I’m the queen of thinking about things I want to get done and never actually getting them done….I have an incredibly hard time going to sleep, so usually this happens during that time each night where I’m tossing and turning for an hour (or three) thinking of things to do the next day. When the next day actually comes around, however, I would rather do more productive things, like watch Sponge Bob for four hours straight, than do what I had planned the night before. This is why I’ve decided to actually make a plan for fighting my slide back into depression. Some of the things in my plan may seem easy to some of you (like getting out of the house for at least 15 minutes each day), but when you’re struggling just to get out of bed in the morning and change out of your pajamas, you have to start small.
- Text one person (other than my boyfriend and parents) everyday. If someone texts me, reply to them within two hours.
The problem with depression is that it makes you want to isolate yourself from everyone. Most of the time, it’s not even intentional. There have been a lot of times where someone has texted me, and even though I want to text them back, I don’t because I’m either too afraid of saying the wrong thing or I just don’t have the energy to start a conversation. Because of this, I’ve let a lot of really great relationships fall apart.
- Spend an hour a day crocheting, writing, taking pictures, baking, coloring, or doing other things I used to enjoy.
One of the worst things about depression is that the things that used to make you happy either aren’t pleasurable or don’t make you as happy as they once did. Continuing to do them despite not feeling like doing anything, though, could help make you feel a little better.
- Don’t sleep more than nine hours a day.
I’ve found myself sleeping 11-13 hours a day which may seem like the best thing ever, but when I wake up, I feel even more tired than before. I also feel like I’ve wasted the entire day, and I get upset with myself for sleeping too much.
- Exercise for at least fifteen minutes a day.
Exercise is a really great stress reliever, and I always feel so much better about myself even if I’ve only worked out for five minutes.
- Eat three meals a day, and eat at least one fruit a day.
Lately, I’ve only been eating dinner because I either don’t feel like getting up to get something to eat or just don’t feel like eating. Even then, my food usually consists of something I picked up at a fast food restaurant unless my mom cooked that night.
- Get at least fifteen minutes of sunlight.
Being outside always lifts my mood. There have been times where I was too afraid to go outside, and my house felt more like a prison than a home.
- Be gentle with myself.
I am a major perfectionist. If something does not go exactly like I want it to, I can be very harsh with myself. That also applies to this plan. I want to make an effort to celebrate my accomplishments (however small), and spend less time thinking about where I’ve fallen short.
- Write down negative thoughts.
I’ve found that when I write out all of the negative thoughts floating around in my head, they seem so much less true. When they’re on paper, I can see clearly that it’s a lie and change it around to be more positive.