When I am in the darker corners of depression, simple tasks become great achievements for the day. To get through it, here is what I do. I pump myself up for simple tasks. I say to myself, “Anna, you are going to get up and go take the most amazing shower of your life. That’s what you’re going to do. I am going to count down from ten, and you are going to go take a shower. Ready? 10… (deep breath) 9… (deep breath) 8…” etc. Then… I get up! Counting down from ten becomes my lifeline. I have to commit to it because I always have and if I don’t commit to it once, I may not again when I really need it.
I’m sure this isn’t the best way to get through it, considering the voice in my head has separated myself into two people, a sad person and a motivational speaker. “I” am the motivational speaker and “you” are the crippled person that needs to get up for the day. But, it gets me going again and that is what I think is important. I make a list of manageable tasks that I will be happy with myself at the end of the day for completing. They may range from eat three meals today to e-mail the Dean to text one friend to simply get dressed, depending on what I think I can actually accomplish. I know that depression is the result of a chemical imbalance. Mine manifests itself in unsatisfaction with my accomplishments and therefore a paralysis to actually accomplish anything. When I give myself small tasks, it gets me back on track. I’m proud of these small tasks and myself for doing them. I congratulate myself on making breakfast or doing my laundry. When I am no longer hyperventilating about brushing my hair, I make myself do one scary task. Just one goes on the list. Some days, it puts me on a role and I don’t stop for hours. Others, that scary task was all I could handle. Since it was the only thing on the list, I reward myself by getting to do something I want to do whether that is read a chapter of my book, watch Netflix, or go back to bed.
You may think this method will never work for you because you have a hundred things you need to do today. I understand that entirely. It is not the best solution, the best would be if I could find a way to become super woman and save the world. While I work on that, this keeps me from the fetal position as a hundred tasks swim around my head. If I have a hundred tasks to achieve, three today is better than none.
Thank for letting me take a close-up Miss Pretty.
Not the clearest pictures but they were too pretty not to post.