I’ve had a really great two weeks. I’m feeling peaceful and hopeful. Which means it’s time to start preparing for winter.
Winter is code for “Holy crap I’m depressed and sad and anxious for no reason.” Preparing for a depressed few weeks will look different for everyone. But here’s how it looks for me. And I’m still learning, it’s an iterative process. I’ve included gifs to further illustrate my points, as usual.
The premise of preparation is to simplify everything. The fewer decisions, the better. The less stress, the better. The fewer commitments and obligations, the better.
- Clothing. When I’m depressed, picking out a t-shirt to wear is comparable to the business calculus class I took in college. WHY CAN’T I FIGURE THIS OUT. So, I cut down my wardrobe to as few pieces as possible. Yes, you will probably see me wearing the same 5 shirts for the next month, but also yes, they are clean. Mostly. Once I figured out clothing was a stressor (a very unnecessary stressor, if you ask me) I did some research and found Un-Fancy.com, which is a great blog on wardrobe capsuling. Highly recommend giving this a try. It keeps your closet tidy, too. BONUS.
- Food. I don’t plan on being able to cook much. So cereal, pre-cooked meat, and frozen veggies are vital. If I can’t microwave it, I’m not eating it.
- Coffee. There has to be coffee and creamer in the house. No coffee. No wakey.
- Life decisions. This all have to go on the back burner until I’m feeling better. Even intense conversations should be avoided.
- Emotional clutter. No more Mad Men or House of Cards. Dark dramas can be triggers for me. So nope. Bye. The Office and Parks and Rec will be the only shows gracing my eyeballs.
- Medicine. I have to make sure my prescription is getting re-filled. Husbands are really great for this.
- Alcohol. I can have the occasional glass of wine, but no going hard in the paint. Thankfully, my medicine makes my alcohol tolerance lower than a dancers ass in a Lil Jon music video so a glass of wine is all I really need.
- Blankets. BLANKETS EVERYWHERE.
- Check-ins. My sisters regularly text me and ask how my feels are.
- Projects. I try to find something to focus on that doesn’t require an immense amount of brain power. I did crochet for a while, then got into painting, or sometimes I’ll work on training my puppies to turn on the TV. Haven’t accomplished the last one yet.
Things I SHOULD do, but somehow can never accomplish.
- Journaling. NO I DON’T WANT TO THAT’S A LOT OF WORK, OK?!
- Exercise. Nope. That sucks. It’s hard and reminds me how terrible I am at everything always.
- Folding laundry. Nope. Piles for days.
- “Healthy Eating” I won’t eat ice cream for every meal, but that’s about the only rule.
It’s ironic, because almost every article out there about “overcoming depression and anxiety” is filled with exercise, long walks, journaling, healthy eating, things that are near impossible when you’re questioning the necessity of your own existence. So I just stick to what works. I hunker down, build a blanket fort, and brave the storm.
Like, literally, I’ve built a blanket fort while depressed before. It was magical.
Have a good week friends.