MENTAL HEALTH TIPS FOR THE DARKER MONTHS

19 November 2018


Autumn and winter are known as the darker seasons of the year. It’s usually dark out when you wake up and if you have a job or are at uni or school, you usually also get home from work, uni or school when it starts to get dark out. I don’t know about you, but this time of year can really affect my mood and especially my state of mind. Because these darker months can be quite difficult to get through mental wise, I thought I would share some of my tips on how I tend to get myself through these, hoping I might be able to help some of you get through this too.

Bedtime rituals

By creating a bedtime ritual you are kind of trying to distract your brain from thinking about those anxious, depressed or stressed thoughts. So by creating a bedtime ritual, you can try to quiet those bad thoughts before you get into bed. Some of things I like to do before bed, is reflect on my day by writing ‘venting’ my thoughts of the day, by ending it with writing a positive statement about the day and then to start reading in bed. I find that this works best to shut my brain off from going into overdrive.

Having a bedtime ritual is so important every day of the year, not just during these darker days. However, I do think that the darker days make it harder for us to wake up in the morning feeling happy, because it’s still dark out. That’s why I feel like it’s extra important to get enough sleep. I always tend to feel extra emotionally vulnerable if I am anxious or a bit depressed. Then add not having enough sleep into the mix, and it’s even worse. If I have slept for 5 hours or less, feel anxious, stressed or depressed, you could tell me that I have a stain on my t-shirt and it could set me off crying. By setting yourself a bedtime ritual, it’s so much easier to feel in control of your thoughts and emotions, which always helps you feel so much better and ready to take on that next day.

Write your thoughts down

The first thing I always do when I feel a bit unlike myself or just a bit meh in general, is to write down what is bothering me. This isn’t going to be very deep, but sometimes I just like to write down my frustrations. It’s perfect to do this by writing it down because that way you can vent all of your frustrations. I find that doing this instantly makes me feel better as I get to loose the burden I am carrying with me.

This is something I started doing ever since I started my bullet journal in January. I decided to track my mood and to write down any of my thoughts, ideas or how I was feeling. This is perfect to see a pattern in how your mood might affect you during a certain time of the month, or when you are feeling extra stressed during a certain period of time.

A positive spin on feeling overwhelmed

These past couple of weeks have been super overwhelming for me. There are lots of things happening and I have so much work I have to get done by the end of the year. The amount of work is what is mostly overwhelming me, which led me to not being able to start, as I didn’t know where to start. This put me in such a bad mood as I was just being super stressed. I read this article online somewhere that said that it’s better to think about that stressy feeling as a helping factor in getting your work done. Ever since I have read that article I have tried to do this and have felt much more in control and motivated to get my work done.

Turning negative thoughts into positive ones

Negativity can be such a bad thing. We all have our bad days and we all can be in a negative mood sometimes, which is perfectly normal. However, over this last year I really have tried to put my negative thoughts into perspective. My negative and bad mood usually gets emphasized by me overthinking every tiny detail in a certain situation. Negativity is part of life, but instead of dwelling on those negative thoughts, try to put them into perspective by creating positive statements.

Some days I used to get home from being at university all day. I would be tired, have a headache and just had this super negative mood hanging around me. Whenever this happens I always feel extra emotionally vulnerable. If a professor or a student would then say one negative thing about my work in class, my day would usually be ruined. I would constantly think about how much of a failure my project or my work would be and would just bury myself deeper and deeper into negative thoughts. I felt like this had to stop, because we all deal with those days where you feel emotionally vulnerable and not on top of things. Nowadays I try to turn those negatives into positives. The students and professors are only there to help you prepare for a real job and only want to make you become a better person. So turning them into positive thoughts is what I usually like to focus on when I experience this during those days.



Write down a positive thing about your day every day

To kind of continue on my last topic, the ‘turn negative thoughts into positive thoughts’ I also like to say that it’s super important to write a positive thing about your day. Like I said before, negative thoughts can really spiral into even more negative thoughts, but by trying to put a positive spin on it, it makes your day feel a lot better. So like I said before, instead of dwelling on my negative thoughts, instead I like to put my whole day into perspective and emphasize on the happy things that happened.

I for example like to emphasize on something positive that happened during that day. On some of those ‘bad days’ where I had received lots of bad criticism, I also had deep chats or a laugh with friends, which usually made me feel a lot better. Or a lovely old lady decided to talk to me and brighten up my day. That usually also puts you into such a good mood. So instead spiraling into negativity and ending the day on such a negative note, I think it’s actually better to write about something positive that happened during that day. It might even be small, but if it made you happy, it’s worth writing it down.


Pick ‘your people’

I feel like I already touched on this subject when I wrote my most recent mental health blog posts, but I have to talk about it again, as I feel like it’s so important. It’s so important to surround yourself with people who you know you can call or text or even be with when you feel like you’re losing it during this period of time. This usually helps you feel not as alone with your thoughts as you think you are. By choosing that crowd to surround yourself with, you can actually try and reach out to those you truly trust in life.

Thankfully I have such a supportive group of family and close friends around me who I know will always pick me up or want to listen to my mental issues. I think this mostly has to do with who I am as a person, because I don’t really have that many friends. I only have about two hands full of friends and family and I will absolutely tell them everything and anything. All of these people always really help me get through those darker days where you feel really negative and alone, which is why I always feel like I don’t need any more friends, because the ones that I have are already so amazing.

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4 comments :

  1. You look stunning in these photos! Also this is such a good and very important post, loved it xx

    www.isabellazogheib.com

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    1. Thank you Isabella, I'm glad you liked this post, it's such an important topic! :) xx

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  2. Love the tips about a ritual. I sat down and put together a mini routine as I know I'm happiest when I feel organised and it makes such a difference! Great post.

    Anika | anikamay.co.uk

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    1. Thank you Anika! A routine makes such a difference to my mood. It makes you feel so much more in control and organised! :) xx

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