I’ve had a spike of hits on my blog in recent months for the blog post “It’s Okay To Not Do Anything When You’re Healing“, and today I came across a blog post published on a very large platform that made the opposite point to mine:
“You can choose to spend the whole day sleeping, and wake up tomorrow with the same set of worries and frustrations. Or you could spend the day doing something productive.”
And I just thought… ew. Yucky. No thank you.
The last thing someone needs to hear (read) when they are feeling low about life is that they need to get off their ass and do shit regardless.
I get it, it’s good, practical, advice. Not very empathetic though. The rest of the article is alright, and does in fact say that rest is a good thing and not something to be ashamed of (thumbs up).
Feeling unproductive, exhausted and unmotivated is perfectly fine.
Sometimes doing things does make me feel better. My daughter and I go out the house and my mood does lift. I complete chores and play with her, things feel a little better, time passes and before you know it, it’s the evening and I get to eat and rest and do whatever I wanna do.
But it’s not always like that. When I have to push myself to get off the sofa and do things, it sucks. My body is so heavy, the little things that go wrong feel like huge failures, the demands of a toddler become a personal insult.
And yes, I feel particularly guilty about letting these feelings overwhelm me, letting them take over the day and any plans I may have had – but when you are managing your mental health everyday, you get tired.
binge-watching, binge-eating or binge-sleeping; all of those things are perfectly fine. do what you need to do in order to get through the day.
Give yourself credit for the small things you have done, like get out of bed or brush your teeth. Extra awards for eating decent meals, showering or bathing, wearing people-clothes (non-pyjama clothes). And million dollar prizes for going outside, ticking off a thing or to on the to-do list, answering a phone call(!).
So when you’re feeling hopeless, remember:
- You’re allowed to do what you need to in order to survive the day.
- There’s always someone to talk to.
- Rest days are okay.
- You don’t have to feel guilty or ashamed for not completing tasks.
- You’re doing your best just by looking after yourself. And that’s enough.
If you need someone to talk to or more information about services that could help you, please check out the following (UK):
- Samaritans: 116 123 (open 24/7)
- SANE: 0800 83 85 87 (open Mon-Thurs; 6pm – 2am, Fri-Mon; 6pm – 6am)
- Breathing Space: 0300 304 7000 (open everyday from 4:30pm – 10.30pm)