When you’re going through challenging times in your life, it can be difficult to see the light through the darkness. Sometimes we need some simple, positive mental health reminders just to help us calm the storm – even if it’s only by a little bit.
These mental health reminders are nothing revolutionary. They are just simple truths about the world that we often forget about in hard times, especially if our judgement is clouded by anxiety’s paranoia or depression’s malicious lies.
Even if these mental health reminders don’t fix everything, I hope they can offer you a tiny piece of comfort on your dark days. I know they do for me.
Your mistakes do not define you
Our bad mental health days can see us overthinking every mistake we’ve made since we learnt to talk. So many of us become hostages to our failures, constantly reliving and beating ourselves up about them to the point of deep insecurity. What we forget during these dark times is that we are so much more than our mistakes – and so much wiser because of them.
“Your past mistakes are meant to guide you, not define you.”
Not everything you think is true
It is so incredibly liberating to realise that your thoughts are not facts. Your negative perceptions are not reflections of reality; rather, they are seeds planted by insecurity that are watered through subconscious rumination, eventually blossoming into cognitive distortions.
Being more mindful of your negative thoughts releases so much of the power that they have over your emotions. As well as therapy, you can use mindfulness to combat negative thoughts and positive affirmations to battle unhealthy cognitive distortions.
Don’t let the internet rush you, no-one is posting their failures
This awesome Wesley Snipes quote hits the nail on the head. People don’t post about failing their driving test or dropping out of university. Nobody is posting pictures of their antidepressants, their negative bank balance or the stream of rejection emails cluttering their inbox. We only ever share our ‘best bits’ highlight reel. It helps to remember that behind-the-scenes, everyone is going through their own struggles and setbacks.
You are more than other people’s opinions
“I used to care what people thought about me until one day I tried to pay my bills with their opinions.”– Frank Gashumba
On my bad days, my self-identity crumbles and I become every negative word that has ever been said about me. I can also become really affected by other people’s opinions, to the point where just one offhand remark can have me overthinking for days! A helpful reminder for those times is keeping in mind that other people’s opinions do not define you. As long as you are doing what is right for you and what makes you happy, who cares what anyone else thinks?
Whatever you’re feeling right now – it’s OK
It’s OK to grieve. It’s OK to feel sad, to feel anxious, to feel angry or frustrated or even sometimes to just feel numb to it all. Trying to push away your valid feelings or force yourself to just ‘get over it’ will only cause your negative emotions to grow more intense. Instead, learn to acknowledge and accept your troubling feelings. Try to understand where they’ve come from and explore healthy ways of resolving and releasing them.
But most of all remember – it’s OK not to be OK.
It’s OK to have days where the only thing you do is survive
“You’ve survived 100% of your worst days.”
Don’t put pressure on yourself to do more than you feel mentally capable of. Some days are call-in-sick days. Some days are crying in bed, junk-food-bingeing days. Some days consist of just existing in the darkness, taking it one second at a time as you wait for the storm to pass. And that’s OK.
You are not alone
This is one of the most important things to remember during the dark times. Depression can be incredibly lonely and the bad thoughts like to tell us that nobody understands and nobody cares. This is a lie.
Whether it be a friend, a family member, an online support group or even a therapist, there are people who are there to support you. You are never, ever alone.
I hope you’ve found some comfort in my list of mental health reminders. Any other positive reminders that you want to share? Feel free to leave them in the comments down below.