Dealing With A Bad Mental Health Day At Work

For the past few months my mental health hasn’t been in the best of places. With dealing with my graduation and impending ‘adult life’; starting a new job and some illnesses and issues within my family, things have gotten on top of me a bit and it’s been evident to everyone around me. Including my new colleagues.

I’m usually the kind of person who tries to keep everything under control and under wraps, but lately I just haven’t been able to hide whatever’s going on. So imagine my shock and embarrassment as I went into work yesterday (which was a better day) and was greeted with sarky comments on my improved attitude.

“Oh, so you’ve decided to talk to us today have you?” 

Now I know my colleagues weren’t commenting from a place of hatred or being deliberately mean. They were simply making a comment. And I guess I’m glad that I’m now in the kind of work environment where people notice what’s going on and will take time to ask how you’re feeling.

But that didn’t stop me feeling a bit embarrassed about my obvious bad attitude over the past few weeks and got me thinking about how I should handle it in the future.

Now I’ve spoken about self-care a few times on this blog, and I love that it is a popular topic elsewhere online. But even though it’s a topic I talk about a lot, I still struggle with it – especially when I’m going to work a lot and have to deal with my issues while still being present for my employer.

Following this conversation yesterday, and in an attempt to pick myself back up again, I’ve come up with a couple of ways to deal with a bad mental health day when you’re at work and can’t just huddle in bed like you’d want to.

FORGIVE YOURSELF 

Whatever happens today, when you’re at work, you need to forgive yourself for it. Treat yourself like you’d treat your best friend or a loved one. If they came to you and said that they were having a bad mental health day and subsequently had a bad day at work, what would you do?

You certainly wouldn’t shame them or make them feel any worse. You’d (hopefully!) be kind and compassionate. So why shouldn’t you treat yourself the same way?

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USE YOUR BREAKS

Although there isn’t much you can do at work to try to make yourself feel better, as you’re too busy doing your actual job, most workplaces are entitled to a break of sorts.

It is absolutely vital on a bad mental health day that you make the most of your break. In fact I’d say it’s vital everyday, but I know how things can be. However when you’re feeling low, make sure you use your lunch break to maybe get out of your work environment – even if it’s just for a walk around the block. Use this time to have a calming cup of tea and eat something nutritious and yummy.

If you don’t get official breaks at work, ask a manager if you can take 10 or so minutes uninterrupted away from the shop floor. Bloody hell, even just take yourself to the loos and sit in there for five minutes! Just allow yourself some quiet time.

BE HONEST 

If you’re really struggling to handle work today, pull aside a trusted colleague or, better yet, speak to someone higher up and be honest with them about how you’re feeling and express what’s going on.

I understand how hard this may be, but if you’re really having a bad day letting those around you know is incredibly useful. This will help them understand why you may not be performing at your best which in turn may give you some peace of mind. Mental health is still something of a ‘new’ topic for workplaces, especially those I have experienced, but by being honest and expressing what you need together we can change attitudes and the way things are handled.

HOME TIME = TIME FOR SELF CARE

Regardless of how many breaks you manage to get throughout the day, it’s likely that you’ve not really had any time for some serious self care. Once you’re home, make sure you take looking after yourself as a priority.

If you have plans for after work and don’t feel up to them, cancel. Although there still maybe things you need to get done in the evening just take it slow. Start your self-care routine the minute you get home. Things to include could be:

  • A long hot bath
  • Several cups of tea (decaff if you’re feeling anxious!)
  • Watching your favourite TV show/Youtuber for a few hours
  • Cooking yourself a decent meal. This can be whatever you feel like you need, but if you’ve been low for a while try include some greens (note to self). If you need comfort, carbs are you’re best friend!
  • Have an early night

Check out my Emergency Self Care Checklist for more ideas

START AFRESH  

And finally, despite everything that may have happened today, tomorrow is a new one. Take this evening to look after yourself, seek some motivation and inspiration so you’re ready to tackle tomorrow.

I’m aware mental health issues don’t just go away, but I know how much of an impact your overall attitude can have on your day regardless. By taking some time out this evening to support yourself, you will hopefully feel in a better mindset to deal with tomorrow.


How do you cope with a bad day at work? I’d really like to hear your advice!

Speak soon,

Rachael.

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Emergency Self-Care: A Checklist

Self- care is a big topic online nowadays and although it is one of my favourite trends to have ever hit our screens (an open conversation about looking after yourself? Yes please!) it can be trivialised or even glamorised at times.

There are some times when having a Lush bath and pampering yourself just won’t do. Or maybe it will do but you need so much more too! In desperate times of need there are certain things that I’ve found can help me centre myself, relax and attempt to move forward and I thought I’d share them with you today.

Please note: if you are desperately struggling and things feel too much, please speak to a professional. There are useful links at the end. 

