Doing the simplest of tasks while in the midst of a depressive episode can seem impossible at times. Just getting out of bed can leave us exhausted, which is annoying as hell since generally people expect to feel awake and refreshed after a night of sleep. Yet even this is denied to many people fighting with depression, myself included. This constant struggle can be disheartening at times, especially if, like me, one finds themselves living rent-free in a family member’s home (Yes, I am grateful for it. Completely. Yet at times I feel that I am a financial burden.), with no job, no nearby friends, and no current projects or prospects. So, when I start to feel discouraged and I notice that I am talking to myself in a negative way, calling myself lazy, unaccomplished, and like there is nothing good in my life, I try to press the pause button. I press the pause button and realize that I need to appreciate every accomplishment, especially those that seem insignificant to other people. So, a few days ago, I started making a to-do list every morning. I didn’t put unrealistic goals on this list; in fact, I often put basic, everyday life goals like getting out of bed, getting dressed, brushing my teeth, etc. I also threw in a few creative goals such as working on a website, drawing, or writing creatively. One of the most important things though, is that I remember that these goals are guidelines. It is okay if I do not accomplish everything. It is okay if I deviate. In doing this, at the end of the day, I can look back and see everything that I accomplished. I can tell myself, “See! Look at everything I got done! I’m not lazy. I do try.” It’s a great feeling. 🙂 I also made sure to make a separate list as the day went on of all the extra things I did that weren’t on the original goal list! It’s all about building ourselves up!
(I ended up highlighting the things I did not get done a couple days after the fact. This wasn’t so much to point out what I didn’t get done as to make it easier to see the difference. I could more easily pick out what I did do. Also, in looking at what I didn’t get done one day, I could decide if I wanted to try that goal again the next day or move on to something else.)