‘Tomorrow is a new day’
Now this is a philosophy I can wholeheartedly embrace. Depression makes you believe that things will never get better, that the spiral of gloom will pull you further and further down, unstoppable, relentless. This is not true. Depression lies. Within each dark day there can still be moments of light, and no matter how bad today may have been, tomorrow could be better.
Approaching each new day with an open mind and a sense of optimism is a fantastic approach in the war against depression as fear and dread will just fuel its bleakness.
I struggle with decision making and motivation, if I start the day with nothing scheduled then I feel listless and apathetic which can lead to my mood spiralling.
I don’t know whether to have a shower. I don’t know what clothes to wear. I don’t know what to have for breakfast, or even whether to have breakfast. I don’t know if I should put my contact lenses in. Or wear make up etc.
I mope around the house in a mental fug; indecision rules, not showering, not getting dressed, not functioning because I genuinely do not know what to do.
This may sound like easy stuff but it’s not… going running or to the gym requires different decisions than going to the pool, which is different to going to a medical appointment, or the supermarket, or cleaning the house, or going for a walk, or…
See, it’s really not that easy.
So I make plans in advance. Not a whole day itinerary, just a few things, goals if you like, to ensure I don’t stay in bed feeling crappy all day, or moping around in a fugue state. RED January has proved very helpful in providing a daily focus, knowing that I will be doing some kind of physical activity each day, usually in the morning, guides me in the start of my day.
…And then stick to them
There’s little point in scheduling activities if you don’t stick to them. I get that there will be days when you would rather avoid everything; people, places, self-care… everything. But it truly helps having a little structure to your day and you honestly will feel so much better if you achieve something.
Your plans, or goals, do not have to be massive. Think about what you would like to achieve with your day, anything that you might enjoy or that will give you a sense of accomplishment, write it down and then try your very best to do it.