Whether you are new to recovery or have been in recovery for a while, you are probably no stranger to having bad days. Bad days are a normal part of life that everyone experiences from time to time. Before recovery, bad days might’ve led you to your decision to go to treatment, which can make the hard times during recovery seem even more challenging.
When a bad day comes your way, you might experience a trigger or cravings to use substances so that you can temporarily escape those feelings of distress. However, since you have committed to a life of recovery, using substances again is not an option for you.
Adjust your perspective of bad days. Treatment should have taught you that the bad days help you to reflect on what is working well with your recovery and what isn’t. Maybe you need new coping strategies, a switch in your career path, or to engage more in self-care. When trying to determine the reason for your bad day, know they are normal and believe that you can get through it.
Know That Bad Days Are Temporary
When you are having a bad mental health day, it might help to remember that bad days are temporary. Even a bad week is temporary. Look back on your past and consider some of your worst days and some of your best days. Your bad days helped you to see the good, good days help you get through the bad, and your life experiences help you learn the difference between the two.
It is normal to experience setbacks, disappointments, and difficult tasks or situations. Maybe you did not get the job you wanted, you are struggling to pay the bills, or you lost a loved one recently. Sometimes painful days make it seem like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, but there is. Take it one day at a time and know that tomorrow is a new day that can be brighter than today.
Change Your Perspective of Bad Days
Everyone has their own idea of a bad day. It is common for people to label a day as “bad” when something negative happens, or happens unexpectedly. A helpful tip to help get through bad days in recovery is to shift your perspective of what a bad day looks like.
Although you are in control of your life, unforeseen events may wreak havoc on your day. Remember that even if you don’t have control over a situation, you have control over your reaction to it. If you have a bad day because of something that you did, try to acknowledge that if there is no pain, there is no gain. Shift your perspective of bad days to be like growing pains, which are an essential part of learning, growing, and healing.
Gratitude Can Improve Your Mood
When you feel sad, focusing on the positives may be the last thing you want to do. If someone were to suggest that to you, it might even make you more upset. Instead of focusing on the positives, focus on where you can spread gratitude in your life.
Being appreciated is always a mood-booster, but showing appreciation towards others can also bring joy to your life. Think of little ways that you can show appreciation toward the people you love. Whether it is a making quick phone call or writing a letter, make your bad days better by appreciating those who support you in your healing journey. Know that even on your worst days, you are not alone.
Ask For Help
Although the hardest part of recovery for you might’ve been making that initial request for help, asking others for help is always an option for you when you have bad days. Try to step back and address the cause of your bad day to help you know whether you need advice, support, or just comfort for what you are experiencing. After you can pinpoint what you need, reach out to resources accordingly.
For example, maybe you are having a bad depression day. You feel down in the dumps and have no motivation to get anything done. You’re not seeking advice, but you know it would be nice to be around other people that are dealing with what you are feeling. In response, you might go to a support group meeting. These meetings can be very reassuring for you to know that what you are feeling is not uncommon and, if anything, is a normal part of the recovery process.
No matter how often you have bad days, they may get any easier to deal with in recovery. You must lean on your support systems and healthy coping mechanisms to help you keep your recovery at the highest priority in your life.
Bad days in recovery can threaten your long-term healing if they are not properly dealt with. You must work to overcome your bad days by understanding that they are a normal part of life. Oftentimes, bad days serve as a cue that something needs to change in your life. Overcome your bad days by changing your perspective, showing gratitude in your life, or by reaching out and asking for help. Pacific Sands Recovery Center is a residential treatment center that understands that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treatment. There will always be bad days, but you can’t let those bad days get you down. Use the bad days as practice for truly relying on your coping mechanisms and by checking in on others. We can help you overcome bad days with support and suggestions. For more information about our recovery programs or about our facility, give us a call at (714) 492-1119.