People Divulge The Best Thing They've Done For Their Mental Health During A Dark Period

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Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

CW: Depression.

We all find ourselves hitting a rough patch every now and then.

Sometimes finding ourselves getting into extremely dark places.

As a result, raising the edges of our mouths to form a smile takes what feels like insurmountable effort, or finding the motivation to stand up and get out of bed seems utterly impossible.

Until that is, we find something which can get us out of our funk.

Nothing particularly noteworthy, but just a simple, even everyday thing, which is all it takes to make smiling suddenly seem like less of a burden.

Redditor NikonDexter was curious to hear the things which helped people climb out of dark patches, leading them to ask:
"During a very dark period, what was the best thing you ever did for your mental health?"

Keep Your Mind And Body Active

"Get outside as much as possible."

"Open all blinds and curtains during the day."

"Rather than watching show/movies, try to work out or do something physical."

"Do puzzles."

"Can be regular puzzles, crossword, etc."

"Keep your mind active."- jimmyjammy33

Just Cut Yourself Some Slack

"Stopped shaming myself for having a hard time."

"Easier said than done, for sure, but it turns out that guilt and shame is a terrible motivator."

"Instead, try to focus on caring for yourself."

"Instead of saying, 'Wow. I’m such a failure because I haven’t brushed my teeth since Friday'.”

"Say, 'I deserve to have clean teeth. I’m going to give myself the gift of clean teeth and enjoy that feeling'.”

"Also, whatever it takes to make those tasks easier is totally allowed."

"If it is easier to take a shower if you are sitting, sit."

"If you have an easier time brushing your teeth while sitting on the couch watching a movie, do that."

"If doing all the dishes is just way too overwhelming, just do the bowl and spoon you need to warm up some soup for dinner."

"You deserve to eat, wear clean clothes, be clean, and have a space that is comfortable to you, but you aren’t a failure if you are having a hard time getting yourself those things."

"Be gentle with yourself."

"Also, get a sunshine light."- kivawi8171

Get The Help You Need

"Went to inpatient detox and got sober."

"Over 5 years off the booze now!"- ludwigtattoo

Cut The Chord Every Now And Then

"Going on walks and staying away from social media."- yuliqmdiq

Don't Be Afraid To Reach Out

"I made myself reach to friends and eventually found a new and rewarding friend group."

"This was following a pretty nasty breakup so I think connecting with people in a healthy way really helped reestablished my ability to trust others."- octupleunderscore

Take Care Of Yourself

"Started regularly exercising."

"The gym became my safe place where I could turn off my destructive thoughts for a bit and making exercise a habit greatly boosted my sense of self-worth."- ReadMyNameAgain

Know Your Self-Worth

"Quit my job."

"As soon as I put in my notice I started feeling better."- Optic-Rock

Find A Companion

"I got a one-eyed cat named Spoon."

"He's my best friend."- United_Restaurant138

A Change Of Scene

"I went on a weekend retreat all by myself."

"Reset my biological clock, ate when I was hungry, slept when I was tired, showered as long as I wanted, pleasured myself, painted my nails, did art, took a hike, just breathed."- slamminhottiepotato

Head Out On The Highway...


"I’d always heard it was this panacea for mental health but I didn’t put much stock in it."

"Like I knew it was good, but I’d just split from my fiancée and lost my home and was back in my parents spare room, there was no band-aid big enough."

"My dad let me have a little run around a back road on his triumph and it was like religious experience."

"My dads had countless bikes and I’ve always grown up around them."

"I’d always wanted to ride but I’d made a promise to my fiancée that I wouldn’t take it up and I agreed it was just too dangerous and I had too much to lose especially as we were trying to start a family."

"After all I now had nothing to lose."

'On warm sunny days I’d point my bike towards the middle of nowhere and just ride."

"Your mind goes blank, you feel like the main character in your story, you feel the wind as it washes all the warms smells of forest and fields over you."

"For the time you mount up to the time you get off, everything is okay, and no bad thoughts can reach you."- Thursday_the_20th

Enjoy All That Life Has To Offer

"Sobriety, trying new inexpensive hobbies, keeping my space clean and organized, reaching out to friends making concrete plans to hang out and sticking to said plans, walking my dog more."

"Speaking of my dog, if I'm having a bad day, I try to make her day extra special."

"Car ride, walks in new environments, taking her somewhere to swim, lunch of people food but dog friendly, then end the day with a nice warm bath."

"My mood usually instantly improves as soon as we get into the car and only gets better as we go through her special day."

"Win/win."- AcanthisittaLost9508

Some Days WillBe Better THan Others

"Learned to accept that life moves like ocean waves."

"Some days are up,..some are down."

"Be patient, give it a chance."

"The tide always turns eventually."- skaote

We're all bound to have a hard day every now and then.

But no matter how inconsolable we may feel, happiness is always within our grasp.

Sometimes in the most surprising and unlikely of places.

If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.

To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at

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