Today has been a wobbly day. One of those days when tears are close to the surface, but they seem disconnected to things that are actually happening. The kind of day when you’d like to close the curtains and shut out the world. Then climb back into bed, have a good cry and wait until tomorrow.
Wobbly days tend to hit us when our lives and emotions have been under strain, or when there is something scary on the horizon. Or more often than not, when we’re simply over tired (and for some of us, when we’re hormonal).
And depression can be like having a wobbly day every day.
Wonderfully I’m no longer depressed. Praise God. But I still get wobbly days. That’s because I am human! And still somewhat fragile. But it can be scary because depression was such a very recent reality.
It is at times like this that I am attempting to apply Rule #1, which is “Don’t Panic.” Just because this is how I feel right now, does not mean that I will feel like this tomorrow. Or even later today. By applying Rule #1 (with God’s help, and normally after panicking a bit first), I am then able to do the things that I know will be helpful and avoid the potential pitfalls. For me that looks like –
Opening the curtains: Wide. It’s amazing what natural light and seeing the outside world can do.
Getting dressed: Properly. Resisting the temptation to put on the slouchy jeans and the sweatshirt. Clean my teeth. Straighten my hair. Put on my makeup. This seems to make a disproportionately big difference to my state of mind.
Resisting the desire to go back to bed: So critical. So tempting!
Tidying up a bit: Nothing like a clean and tidy space, to be calming on the emotions. Well, for me at least.
Eating well: When I’m feeling emotional I often comfort eat at the wrong times, then don’t eat proper meals at the right times. But I know that eating well makes a massive difference to how I feel. All it takes is a bit of planning. The sense of achievement at eating something that’s good for me is also good for my well-being
Keeping hydrated: Nothing like a headache to feel worse. There something about wobbly days which mean that I often forget to drink anything.
Abandoning the to-do list, and achieving something small: Today’s to do list was a long one. It was abandoned in favour of baking a loaf of bread, and catching up on the Mentalist.
Spending some low-key time with the Lord: Even if all I can manage is to listen to some Christian music. Often God breathes hope into my wobbly day that way.
Putting on some happy music: Enough said.
Seeing other human beings: But in a super chilled out way, and definitely without any responsibilities.
Getting to bed at a reasonable hour: I am totally going to bed right after I’ve posted this! Good night.
* Whilst I was in bed last night I realised I’d missed a critical one –
Moving around a bit: I don’t like to use the word exercise. Sounds too scary at the best of times! Normally I might go for a short walk, unless it is miserable weather like yesterday. But even just refusing to stay sitting in the same spot all day, and doing small tasks like yesterday’s bread making, seems to makes a big difference.