Resetting After a Bad Day
On days where the emotional baggage that comes with living with a chronic illness pours down on us, sometimes it feels like there is no getting out of it. That the day will drag out until tomorrow and all that’s left to do is wither away into our puddle of tears. I’ve experience plenty of days like these and I think it’s important to note that it’s vital to our mental health to allow ourselves the space to fully feel these emotions. After a day of sitting in my own sorrows and turmoil, I like to dedicate my next day as a “reset” day.
I like to lay out my clothes the night before
This action is more than just laying out clothes. It’s in this action that I force myself to step out of this state of depression and into a mindset of “tomorrow will be a better day.” Rather than focusing on how bad the day was, I’m mentally planning out how I can make tomorrow better—starting out with my clothes. Whether it be something extra cozy or something that will really make me feel in my skin, I lay something out that will help set the tone for tomorrow and start my day right.
I don’t set any expectations on myself
I don’t plan to wake up early, or to even sleep in. Whatever will happen, will happen. If I sleep in it’s because my body is asking for rest. If I wake up early because of any pain, I don’t get upset because I wasn’t putting that pressure on myself to sleep in. I don’t plan any productivity that way I don’t beat myself up if I am too fatigued to finish anything. If I do end up doing something productive, I can end that day feeling proud of myself.
I try to do something that gets me out of my head
Finding an activity to do that gets me out of my head and focusing on the present moment really helps me reset my mindset and recharge. Whatever this means for you may be different, but for me it’s art or reading. When I draw on my iPad, often times I find hours pass by without a single intrusive thought entering my brain. It makes all of my problems fade away for a few hours. If I do this and read my book for about 30 minutes, yesterday feels like it has already faded into the rear-view mirror.
I try to eat healthier, but I also treat myself
I don’t exactly eat unhealthily, but on a reset day, I try my best to be extra kind to my body. I make sure to drink more water than I normally would and I usually eat more fruit. Some days I’ll treat myself to a McDonalds coffee because it makes me happy. I’ll also let myself have a snack at the end of the day, which is usually chocolate of some kind. It’s not about eating like a health-nut, it’s about finding balance in prioritizing both your body and your mental health.
Reset day is about taking a beat from the traumas of chronic illness to treat yourself, do the things that make you feel happy, and overall reminding yourself that you are worthy of self-love and that better days are ahead.
Can you tell when a flare is coming?