We’ll get through it…right?
I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’m dragging myself into 2018 only by the sheer force of will. To help you brace for yet another year probably a lot like this one, we rounded up some of the best mental health tips we reported this year, both from experts and BuzzFeed Community members, as well things BuzzFeed employees have found helpful. Obviously, nothing is better than professional care, but hey. Maybe a few of these will help.
Make some boundaries for how you consume the news, PLEASE.
You can’t stay up-to-date on everything. You just can’t. You’ll burn out and be miserable. Set a time boundary for how long you can scroll, don’t read the news in certain places, disable push notifications, uninstall certain apps and only check news on desktop, read digests/newsletters that sum up the day for you, or WHATEVER YOU NEED TO DO. Just make sure you have *some* rule that will work for you.
Dan Meth / BuzzFeed / Via instagram.com
Or curate your social media experience by following a bunch of accounts that are extremely your shit.
You can’t change your life by following more cute puppies and amazing food porn, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.
Trial and error until you find the perfect self-care routine so you know exactly what to do when you need it.
Everyone talks about self-care so much that it’s basically lost meaning — or we call basically any indulgence self-care. Which, awesome. More self-care. BUT all that said, you may have lost sight of what effective self-care actually is for you — like, what *actually* works when you have a genuine need to look after yourself and feel better. For example, do you actually feel better after binge-watching your favorite show or does it make you feel more tired and groggy?
Maybe write a list of things you know always help so you have a place to start when you’re feeling low, or experiment with some unexpected self-care activities until you find the perfect combination you can whip out when you need.
@thefemalelife / Via Instagram: @thefemalelife
Let friendships end and don’t think of it as a failure.
Sometimes people just...grow apart? A friendship doesn’t have to be toxic to not work anymore, so if you’ve been wasting energy keeping a friendship you’re not really invested in on life support, just let it (and the guilt associated with it) go. It might not require a full friendship breakup, but if it does, here’s how to break up with a friend like a damn adult.
Castle Rock Entertainment / Via confessionsofabookgeek.com
Come up with some ~safety outfits~ for bad days, so you can at least feel semi-good about yourself when everything feels like shit.
When I wake up on a bad mental health day, getting out of bed can feel like a herculean task — so much so that once I do it, I don’t have a ton of energy to put into getting ready for the day. Which is fine in theory, because I don’t necessarily want to care about what I look like, but I always wind up feeling worse later when I realize how uncomfortable I am being out and about looking as bad as I feel.
So, I have a few reliable outfits that are 1) comfortable and 2) make me look and feel good about myself that I know I can grab on those bad days without any effort. What ~safety~ feels like for you will undoubtedly be different, but whatever it is, it’s a worthy investment.
Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed / Via instagram.com
Keep a happy folder of screenshots.
Nice texts from friends. Cute messages from crushes. Tinder pickup attempts so bad they’re hilarious. Encouraging feedback from bosses. SAVE IT ALL. Look at it when you’re down.
Try being more open with your feelings instead of keeping them to yourself.
Vulnerability! It sounds cheesy, but as BuzzFeed Health previously reported, the more you start expressing your feelings — good and bad — the more you start realizing that most people share the same insecurities. And once you see that for yourself, you’re less likely to take things personally and make assumptions. Which is just so much less stressful.
Schedule your week, or even day, ahead of time.
No need to micromanage yourself or anything. But if there are things you *really* want to do and find yourself canceling or blowing off last minute based on how you’re feeling, you might benefit from putting stuff on paper, according to therapists. Planning your life out ahead of time (like say, every Sunday night or every morning before school or work) can help you not make plans based on your mood in the moment, but based on what you really want.
@feeneve / Via instagram.com
Develop one habit that makes you feel kind of luxe and indulgent (and that’s secretly good for you).
Like, an actual honest-to-god skincare routine or getting into fancy (and relaxing) artisanal teas. Something that makes you feel like you’re doing something special and good for yourself.
