11 Top Tips for self-care on bad days;

How do you practice self-care on days when your mental health mightn’t be at it’s best? Are there certain rituals your follow, books you go to or places you like to be when the world is feeling too much?

bad day mood GIF

There’s no getting away from bad days and, honestly, if we didn’t have them it wouldn’t be very human of us, now would it? For some of us, bad days can feel like every day and for others, it’s a rare occurrence. No matter what side of the coin you are on bad days are horrible and infectious not only to you but others around you.

The day after I returned from my vacation in March ’19 was a pretty bad day for me. When I found out a few weeks later that my grandfather was dying from terminal cancer, it felt as if someone had run me over with a steam roller. Self-care was the last thing on my list.

I felt deflated, lost and extremely depressed.

I took to napping during the day and going home to help whenever I could. Being constantly on the go kept my mind off the most devastating news I had ever received from swallowing me up. It got to the point where I could feel myself burning out again. My weight was falling, restriction was creeping back in and yoga had all but been forgotten about.

When I finally caught up with myself and realised what I was doing, I cursed myself for falling into the habit of forgetting about myself.

Here I was, claiming self-care as the pillar of all sanity, and I was failing to practice what I preach.


“I’m not deserving of it.”

How do you begin to practice self-care when you don’t feel deserving of it? Good question! Every morning I get of bed I have to fight with myself to take my medication, to eat, not to weigh, etc. The list of horrible things I could do to hinder my recovery is endless while the list of self-care options I have is seemingly pointless.

I know that any of those horrible things could make or break my day and yet I still want to stick by them? Really? It makes no sense, but neither does mental illness.

On bad days I try to think about what makes me feel better and then start with the easiest and most appealing on the list.


Top Tips for practicing self-care on bad mental health days.

Allow yourself to feel;

There’s nothing wrong with having a bad day. Without them, we wouldn’t be very human. BUT don’t let one day translate into a bad week/month/year. Allow yourself to feel those emotions! Welcome them like visitors but don’t let them set up camp!

And all that motivational BS.

but i really dont know what emotion i am feeling GIF
Call someone you love.

Sometimes we just need someone to listen to us. Talking to others can help rationalise what we’re feeling and give us the support we need to come out of a rut. Make sure you have a trusted friend or family member that you can call on in times of need (and vice versa).

talking season 3 GIF
Hydrate!!

Remember; Water is your friend. It can make you feel surprisingly better in a bad situation. I always keep a trusty (re-useable) water bottle with me at all times!

good mythical morning water GIF by Rhett and Link
Remember to eat.

Please remember to eat. This is coming from someone who avoids food like the plague when feeling bad, but I know how important it is to remember to nourish ourselves at all times.

Food is important in order to regulate our blood sugars which can be a big reason why our emotions are in the weeds.

eat french bulldog GIF
Take a bath or a shower: 

Take a simple shower with a bitchin’ podcast on or stick on your favourite playlist. If you opted for a bath grab some bath salts or a bath bomb, perch the laptop at a safe distance, throw on a good show and relaxxxxx.

(Warning; Make sure cats are kept at a safe distance)

thrive my life GIF by VH1
Use a body lotion/body scrub.

These bastards work wonders for everyone. Use a face mask if you’re not great on the lotion side of things. Either way, look after your skin and it will do wonders for your mood. That and you’ll smell amazing!

(If you feel uncomfortable doing these sorts of things pick something else to take care of. Do something with your hair, nails, trim your beard, etc).

winter wife GIF
Watch some feel-good shows.

One word; Netflix. Queer Eye, Ru Paul, Breaking Bad, Rick & Morty. I could go on, and on, and on.

season 2 netflix GIF by Queer Eye
Take part in a hobby that’s easy for you to manage.

Something like reading or playing video games. Even download a colouring app on your phone and create masterpieces. Something it is easy for you to do and doesn’t require a great amount of energy but makes you feel calm.

tired cat GIF by TikTok
Do some exercise (if you’re fit and able).

Do some yoga or go for a short walk. Exercise isn’t the answer to all life’s problems, but it can help release pent up stress that we may have built inside.

zen wes anderson GIF by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Take a nap.

If you’re feeling low on energy and have the option allow yourself to take a nap. Don’t feel guilty about feeling exhausted!

Note: Become aware of where the exhaustion is coming from. Is it mental, physical or emotional exhaustion? This can make a big difference to what needs done in order to shift it!

cute cat GIF
If you have a pet show it some love.

