I’ve been feeling kind of crappy lately. It’s crushing since I thought (naively?) that I was on an extended upswing. I can’t tell if I’m really, truly on the slippery slope, or if this is just a brief spell…but in a way it doesn’t matter. This week I have a lot to do, and I’m very anxious about all that’s going on.
Yesterday morning I made a decision. I took my cue from DysthymiaBree, who has talked about how she managed a recent crisis – by simply (simply!!) making more good choices than bad ones. She was in the mode of managing her symptoms to the best of her ability. So I decided yesterday, as I laid in bed and felt the cloak of depression and anxiety, that I would try to go through my week with that strategy – focus on managing my symptoms, doing things that I know can help, and most importantly, putting on hold all of my thoughts and worries about my depression returning in full force.
It forced me to really think about the things that help me. What are they? In no particular order…
- Exercise. Exercise. Exercise. There’s really something to be said for those damn endorphins!
- Be careful about my eating. I’m becoming more and more convinced that there’s a legitimate connection between my blood sugar levels and depression.
- Get plenty of sleep. I need at least 8 hours. It sounds pathetic but it makes a difference for me.
- Practice deep breathing. I’m new at this, but I’m certain it will help me once I commit more time to developing the skills.
- Ask for help. This is a tough one – isolation is my default and my comfort.
I took the first step tentatively – getting out of bed. So far, so good. Then I got the kids off to school and took some quiet time to just sit and breathe. Then I exercised. And as I went about my day, I tried to push away all thoughts of the slippery slope and how afraid I am. It took a considerable amount of willpower but I kept telling myself that today was not about analyzing my feelings, contemplating my meds, and getting to the psychological roots of things. There is a time and place for that, and it is not now.
The day was all about managing my symptoms. And you know what? As the day went on, it gradually required less and less effort to keep the monsters at bay.
Success? Perhaps. Certainly enough of a success that I’ll do the same today. And tomorrow, and the next day…