  • Make a cup of tea
  • Brush your teeth
  • Get up from where you are and go to a different room
  • Drink a pint of water
  • Wash your face
  • Have a body shower
  • Write it down
  • Eat something
  • Play music
  • Have a nap
  • Watch TV
  • Tell someone how you’re feeling
  • Go for a quick walk around the block
  • Have a hug with a trusted person

Whenever you feel like you need it, return to this list and see what you can do to help yourself right now.

I’m aware that some of these acts may seem a little trivial, but these are the immediate things I turn to when I’m in need and they have instant results. I know they will not cure you but they may make things a little easier, a little more bearable in the moment.

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What do you to turn to when you need self-care?

I hope this helped. If you do need further support, please check out the links below.

Speak soon,

Rachael


Materials:

(Inspiration) Emergency Self Care: Lucy Moon

What is Self-Care Anyway? (useful links in here too)

Questions to Ask Yourself When You Feel Bad:  Muchelle B

(Useful Links)

7 Cups: Free online therapy/listening service

The Samaritans: 116 123 (UK)

Mind: The Mental Health Charity

 

How To Get Out Of A Reading Slump

I love reading. It’s been a hobby of mine for as long as I can remember and I love nothing more than getting lost in another world built by someone’s words. It’s something I even talk about occasionally on here too.

If you’re also a lover of books then you’ll understand the upset and torment I feel when I find myself in a reading slump. It’s such an awful feeling to have suddenly lost the joy from one of your favourite pastimes and is, unfortunately, something that happens more often than I’d like.

However, fortunately for this blog, because I have experienced the reading slump regularly (n fact just pulled myself out of one recently!) I feel like I can actually be of some help to those of you who might be struggling!

Here are the ways I work to pull myself out of a draught and bring myself back to where I want to be – reading:

  • STOP READING WHAT CAUSED IT

Abandoning a book can be a difficult thing if you love reading. Trust me I get it. For some reason you feel guilty, because you know that someone somewhere spent hours, days, weeks on that book and the least you could do would be to see it through to the end.

But then I finally saw sense. What’s the point in carrying on reading something that isn’t bringing you joy? There are so many other books out there!

If you’re in a reading slump, chances are it was brought on by something you’ve been reading. That doesn’t mean to say it isn’t a good book or even something that you won’t enjoy eventually, but right now it isn’t working so you might as well stop.

Put the book away and forget about it for now- you can always return later when the time is right. Allow yourself the chance to find something better.

  • FIND A GENRE THAT SAVES YOU

Whenever I’m in a reading slump, I tend to reach for chick-lit because somehow it saves me every time. This is something I only realised recently, but those feel-good, quick reads pull me out of a draught and helps me fall back in love with books again.

Now maybe chick-lit isn’t your thing, but there’s bound to be a genre out there that you love and that you know you enjoy every time. It could be memoir, fantasy, self-help and so on. The list is endless!

Next time you find yourself in a slump, reach for something that’s in your genre of choice and see if it helps. Reading something familiar, that’s still a brand new story, is sure to help you get back on track.

  • TAKE A BREAK

Some reading slumps are so deep that nothing will pull you out in a hurry. So why not listen to yourself and stop reading for a bit?

Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that, so take a break. Leave your books on the shelf and dive into another hobby for the time being. Hopefully after some time away you’ll feel fresh and inspired to begin reading once again!

  • WATCH BOOKTUBE

Booktube is the YouTube community dedicated to reading, with countless of creators making content based on their love of books. I personally think it’s a wonderful space on the internet and is one that has helped me from time to time.

When you’re in a slump have a browse through the various vloggers and bloggers out there who are dedicated to books. Their passion and pure joy for the hobby is sure to inspire you.

They’ll show you what you’ve been missing and you’ll begin to see things in a better light, all of which such get you back into reading once more.

Check out the materials at the end for my favourite booktubers who have helped me.

  • RE-READ AN OLD FAVOURITE

Similarly to finding a favourite genre, returning to a once loved book can really help you get back into the hobby again.

For me, I will always return to Jacqueline Wilson who was my favourite author growing up. Sure the books are a little young for me now, but that doesn’t mean I enjoy them any less! Returning back into these stories that meant so much to me years ago reminds me how much I actually enjoy reading and motivates me to do it more.

When you can’t seem to find anything new to grab your attention, I urge you to seek out your out favourites and try them once again.

  • TRY AUDIO BOOKS

Now, I have to be honest here and say this one isn’t something I have much experience with but I do understand how helpful it can be. Personally, audio books aren’t really my thing (yet!) but if you’re just not into reading at the moment, listening to someone read is a wonderful way to still be engaged in the hobby without doing any of the work!

You could even listen to books you’ve already read previously and see if they feel any different in this format. Audio books may also be a great opportunity for you to discover new stories that you mightn’t have even considered before, as things can be more easily understood if someone else is explaining it to you.

