When people deal with depression or anxiety, sometimes the most mundane things could seem too difficult to accomplish. Things like eating meals or taking a bath are part of an ordinary person’s routine. But for people going through some serious issues (mental illnesses, loss, grief, etc.), it might as well be a challenge they can’t face. It is understandable for you to neglect yourself at times, but you must not get used to this. Well-being and hygiene go hand in hand with your road to recovery. While you take your time with present self, the future would greatly appreciate any kind of boost from you.
Just like your body and mind respond to details from places, images, and sounds that can zap you into negativity as fast as popups appear on a computer screen, you can use your attention and focus to help spring both body and mind out of a negative feeling. — Joseph Cardillo Ph.D.
Start the day positively
Before thinking about the future, tackle the present first and focus on your daily life. Waking up early is a struggle for many people, so don’t make it an addition to your other difficulties. Lots of studies have shown that there are a lot of benefits for being an early riser. In this case, an early start on your day gives you the head start you need to reduce stress over the tasks ahead of you. To give your day a positive twist, set aside a few minutes in the morning for meditation and reflection. Get up and stretch a bit. Do a short yoga routine if you have time to spare. Little things like these greatly impact how your day will go. In the long run, these things will shape what your future will be.
Break things down into small tasks
At times like this, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by literally anything. The key here is to break large, all-consuming tasks into smaller and more manageable ones. Instead of thinking of it as “Doing Project 1”, think of it in terms of the steps to do to accomplish Project One. Thinking of one huge task only helps to fuel feelings of anxiety. Instead of turning out productive results, you might find yourself getting delayed instead. Inversely, every small task you accomplish boosts your morale and helps you get things done faster. You might be in a slump today. But tomorrow, you’ll appreciate a smaller pile of backlog tasks.
We get the chance to clear out dusty heaps of old pain and old patterns and start living with a fresh and open heart. We get the opportunity to put our broken hearts and the broken pieces of our lives back together again in a way that feels even stronger and truer to our values and priorities. —
Ditch motivation, switch to discipline
People look or wish for motivation to accomplish things. But when you’re dealing with grief or mental illnesses, your motivation is shot. What you need is not motivation, but order and routine in your life, coupled with a little discipline. When you realize that the little things have become huge hurdles to overcome, take the time to plan things like pre-cooked meals for when you can’t be bothered to cook for yourself. Set an alarm for bath time everyday. Set small goals for a specific time frame like replying to your friend’s message from two days ago within today. You can also spend ten minutes outside your house. When you’ve set your small goals, be hard-pressed into accomplishing them within the same time frame you’ve set. Don’t let yourself be discouraged by not being “in the mood” for it. Stop relying on your moods to be able to do simple tasks. If you continuously believe that you can’t do them, you’ll never be able to accomplish anything. It will only be additional stress to you sooner than later.