Cats and dogs are proven to reduce stress! So get cuddling.

kissing cat lady GIF by HelloGiggles

What other things can you come up with?

Keep a note of these and reach for them when you’re having a shit day. I can guarantee something as simple as taking a shower can make you feel better, especially partnered with a wicked podcast or playlist.

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131 thoughts on “11 Top Tips for self-care on bad days;

  1. Fab post! I struggle a lot with self care especially when I’ve got a massive list of stuff I need to do but I’m very slowly getting better at it. My go to is most definitely a boxset or a stand-up DVD! Xx

  2. These are great! I especially love the one allowing yourself to feel. I am working on that . Thanks for sharing!

  3. Good post.
    I’ve just started weighing myself several times a day, as I triggered myself because I’ve put on a bit of weight. I’m now slightly overweight of what my BMI should be according to my height…and age etc…It scared the shit out of me, and triggered me badly and I’ve been restricting my food intake. I’m not allowing myself any treats. I’m hungry, and I’ve been killing myself with exercise…

    1. Please take care of yourself! My advice to you would be throw the scales away before they do any more damage! They are so, so triggering. It’s so hard coping with your own body image issues and not knowing what to do, and I know it might seem easy for me to sit here and tell you what to do, but believe me those scales are the catalyst for disaster!

      I struggle around scales. If they are in the house at all it’s as if they pull me in and smother me with the need to weigh. That need won’t go until I’ve done what I’m told!

      If you need to talk I’m here.

      xx

      1. I really needed to read this.

        It’s so easy to forget to look after yourself when some days are a struggle from the moment you open your eyes in the morning. It’s important to remember that it is okay to feel what we are feeling but that we shouldn’t wallow in that feeling for too long. Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of effort to brighten up one’s day.

        I’ll be sure to bookmark this post and come back to it as often as possible to remind me to take care of myself.

        I hope you are doing well and that the bad days don’t get you down.

        Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment! Hydration is so, so important and so many people don’t realise what a difference it can make!

  4. It’s so easy to forget about the basics in a moment like that – drink water, have something to eat, get a good night’s sleep, etc. Thank you for this important reminder!

  5. This post was both adorable and also full of good, practical advice (I loved the gifs so much, I’m a simple creature). I really like messing around with bath stuff and lotion if I’m not feeling great, basic as it is, so I’m pleased that made the list!

    Something I sometimes do as self care is book stuff for future me to do (concerts or plays or whatever). Obviously not more than I can afford, but it keeps me out and about when I might not have been otherwise x

    1. I love gifs in a post as well! I don’t use them enough because I’m scared they will slow down some people’s computers!
      Sometimes it’s nice to have something to look forward to like a concert or a spa day, but also remember you can sit down with a simple book, good cup of tea and a hot water bottle and consider that minimal self care as well 🙂

  6. These tips are useful! I try to allow myself to feel things and tall about them. I find it made me feel better and less stressed out. I also don’t allow myself to stay in that negative place. Thank you for sharing!

  7. Such a useful post !! Loved it 🙂 I too practise some of these points like eating, binging on feel-good shows on Netflix, calling my mom, etc when I’m having a bad day. I also write down everything in my phone’s notes to read later when I am feeling better.

  8. Great tips! I especially agree with allowing yourself to feel. It’s something I’ve worked on because I used to be in denial about my feelings. Thanks for sharing!

  9. I wrote a post a longgg time ago about basic self care and those are the things you really need to focus on when you’re having a really bad day; something so simple like staying hydrated and eating a meal. Just because you’re having a bad day, doesn’t mean you don’t deserve basic human needs, right?

    Allowing yourself to feel it out is so important too, whatever that might mean to you.

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

    1. I struggle or have struggled, with allowing myself to feel in the past, instead opting for harmful methods such as starvation etc. I have since learned to sit with it but also to make sure that I don’t let it consume me. Does that make sense?

      It’s so important to remember to look after ourselves even if we are feeling like crap.

      Thank you for stopping by pet. xx

    1. I am awful at looking after my skin! I really need to start introducing a skin care routine into my schedule.
      At any rate, thank you for reading and commenting 🙂

  10. The pug with the pizza just completely made my night! I think the self care I would add would be to let yourself wear really soft comfortable clothing – if I have a bad day I wrap in a fluffy blanket, get into pyjamas early or (when it’s warm enough) wear really soft leggings instead of “proper” clothes 🙂

  11. You are so own point with this post. Especially with the first self care practice being allow yourself to feel. It’s so important to be gentle and forgiving with yourself. This helps keep you from spiraling deeper. I find that the days I feel most low are when I’m tired and worn out. That’s the first thing I ask myself – am I feeling extra sensitive today because I’m drained? This helps me establish that I need a day of rest and put it into action. I will definitely be using your list for bad days to get myself feeling better <3

  12. These are great, some good tips and yeah, I hear you, it’s hard to practice self-care when you don’t feel like you deserve it! Love your writing style, by the way and the gifs are super cute. Hope your poor nose is mending well. Take care.