Read more books or listen to more podcasts that make you feel like a better person.
Maybe that means a book that’ll teach you something new, or a podcast that will make you feel less alone. Maybe it’s something that offers a new perspective. Maybe it’s something outside of your go-to genre that’ll expand your horizons. Just something other than passive escapism (which hey, I’m a big fan of, but not all the time).
Here are some places to start:
31 Amazing Books That Just May Help You Be An Adult
22 Podcasts That'll Make You A More Interesting Person This Year
43 Books That Will Legit Change Your Outlook On Life
31 Amazing Books That Will Actually Motivate You To Do Shit
11 Podcasts You Should Already Be Listening To
Andrea Cenon / BuzzFeed
Reserve your bed for bed activities — like, you know, sleep, sex, and masturbation.
If you scroll through the news or do work, you might start associating that stress and anxiety with your bed. Or, on the other side of the coin, if you’re one to fall down a hole of binge-watching or spending hours online because you do it from the comfort of your own bed, switching up locations can help make that slightly less tempting.
Nathan Pyle / BuzzFeed / Via Facebook: BuzzFeedFood
Go out to the movies more, by yourself or with people.
Either way, you’re getting entertained and getting out of your house — which you might need a little push to do sometimes. (Psst, MoviePass is incredible for this.)
Learn how to take care of yourself if you're politically active.
The TL;DR of it is that you need to find the balance between taking action and taking enough care of yourself that you're actually able to work effectively. We asked therapists for their best tips for doing that, so check them out.
Chelsea Marshall / BuzzFeed / Via Facebook: BuzzFeedBooks
Fall back into an old fandom you used to love.
Jumping into new fandoms is always an adventure, but there is no joy better than revisiting your first love. Just think of all the new fanart and fanfic has been created since you last checked in.
Warner Bros. / Via rebloggy.com
Turn your room into a relaxing haven where you can escape from the world to recharge.
Like, take it to absurd extremes. Tons of cozy blankets. A body pillow. A new mattress (or at least a topper). An essential oil diffuser. Calming lighting that you can control with a remote control from your bed. Tuck yourself in and relaaax.
Schedule mental health days in advance.
Sometimes you wake up and need a mental health day without notice. Other times, though, you’ll have a pretty good feeling about when you’ll need time to recover. Like, taking an extra day after a weekend with your stressful AF parents or calling out from work the day of a therapy appointment you know you’re *really* going to get into some shit.
Netflix / Via smosh.com
Consider best-case scenarios as you do to worse-case scenarios.
If it’s not realistic for you to just ~stop ruminating on things that could go wrong~ (I know it’s not for me), at least try to give some brain space to how things could go well, too. It's therapist-approved!
Nathan Pyle / BuzzFeed / Via Facebook: BuzzFeedHealth
Pick up a ridiculous new hobby.
If you need ideas, I asked people what got them through 2017 and their answers were so delightfully random that they’ll give you a million ideas. Think like, raising butterflies, picking up a Dungeons & Dragons habit, celebrity phone games, and loooots of highly specific arts and crafts.
FOX / Via giphy.com
Interrogate your first instinct to say no to things.
Sometimes we fall into a pattern where our default is to say no. We’re so used to being tired, or cranky, or busy, or feeling antisocial, or fiercely guarding our alone time, that we find ourselves turning things down before really thinking about it. Of course, I’m always pro-no when it feels right, but it’s worth mulling over.
Karina Farek / BuzzFeed / Via instagram.com
Go on long walks or rides for no reason.
I’M SORRY, BUT FRESH AIR IS GOOD AND GETTING OUTSIDE IS GREAT FOR CLEARING YOUR HEAD. Seriously, just go around the block or explore your neighborhood — or go to a bakery and get yourself something delicious.
Brett Eldredge / Via giphy.com
Find a way to get to know yourself better.
Start keeping a diary. Get your aura read. Do your astrological chart. Make your family tree. Here's a whole list of ways to understand yourself a little better.