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Live Well: When You’re Not Okay

May 24, 2024


Reach out if you need help.
Reach out if you need help.

It is rare to feel good all the time. Most people experience periods of highs and lows throughout their lives. Knowing how to recognize when you are not okay can help protect your mental health.

Here are some signs that you might not be okay:

  • You feel like nothing matters
  • You are isolating yourself from people and social interactions
  • You are using more alcohol or drugs than usual
  • You experience severe mood swings that affect your relationships
  • You have had thoughts of harming yourself or others

If any of these ring true for you, here are some things you can do right now:


Connect with a trusted friend and share what you are feeling. Be open and honest, ask for what you need, and be clear about what is not helpful in terms of support. Talking through your emotions can help defuse them.


Not getting enough restful sleep can make stressful situations worse. Sleep helps your body recover from the demands of daily life. If you are struggling to get good sleep, ask your doctor for guidance on self-care or sleep aid options.


Some people prefer to journal privately about emotional experiences. Poetry, freestyle writing, or journal prompts are all effective ways to express and sort through uncomfortable or confusing emotions.


When life feels heavy, you may need to reprioritize your time based on your energy levels. Maybe the dishes can wait. Focusing on what is most important right now can help reduce feelings of overwhelm.

Take Action

If you are not okay, it is important to take swift action. If self-care has not helped, call your doctor or therapist, and schedule an appointment to discuss your concerns and symptoms.

If you need help immediately, call 911 or go directly to your closest emergency room. You can also call or text 988 or visit to talk with a crisis counselor.