Either way I know audio books have been very helpful to others in the past and they may just work the same for you.

Stephen King


Do you have any tips for getting out of a reading slump? Also, what’s your favourite book?

I feel like I kind of went back into my original type of content today and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Let me know if any of these tips were helpful to you, if you fancy.

Speak soon,

Rachael.


Materials:

(Favourite Booktubers)

booksandquills

cozyteareads

justkissmyfrog

Ariel Bissett 

Falling at the Second Hurdle: Motivation Tips From A Fellow Failure

As I said in my first, and currently my only other, post to this blog I have so many plans for what I want to do with this platform. But what I didn’t say was that I’m incredibly lazy and can so easily get stuck in a rut meaning that these plans would probably go to waste within five minutes. And they almost did. But finally, finally, I’m here today to say I’m on it again. I may have tripped over the second, very high and difficult, hurdle but I’m back up now and trying to get back on track (see what I did there?).

I know I’m not the only one who struggles with this, “this” being maintaining motivation whether that be in your hobby, work or just general life, so I’ve took my struggles and tried to create something that can be helpful and overall just better than falling and feeling sorry for yourself.

So here are five little tips that I’ve found have helped me to keep going and what I use when I need motivation, just for you:

1. Music

Music is something that helps enhance any emotion you could possibly be feeling. Whenever I want to feel good, say if I’m getting ready for a night out, I turn to a cheesy, upbeat pop playlist. Likewise, if I feel like a good cry after a long day but it just won’t happen, I turn to the selection of songs that just hit me every time and afterwards I feel much clearer and calmer. So naturally, when I need a little motivational boost the easiest and simplest thing for me to do is turn to music. Anything upbeat, catchy with lyrics that I know and love can lift my spirits, making everything seem easier and helping me to push on through any block I have.

2. Other People

Whether it be an Instagram post of someone’s “busy morning”, success stories in a magazine or just listening to the people around me I’ve found that seeing other people being productive and simply just doing stuff, I feel more inclined and more wanting to do the same. I hate that moment when I’ll be talking to a friend, relative or colleague and they ask “so, what have you been up to?” and the only answer I have is a shrug. “Nothing, really” I’ll say. Although it doesn’t matter what people think of you and you should be free to spend your time how you want, I can’t help but feel a little embarrassed for myself in this situation and I want to avoid that as often as I can!

3. The Past

Similarly, when I look back at how I’ve spent my time throughout my life I often get a little bit… disappointed with myself. I have wasted so much time over my nineteen years on this earth and that normally hits me all at once. Often as I’m trying to sleep (thanks, brain!). Hindsight helps you see so much and with me that’s often the time I wasted on Youtube or just sitting still when I could have been writing, reading, socialising, exercising, working, learning a new language, juggling… The list seems endless when you’re looking back, but in that moment it seems like doing nothing is the only option. And that is okay, once in a while. But looking back on my wasted time encourages me to try my hardest to make the most of the time I have now.

4. The Future

As well as looking back, I also like to think about what is ahead of me. Like everyone, I have so many plans about what I want in order to achieve the ‘dream life’ but none of them are easy to come by. That thought alone is normally something that can make me want to hide back under my duvet, return to the perpetually angry thirteen year-old I still am inside and whine “what’s the point?!” But it can also have the opposite effect, if I’m able to flip my mindset. I don’t have time to waste when I think about it. There’s so many things I could be doing and working on in order to get to where I want to be in my career and overall just well-being that I always have something I can do that is more productive than watching reruns of Come Dine With Me (which you should still do by the way. In no way am I saying you should not watch Come Dine With Me, because you should. Just in moderation).

The Future also helps motivate me because as I said previously, looking back on all my wasted time is such a downer and I want to prevent that as much as I can. So by working and being productive now, I save future me the hassle of looking back and being upset. You see? Timey-whimey stuff you can do at home!

5. Pictures

…Of anything. Quotes, sunny beaches, parties, my friends and family. I’m really interested in photography and am obsessed with taking pictures of anything I can and looking back on the pictures I’ve taken myself of my friends and family, the fun and good stuff we’ve been up to helps remind me that no matter what I think I do have people out there that care about me, or at least have done in the past, and although I have spent a lot of time sitting still I have done so much and made so many memories. My phone background, something I see on a daily basis, is currently a collage of pictures of me and my nearest and dearest. I know this sounds completely random, like “wow, cheers Rachael for this amazing piece of information” but hear me out. I see this on a daily basis. That means a daily, hourly and on occasionally sad days, minute-by-minute, reminders of how lucky I am, how happy I am and have been, the people around me and the things I’ve done. So when I am feeling low or not motivated in the slightest, I look at my phone or the various images around me and feel lighter and better about my situation.

So there you have it, that’s some little tips from me to you. I hope this helps you, I know these come in handy for me a lot.

Good luck with whatever you’re working on!

Speak soon,

Rachael