manner
- Being present
- Feeling grateful
I am simply describing how I feel when I’m generally happy and having a good mental health day. I want to enjoy all the food, I want to see all the things, I want to be active – but those are things that make me happy. This can also look like, resting and feeling worthy in your rest, feeling grateful for your life, just enjoying your current situation, being satisfied in all aspects. Just feelings of peace
How to Show Up as Your Best Self on Your Up Waves Days:
There are ways to truly maximize these feeling and maybe make them last a little bit longer if you can help it.
- Be present and aware. Look around you, when you are happy, tell someone, remind someone, talk to people around, and be present for the conversations. Not everyone you meet or interact with on your Up Waves days will be experiencing the same thing, and if you can help someone on their Down Waves days you should
- Write it out (again). In her book Untamed, Glennon Doyle talks about how she writes letters to her future self all the time. She writes happy letters for her sad self and sad letters for her happy self – I do this now, too. It serves as a reminder that even on my very sad days I still have things to be happy about because my happy self wrote me a letter and told me so. It also keeps me balanced and reminds me to work on the things that make me sad: are they things I can fix, are they things I can work on, are they things I can avoid for the next sad day. I am all about making it through the sad days to finding the next happy one
- Pace yourself. You might want to do literally everything on the days you feel like you have the best amount of energy, but pacing yourself (go to bed at a reasonable time, wake up at a reasonable time, eat reasonable foods) will help your happy energy last longer and not burn out as quickly. I also truly believe in you pour from a cup: Your life is a cup and you pour from it each time you interact with someone or do something. If you are empty because you poured it all into one place, how are you meant to fill up yourself? Pace yourself through these best energy moments.
I know this post was a little deep for your typical Working Wellness Wednesday post BUT it needed to be said!
I will be talking about this post more on my Instagram with some background and some of the physical tools I use to show up as my best self day in and day out, so head on over there if you would be so kind 😊
I will also have another post up on Saturday (it’s a repurposed post) and then a SURPRISE post on Friday. Not much of a surprise because I just told you, but more of a surprise because I haven’t decided which drafted post I’m going to click ‘Publish’ on yet.
See you then.