We all have our “off” days. Some of us have them more often than others, some have periods where all we have is off days and some of us have periods where we go without them for a while. Whatever the case may be, bad days are a part of everyday life – with and without a mental or chronic illness.
Here are five things to keep in mind when you’re feeling that way:
1. It’s “normal.”
It might feel like you’re out of place, or strange for feeling so poorly when people around you might not feel as bad. But you can’t compare yourself to someone else that way. You are you, not your friends or family! Everyone is different, and it’s OK to not feel the same.
2. You’re going to be OK.
Depending on how bad of a day you’re having, it could feel like nothing at all will go right. However, you’ll find that there are little things you can see or think about that will brighten your day even the slightest.
For example, I burned my hand with boiling water in the middle of class last week. I already wasn’t feeling great so it certainly didn’t help, but I told myself at least it wasn’t chemicals, at least the only thing with lasting damage was my lab write-up, at least my hand is somewhat OK. It got me through.
3. Your bad days are not permanent.
You’re not going to have a bad day every day. Sometimes it seems that way, though, doesn’t it? I promise you: it’s going to get better. Just keep holding on.
4. “Self-care” is different for everyone.
Your self-care will not always be face masks and bubble baths. Sometimes self-care is just making sure you’re eating, or taking your meds on time. Sometimes self-care is calling a doctor for the pain you’re in, to get something checked on or to finally get that tooth pulled. Don’t try to make your recovery fit on an Instagram post. Do what is going to make you feel healthy and comfortable.
5. Progress takes time.
You can’t expect bad days to just go away overnight. And even if you do the self-care you need one day, this doesn’t mean it will always carry over to the next day. But that’s OK. That’s what recovering is. Recovering is trying until something works and you feel like you can breathe normally again. Recovery is succeeding at little things until they snowball into larger ones and suddenly you’re smiling and don’t even realize it. You’ll get there.
This post originally appeared on Dear Recovery Diary’s blog.