Sometimes it feels like society says you should be always happy and that showing your sadness is a sign of weakness. This is far from true – if you were to hold in all your sadness or anger you would explode!
We all have good and bad days. No one can be perfectly happy all of the time, that is not human.
Ignoring your feelings and thoughts may help you to manage in the short-term but in the long run, it isn’t healthy or productive for your mental health, physical health or your recovery.
Knowing how and when to employ various positive coping strategies is going to be your best ally when it comes to experiencing your thoughts and feelings in a healthy and constructive way.
We often feel that society, family, friends, neighbours and others expect us to be upbeat, happy, enthusiastic, positive and energetic every minute of every hour of every day.
We are human, there will be times that we have and will continue to struggle with various aspects of our lives, even more so when we add drug and alcohol addictions into that mix too.
If and when you do struggle with life’s rollercoaster journey, it’s important that you don’t suffer in silence!
For those who are struggling with mental health conditions, addictions and the other problems that we accrue throughout our lifetime, dealing with these pressures to always seem happy can be even more challenging, as sometimes these difficult periods don’t just last one day, this is normal and this is ok too!
Sometimes when we are feeling down, we put on a mask to hide the darkness that lies behind the smile. Getting out of bed can be a major task by itself, especially when we’re withdrawing, dealing with mental health conditions and the drudgery that we can experience in life.
With depression or low periods at times, there is no apparent reason for why you are feeling this way. When it feels as though a cloud is hanging over our heads, those are the days we push people away the most. We do this because it is easier to try and forget about what is going on and we feel that we’d be inconveniencing other people or don’t want to bother others with our problems as we feel that they’d either be shocked by what we have to say or that what we’re experiencing is petty and isn’t worth taking up someone else’s time with minor issues.
Remember – Getting through your problems and ignoring your problems are two completely different things.
Whether that is talking to someone about what is going on, finding answers to what is causing those emotions or incessant thoughts, or using positive coping skills such as drawing, yoga, mindfulness and so many other healthy ideas, there are ways to help you get through these bad days. We’ll look at some of the best techniques and strategies that can help you when these tough times begin to surface.
Remember – Don’t leave your thoughts and feelings to fester and get worse. The longer you go without taking care of your thoughts and emotions, the more unnecessary hardship you’re causing yourself and the harder your recovery journey will become which can be avoided if you deal with your emotions and thoughts at the very moment they surface.
Coping Strategies & Techniques
Here are some tips and tricks for those days when you feel trapped:
Try To Be Social
This can be very hard, especially if you don’t want others to know what is going on, but it will help. This could be as simple as starting a small conversation with your friends, teachers, family or anyone else.
Reach out to someone else that you can trust and who you feel comfortable talking to. You can also login to an online AA, NA, CA, Alanon, Naranon meeting. They are running 24/7, 365.
If you don’t have someone else you feel comfortable talking to, you can always call Samaritans for free by calling 116 123, they’re available 24/7.
Use Positive Coping Skills
The list of coping skills and strategies that you could use could go on for pages and what one person finds helpful, another person wouldn’t.
They are unique to each individual. Some healthy coping strategies include journaling, using adult colouring books, playing a sport, participating in hobbies or activities that you enjoy doing, going on a run or walk, yoga/mindfulness, breathing exercises, and so many more.
You can find more information about a wide variety of coping strategies and techniques on our blog page here. Once you find a few that work for you, stick with them and try to use them daily or multiple times a day if needs-be.
The good thing that recovery and general daily wellness provides is an opportunity to try any and everything on offer. Some you will hate, some you’ll find extremely helpful, and it’s a new adventure and opportunity to create a new way of life that works for you!
Let Yourself Feel
When a low day hits that doesn’t mean you have to shut out what you are truly feeling inside. While this may be uncomfortable at times, acknowledging your feelings can help you move through them.
Remember you are not alone and you are not bothering others: Everyone in life has problems. That doesn’t mean you are adding to another person’s own problems if you share how you are feeling.
Planning To Succeed
In a previous article, we posted a completely comprehensive article, walking you through ways of creating and implementing a daily recovery plan. This provides each day with a structure that ensures you are taking care of your basic needs, such as food, hydration, exercise, personal hygiene and others.
Your plan can also include:
- Participating in daily recovery activities such as fellowship meetings, group meetings, appointments with Keyworkers, healthcare professionals or anyone else.
- Making sure you have time to do the things that you enjoy, such as hobbies, interests, clubs ect.
- Ensuring you make time to socialise and spend quality time with friends and loved ones.
- Allows you to make time for studying or learning something new.
- Making time to volunteer or to help others.
Having a structured, routined, daily plan ensures that you have some stability and regularity to your life which is often lacking when we’re living in an unstable, turbulent world of actively using or drinking.
They also help you to identify when you may be struggling and what to do if you feel that you might relapse as a result of triggers or cravings.
You can read our comprehensive guide here. You can also download and print your own from our downloads and media page here. You could also have fun and create your own to suit your needs and personality!
Find A Creative Way To Express The Way That You Feel
When you get those racing thoughts and feelings, it can be hard to know what to do with them. Especially if you’re unsure why you feel the way you do or are thinking of the things that you are.
So, finding a positive way to express those thoughts and feelings is really important. This could be in the form of:
- Writing in a diary or journal
- Writing poems
- Creating your own blog
- Making your own songs or music
- Creating vocal dictation
- And the list goes on!…
You Are Not A Burden!
The journey of life is filled with natural ups and downs, which is what shapes us into the people we are. When you’re having a bad day or a good day, remember that people do care about you, you are here for a reason and the world would not be the same without you!
You deserve to live a happier, healthier, prosperous and productive life, free from substances. If you want it, you can achieve it.
Remember – The only way you’ll fail is if you don’t put in the time, effort and resources to succeed. If you do what you need to do, with the people who can help you and with the people who love and care for you, using the right combination of coping strategies, knowledge and exercises, you will succeed!
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