    Trace x

  13. This are all really great tips! I especially love the letting yourself feel. I tend to bottle my emotions up and essentially feel like an emotionless zombie sometimes BUT sometimes you do need to feel everything rather than putting that off. Thanks for sharing these tips! Very well written!

  14. This! Is. Awesome. Great ideas. I practice everyone of them. The one thing I want to know is how the hell did you break your nose in the back seat of a car? Hmmm. 😂

    1. I hope you’re sitting down for this!

      Well we were coming home from picking up our cat at the kennels and I had her on my knee. The seat belt I had on was faulty (since been fixed) and when my partner swerved to avoid both a pot hole and a car, the belt came undone and I was sent across the car and my face hit the back of his seat.

      I have since learnt to check my belt before I get into a car.

  15. Great post! One thing I like to do when I’m feeling overwhelmed is go outside. Even if I don’t have the motivation to walk, just sitting on my doorstep is enough to take some deep breaths of fresh air. I’m also completely the opposite when it comes to food. I can eat more when my feelings feel out of control (which probably isn’t overly helpful) but it makes me feel a little better whilst it’s all happening.

  16. Love this. So important to let yourself feel. On a bad day i try my best to brush my hair. Sometimes that’s all i can manage. Sounds silly but it makes me feel better in a small way.

  17. I love this! It’s sometimes hard to think we are worthy of self-care when we feel like shit, but that’s when we need to do it the most! Every little thing helps 🙂

  18. These are great suggestions and there are plenty of my favourites in here! I’m not great with lotions and such but I completely agree about trying a face mask. I never used to bother with them until I started trying to bring more self care into my routine and now they’re a staple! They’re quick, easy and bring great results.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment lovely! I used to hate all those lotions and potions, but now I live for a good face mask!

  19. These were some great tips! I especially agree with calling up someone you love. Taking things out always helps me. Thank you for sharing!

  20. I really enjoyed this post. I know how much bad days can take over. Trust. I think your tips are great and easily done to improve your day. Even if just a little bit.

  21. Nice tips! Sometimes I watch old Vine compilations on YouTube. They always make me laugh. Even if I go back to feeling bad afterwards, it gives me temporary relief from the sadness.

  22. Love all these suggestions ^_^ especially the first one. It’s so easy to find ourselves fighting against what we feel. Thank you for such a great post! <3 Couldn't take the song 'Bad day' by Daniel Powter from my head 🙂

  23. Great list Chloe! I ❤ the memes😂😂 they always keep it light hearted. Great post as usual girly.

    Also
    Try essential oils sometime. Seriously Lavender is so helpful when it comes to calming down/relaxing. One of my favorites😍

    1. I love a good meme! I need to start including them in more of my posts 😀
      I love some lavender! I have some in the house that I must use when I get back from the hospital today – thank you for reminding me.

  24. Some really great tips and suggestions here that can help a lot of people out so thank you for sharing them. It can be incredibly difficult to do self care when you dont feel as though you deserve but then that’s usually when you need it the most, great post💜

  25. Self-care is so important, it’s what brings us forward regardless of the mood we’re in. Everyone deserves self-care! There’s no reason not to. Expressing yourself is important because keeping feelings bottled up doesn’t help at all. Oooh yesss on hot baths, hehe. Body scrubs are the best – scrub away and feel relaxed. You can never go wrong with naps- especially the ones where you don’t have to set an alarm. Thanks for sharing these tips!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

  26. Such a fab post! I love reading self care posts and seeing all the different suggestions people come up with! Honestly wonderful advice, I think we can get so caught up with the world and constantly having to do things for others we forgot to take care of ourselves more. As simple as your eating tip, we can forget to eat to time and making sure we get the rest our body deserves. Great post hun! 😁💕

    xx Lena | https://lenadeexo.com

  27. I loved this! I am such a giph girl so all those little visuals stick in my head. I have Bipolar 1 Disorder and need to be reminded to take care of myself. Yesterday I slept for 15 hours…I had simply come to the end and needed rest.

