So, as you may have saw in last week’s personal post, I was a little bit depressed and last week didn’t really go well. I wasn’t in the mood to do anything and it was just hard to constantly make the new goal each morning of trying to do certain things, like get up earlier, take my dog for a walk or read for fun; only to not do any of them and feel guilty the entire day for that “failure.”
This weekend, I reflected a lot. I listened to all of your lovely comments and messages, which meant more to me than I could ever express, so thank you SO much for that. Truly. And I’ve come up with a game plan.
I’m sharing it here for some accountability, but also just because I’m really excited and really hopeful this will actually work!
I made a weekly calendar of everything I want/need to do and when I will do it. I plan to do this each Sunday for the upcoming week, after doing my usual blog hopping. It will map up what I plan to do for the week, pretty much hour-by-hour, Monday through Friday, leaving the weekends free. It has some constants every day, like what time I plan to wake up at and when I hope to go to bed, as well as some things that fluctuate, like what time my lunch break is (because of my day job currently doing orientation, this isn’t set in stone like it usually is). But it builds in everything I need to do (eating, showering, my day job, client work, walking my dog) with everything I want to do (writing, blogging, working out, allyship work, getting up early, reading more, playing video games).
Building it this way instead of trying to make a “permanent schedule” has really helped my brain, because I think I was getting hung up before on trying to form a routine when everything is so out of place and couldn’t be permanent, as some of this will have to change once I have a commute again. But, doing it week by week will hopefully let me adjust to what I have planned, see if I need to change anything or reevaluate and give me the flexibility to change as I need to.
You can see my schedule for the upcoming week as the following (sorry for the smaller text, but it’s more as just an example, anyway):
It’s color-coded and has everything built in that I hope to achieve. Based on how busy my day job is (green for the money because I’m clever and cheeky like that :P), sometimes, I’m able to sneak in other tasks I want to complete during my day job hours (something I’m allowing myself to do during remote work. Please don’t judge or scold me for this).
I really like this because it has some flexibility, yet I’m also aware that sometimes, it’s going to change. I might have a student appointment run long, which cuts into lunch time. Or, I might have a meeting go short and I can decide if I want to do something else that I had planned for later during that new free time.
Basically, I am going to try really hard to keep my morning routine and my evening bed time routine as strict and consistent as possible, so that I’m getting good sleep, staying active and reading on the regular. I think, if I can start having really good sleep and being more active, plus escaping every day by reading, then my mental health, alongside my medication and regular therapy, will hopefully have a fighting chance against 2020.
The other thing I’m going to try to do is, even on days where my mood might not be great, is to at least try to do whatever I have planned for at least ten minutes. Usually, my biggest problem is just starting something and, once I get started, I’m good. If, I find, after ten minutes, that my heart truly isn’t in writing that day; or my back pain is too intense to work out; or I’m just really having a rough mental health day, then I’m going to just let it go and do whatever my body and head need at that moment.
I’m trying to be kinder to myself, while also putting things in place to make me happier on the regular.
I also might look into trying habit tracking or gratitude journaling, as those have been suggested to me and sound really interesting. I’m also just going to practice ignoring when my brain or my mood tells me I don’t want to do something and just start it. It’s going to take some practice, I think, but I’m really hopeful for it.
Again, thank you to everyone who sent me kind messages and ideas, or even just notes of solidarity or empathy. It really, really means the world to me. I know it’s a really weird, rough time. I know there is a chance that this might flop and I’ll be back to where I was before. But at least I can try, not only this, but learning to be kinder to myself, too.