To plan or not to plan: A story of two approaches

May 13 2010 Published by under Inspiration

to plan or not to plan

 

 

In my previous post, I promised to illustrate the importance of planning your day.

So, here it is:

Let me introduce a fictional character called Maggie. She is suffering with depression. She is in her mid-thirties, married to James and has an 8 years-old son Dillon. Maggie is a housewife, as she does not feel she is fit to go back to work since having her first episode of depression 6 years ago. She still drives and sees her old school friend Sally on occasion.

Take 1
Maggie’s alarm clock rings at 7:30am. She remembers the first item on her ‘To Do’ list:

“GET UP at 7:30”. Even though she does not feel like getting up and is feeling totally exhausted, she drags herself into the bathroom and starts her morning routine. Despite her aching body and low mood, she dresses up and enters the kitchen.

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Why planning your day is important in lifting depression?

May 11 2010 Published by under Information, Inspiration

While it is common to blame inability to plan on depression,

I would like you to consider the possible costs of not planning your day in advance:

  1. You may believe there are no reasons to get out of bed and follow your morning routine.
  2. You may see no point and/or feel no urgency in doing anything during the day.
  3. You may engage yourself in negative self-talk and feeling sorry for yourself as soon as you are awake, as your mind is free of tasks, responsibilities and any excitement.
  4. You may feel pessimistic and lethargic during the day, as you follow no purpose and no passion. Nothing energises you!
  5. You may feel that your life does not belong to you and you are not in control of your decisions and lifestyle.
  6. You may feel drained and drowned by routine and boredom.
  7. You may feel stuck, trapped and powerless.
  8. You may feel overwhelmed by the amount of things to be done.
  9. You may feel unimportant and insignificant.
  10. You may deprive yourself of fun, hobbies and relaxation as you feel you don’t deserve them.
  11. You may feel stressed by things that should have been done yesterday or things that require your immediate attention.
  12. You may regret wasting another day away and go to bed disappointed and defeated.

As you can see failing to plan your day ahead of time is surely a plan to fail. This strategy will erode your self-esteem and will continue to drive you deeper into the darkness of feeling helpless, hopeless and inadequate.

When depressed, you cannot afford to enter another day without planning ahead of time!

Next time, I will illustrate this core message with some examples. Until then…

Stay strong, remain hopeful and seek inspiration!

Read the illustration here (Click on the title): To Plan or Not to Plan: A story of two approaches…

 

Photo by: 123RF Stock Photos

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How to handle the mornings when all you want to do is crawl back into bed!

Feb 25 2010 Published by under Decision, Information

Do you wake up each and every morning totally exhausted and feeling much worse that the night before?

When I was depressed I used to hope every night that in the morning I would wake up refreshed, eager to jump out of bed and face the new day. I was frustrated and disappointed that no miracles had happened overnight. I would open my eyes, assess my feelings and declare: ‘Yep, depressed today… as usual!’ Then I would have to drag myself out of bed, feeling extremely tired, acutely miserable and totally helpless for most of the day.

Mornings are tough for a lot of people, no doubt about that. However, it is a different battle when you are depressed.

You have such a poor quality of sleep. Your sleep cycles are very different from ‘normal’ sleep cycles.

Your body is producing stress hormones all night long. You either have nightmares or very vivid dreams, usually of a disturbing nature. You cannot possibly wake up refreshed. You are bound to feel your worst first thing upon awakening.

So, here are a few suggestions on how to handle your mornings:

1. Never leave planning your day for the next morning. It’s bad enough to wake up tired. It’s even worse to realise in the evening that a whole day has been wasted due to the fact that you did not feel like doing anything first thing in the morning and did not have anything planned. You must avoid this vicious cycle of disappointment and discontent.

2. Establish a morning routine: tasks that you will perform upon awakening. Create a list; for example: out of bed, shower/wash/brush teeth, dress up, glass of water/juice, breakfast, check the daily ‘to do’ list (the one you wrote the night before). Write your ‘morning drill’ down and follow it every day for at least twenty-one consecutive days to establish a habit and make it automatic. Persevere and soon you would feel the difference.

3. Unlearn to lock your thoughts on your depression first thing in the morning. A thought ‘I had such a bad night sleep’ will not turn your day into a waste. ‘I feel so depressed’ will. Begin your day with a positive thought: ‘At least I know my morning drill!’ and get yourself up and moving!

4. Allow yourself 7-9 hours of sleep each night. There is a tendency to sleep more, but you don’t really need any extra sleep. Set an alarm clock to ensure that you are not oversleeping.

5. Respect and follow your evening decisions, disregard and ignore your early morning whines.

Are you finding it hard to start your day every morning? Do you have any tips to share that work for you? If so, please post a comment.

Love, light and healing!

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