    1. Sometimes we just need a rest from ourselves sometimes, and if that means sleeping for 15 hours, then that’s just what we need to do! I often need reminding to slow down and take it easy, but I am learning that I respond better to treatment if I’ve had time to practice self-care on the daily.

  28. This is such a good list for those truly “bad” days. I personally like to start with hydration. Sometimes a little water (and maybe a bit of sunshine) are enough to make me feel better when I’m anxious or feeling down. I’ll just lie in the grass with my water bottle and a book. It really does help.

    1. Hydration, I have learned, is key to a lot of things in life. I wish my grass was both dry enough and cushioned enough to lie on here!
      Thank you for stopping by and showing your support.

  29. These are some really great tips. The pictures makes it all so much better to read and are funny to look at. My favorite is talking to others. I can always count on my friends and family to be there when I need them. Thanks for sharing!

    Kendra🌸

  30. I LOVE this! And also, your placement of gifs and memes is seriously on point. And also, also, I’m SO sorry your broke your nose the day after you got back from your vacation! WTF, right?? Great tips that are so easy to implement.

  31. I have far too many of these days lately! I always feel like I should just plough through because I’ve so much to do, but it’s that whole being unable to pour from an empty cup thing. I’m bad with the whole lack of productivity guilt… Yet I know exactly what kick starts me again and it’s a shower and washing my hair! If I do that, most of the times, it pretty much does a system restore on me! It’s amazing the effect these little things can have on us without even realising.

    Davis | http://www.everythingstartswithtea.co.uk

  32. Hi there Chloe, sanding soul blessings of Love and Light for your speedy recovery.
    I’ve been there, done it. The good news it’s possible and seems like a past life today.
    I can’t more highly recommend holistic healing–soul healing in this regard.
    Soul gets sick for many different reasons, first. If you need someone to talk to you can reach out to me, via email or by phone/website, anytime. Sending Love and Light your way ~ ~ ~ TJ

    1. I’m actually looking into holistic healing at the moment in conjunction with NHS funded healing (i.e therapy and pills). I’ve trying different types of homeopathy, meditation, and aromatherapy. Although this has all been a bit up in the air at the moment due to various reasons, I will get there. I have faith that there is more in life than anorexia, I just need to find it.

      Thank you so much for stopping by and showing your support 😀

      1. Dear Nyxinked, I am sorry for the brief message the other day. Anything you might suffer from, including any disease (anorexia), has a root cause from the soul of a particular organ, system, part of the body getting polluted and sick.
        Given that I am a Soul Teacher practitioner, I suggest to you reading some of my blogs that can open your mind and heart. There is an immense possibility once we understand the wisdom behind any illness.
        It all comes down to the power from within,
        and our own potential powers, for healing and transformation once the heart and mind, are open.
        In general, throughout all of my writings, I ponder this message on purpose to assist others on their healing, transformation and acceleration journeys.
        I know this can help you on your healing journey. in Love and Light, TJ

        1. I will most certainly look into your blog further. Thank you very much for popping by on both occasions and I didn’t find your message blunt at all, don’t worry 🙂 Getting in touch with my own inner power has always been my issue but through my recovery journey I hope to some day get there.

          1. Of course you’ll get there. It was never better time on Mother Earth for healing, transformation and acceleration journey. That is why I recommended to take it easy with a read that can open your heart, mind and awaken your beautiful soul/spirit! ~ in Love and Light for you always, TJ

  33. I had a day like this yesterday. I didn’t really do anything mentioned to fix the issue, barely even ate. But I did take some time out to myself and unplugged for the day. Sometimes it takes just simply logging off the computer for me to improve on myself mentally. Great post!

    1. Sometimes it’s just as simple as unplugging from everything. Thank you so much for reading and I hope you are feeling a little bit better today. x

  34. These are good tips! Maybe listening to some music while reading a book is another one that could be of help?

    – Laura || afinnontheloose.com

  35. Yess! So many great suggestions Nyxie! When I am feeling down, I usually have a bath and a nap and watch some Netflix. Your advice to feel emotions is so important, I find that if I bottle things up it just gets worse and I feel tense and stressed. Thanks for sharing, fab post, hope you have a lovely week <3 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

  36. I love this! There are so many great tips and suggestions and I absolutely love that you included a gif for everything! 🤣🙌 I sometimes forget to hydrate or rest up.. or even eat when I’m stressed and I do the exact opposite of caring for myself. Great reminder! Thank you for sharing xx

    Geraldine | https://geraldinetalks.com