How. How do you deal with Sunday blues? How do you get through the day, when you don’t even want to get out of bed?

I’ve been through a particularly rough patch of weeks, if not days, but yesterday was a sheer test of my resilience. I missed my first class at 9 AM and woke up with a “class absence alert” notification email for the same class. My first reaction was panic, and then sadness.

I did not want to get out of bed, I just wanted to stay in bed, and not do anything, at all.

It felt like a waste of a day, and I began reevaluating why I was in college. I felt like a failure, in my personal relationships, in my family commitments, and even my close friendships. I felt like a failure in my academics, in my professional endeavors, and nothing seemed to matter. Nothing.

I was having thought after thought of impending doom, and just a horrible mix of everything that could make you feel shit about yourself.

That was my Sunday morning.

I regretted sleeping late, I regretted not sticking to a healthy schedule, and I absolutely hated not having woken up early, let alone having had time to make a good breakfast and to begin the week with a great morning.

I’m not sure how my sister forced me to get out of bed. I kept repeating ‘I want to cry and everything is a mess.’

She convinced me to take a quick shower, and so picking an easy outfit helped. I put on a onesie with a cardigan.

That was the first step, picking an outfit. It’s moments like these that make me thankful for my annoying OCD habits: color coded closet and all. When I don’t want to put an effort into anything, having previously-put together outfits helps. 

I forced myself to take a shower. Those 10-15 minutes in cold to warm water actually made me feel so much better. I felt fresh, I felt clean. Even if my thoughts were horrible, at least my body was clean.

I changed my outfit after the shower, and only had enough time to grab my bag and hurriedly throw in my notebook, wallet, chargers, and cell phone. Needed the whole lot because I knew it was going to be a late night at work after my classes.

I sat in the bus, and all I wanted was to cry. To curl into a ball in an empty room, and to cry my heart out, till my eyes and emotions had run dry. Instead, I was heading to university, in a bus packed with people. I wanted to be invisible, so I wouldn’t have to interact with anybody. I just wanted to avoid everyone. No small talk, no courteous smiles, nada. Just grumpy ‘ol me, in my flower-patterned onesie and a gray cardigan that looked like I’d gotten off a plane in Atlanta.

I had work-study, and in the break between, I couldn’t stand it anymore. I forced myself to talk to someone.

I walked into Dr. L.’s (my work-study head and our university counsellor) office. She’s been a mentor, a friend, a sister, a teacher and everything in between, to me. I’ve talked to her during some of my worst phases, and she’s helped me sort out messes and realize things aren’t as bad as my head can make them out to be, at times. She’s just such a happy and reassuringly comforting person, that you can’t help but love her.

I walked into her office, and ended up spending a good hour there. She asked me what was on my mind, what was troubling me, and I started off with ambiguity, as my usual way of opening up, and led on to the nitty gritty details of everything that was wrong with me, my day, my life. I sound melodramatic as I write these words, but there’s no other way to put it across. At that time, everything felt disastrous, like calamity had struck and I was the leftover wreck  after a strong wave of Tsunami.

She helped me break down my troubles into specifics, one problem at a time. Made me realize that my well-being came first. If people closest to me were toxic, and were impacting me with immense negativity, it was okay to cut them off for a while, and to take care of myself. 

Cut yourself from anyone who’s toxic to your energy or is feeding off your positivity to replace it with negativity. You don’t need any of that bad energy or vibes. And, that’s the problem with toxic people, they drain your happiness and good vibes.

Next, I spoke about how overburdened I felt with work and how I wanted to quit. The problem wasn’t being able to do the jobs, it was everything at the same time that made me feel like everything was piling up to a lot. In reality, it wasn’t anything impossible. She made me reflect on last year, when I’d been the Student Government President, and had worked countless hours with my bad-ass team. I loved being part of that, and I was downright ardent about my SG work. Maybe that’s what I was missing. A year of seeing 18 people so regularly as you worked with them towards the same goals and challenges, naturally led to building strong relationships and long-lasting resilient bonds. We knew we could always count on each other, and I realized I’d subconsciously been missing them all.

I sent a Whatsapp message on our old SG group for a hangout, and that I missed them all.

Sometimes, you’ve got to let other people know how you feel. If you miss them, let them know, and meet them.

I told her about my recent splurges and how I thought I was having a bit of trouble exercising financial caution. Savings are great, savings are fantastic. But, sometimes it’s okay to let the splurging habits get out of your system. I could save up starting today, and instead of a huge estimated difference where I set unrealistic goals of endless savings, aiming for a 50-50 could be a good first step towards a bigger saving margin.

She told me to get ready the morning and come to school dressed up, and to take charge of my day, and myself.

And we planned to go shopping soon.

I went to work, and of course I didn’t instantly zap to feeling okay, but that long conversation had me feeling much much better. And today I’m typing this during my work break because I want to recap yesterday’s miserable day and compare it to today’s calm.

I feel so much better today. The weather is great, I had a good meal, and I feel so much better. A new dawn, a new day. That’s exactly what happened. Dressing up did make me feel better, and sleeping earlier and getting 7 hours of sleep gave me a weird burst of energy.

So, to break it down to steps on how to get through your worst day, here’s what you need to do:

1. Get out of bed

2. Take a shower. Yeah you will absolutely want to not do anything, but, a shower can do wonders for you.

3. Pick a pre-planned outfit. If you ever have time, at any point in the week, try to organize outfits in your closet. You never know when you’ll be reaching out for one in a hurry.

4. Talk to a good-person. Someone who you know will be able to talk to you and hear you out, and will be able to sort out your problems and break them down. Don’t be a stubborn idiot. Actually listen to this person. 

5. Cut out the toxic people who are negatively impacting you. Sometimes it’s okay to put yourself first. You can’t always be on a one-woman journey to save the world, sometimes you need to to save yourself first. Difficult as it is, it is okay to place to make yourself a priority.

6. Text people you miss and plan a hangout [online/in-person]

7. Have a meal, don’t stay hungry

8. Watch a movie or a TV show that will distract you and get your mind off things

9. Go to bed early

10. Wake up, it’s a new day. YOU GOT THIS.

  • Mashal Waqar

    Mashal Waqar is the COO and Co-founder of The Tempest. She's a startup mentor, accessibility advocate, and LOTR fanatic. She was awarded "Young Leader of the Year" award at the 19th Global WIL Economic Forum. She has been mentioned in over 20 international and regional publications. When she's not trying to be productive, she's usually recording covers off Youtube karaokes.