Planning things in detail seems to work for me:
- Plan meals, when I will shop and when I will prepare food.
- Plan exercise – what classes or groups I will go to throughout the week.
- Plan what time I’ll go to bed and what time I’ll wake up.
- Put the alarm clock on the other side of the room so I have to get up to turn it off.
- Set a time to start getting ready for bed – phone away, clean teeth etc. Try doing this early in the evening when I’m not so tired then all I have to do is to get into bad. When your depressed, why does cleaning your teeth feel like such a mammoth and relentless task?!
Things I can do when I’m ruminating on things that aren’t helpful – like how bad things were and my time in hospital. I think some of the reason that comes back up though is because I haven’t really spoken to anyone about it properly – there are things that I need to say, that weren’t said or seen then. I will write about it here one day soon. In the meantime here’s what I need to try:
- Practice moving my attention around my body or the room.
- Get up and move – change the environment.
- Play some music.
- Get outside.
I seem to constantly struggle with the meaning of life – what it’s all about, why I am here, what am I doing with my life?
- Deal with it practically – thinking about these big questions on a daily basis won’t help.
- Think of it like a flow chart – do I have the money to do the things I want to do? If the answer is no, then I can either accept that and make the most of what I have, look for meaning in other ways etc or I can decide to save and make plans for a point in time when I will have the resources.
- Plan to check-in at a particular time frame e.g. in six months or one year. Postpone the worrying. Ask myself – am I happy? Am I fulfilled? What am I missing?
- Keep planning regular treats and rewards – don’t give them up to start saving – need balance and compromise.
I like the idea of postponing things until a more useful time – it works well for me with anxiety. Sometimes a thought pops-up and I can decide not to give it any attention right not but to park it for a specific time – it seems to work!
The main thing to remember when I am stuck and ruminating is to focus on the small changes that I can make right now – sleep, food, exercise and routine.