You’ve probably heard the go to’s for mood boosting on days when you just cannot. Take a walk, talk to a friend, have a dance party, watch a cute puppy video. The list goes on and on – and they’re good suggestions!
That doesn’t mean they always work.
The problem with universal advice is that it’s not always universal. General mental health tips are a great starting point, not the end of your journey to figure out what works for you. This is why therapy can be so helpful – you work with a qualified professional to figure out what exactly helps you in every situation life can through at you. You’re a unique person, so sometimes you need a unique perspective on taking care of yourself.
But since universal advice is such a great starting point, I’m here to offer you a different set of suggestions. You might not necessarily think of these as helpful to your mood, but I’m busting that myth. Sometimes you don’t need puppies and sunshine but rather, something like what’s on the list below.
Not literally, but that would be pretty cool. You don’t always need friendly advice or a motivational pep talk. Maybe you don’t want to forget what’s going on. Sometimes the best plan is to sit by yourself, phone out of reach, and wallow. Stare at your television. Don’t answer your texts. Take a nap. It’s a break, and we all need one every once in a while. If you’re just not feeling what’s going on in the world, put yourself in time out. “Going dark” gets a bad rap, but it can be exactly what you need to keep moving forward.
Pick a fight
No one likes conflict. It’s not a great time. I know if it were up to me, all conversations would be fun and full of laughter. And yet, that’s not realistic at all. If the reason you’re not doing well is because of an issue with a specific person, consider that the fix might be to have it out with them. Tell them how you feel (respectfully!) and try to work through it. There are some conflicts that are worth just letting roll off your back. Don’t forget that it doesn’t apply to all of them.
Do something irresponsible
Please note I did not say “life ruining irresponsible”. Life is hard, especially if you’re usually a conscientious person who considers themselves an upstanding member of society. Sometimes you need to just – not be. Buy the new shoes that you’ll wear once but they’re so pretty. Splurge on the good wine. Take yourself out to a way too expensive dinner and get two desserts. Book the plane ticket. Go on that date with the stranger from the grocery store whose name you don’t know. In other words, giving into your impulses can be good for your health.
Give into the unhealthy behaviors
This one’s a close cousin of number three. Is it good for you to eat a pint of ice cream for dinner? Absolutely not. Is it sometimes necessary? Yes. Yes it is. A wild night out with friends doesn’t always lead to good decisions and sometimes that’s okay. Making the cheesiest grilled cheese covered in more cheese after a hard day at work can be exactly what you need to show up again the next day. Stay up until 2am watching your favorite TV show and then sleep until noon. In other words, pretend you’re a teenager again.