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Sentinel2

battleplan for depression

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Posted (edited)

Hey, 

It's been over 13 years of me battling depression, with ups and downs. I decided that i have to make some changes on a day to day basis. I tried to google things that are known to help depression and try to include them into my daily life. I decided i will try with small steps as to not overwhelm me. I would like to ask your opinion on what else i could add to my list and/or how to change things to get even better result. I plan to add things and increase time or number of times per week i do certain activity. I also write down things i do each day to keep a log. This is what i got so far:

1) at least 20 minutes of playing a musical instrument each day

2) at least 20 minutes of exercise each day, i take note on things i do to see how/if i improve over time

3) reduce ciggaretes and alcohol consumption

4) 2mg epa (omega 3) per day

5) at least once a week go hiking for 1 hour

6) at least once a week go out on a coffe with friends

7) wake up at 10am

 

Please comment on what i got so far and what else i could add to put my day into some structure that will help me with my depression. 

Edited by Sentinel2

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Good for you for putting all that thought and commitment into your health. There is a book called The Depression Cure that has some good ideas in it. Also many of us find having a therapist and a psychiatrist helpful. I wish you well in this.

BW

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11 hours ago, Sentinel2 said:

I decided i will try with small steps as to not overwhelm me.

As @BeyondWeary said, good for you and your commitment.  And I concur with professional help.

Personally, the overwhelmed part has been my biggest, most contentious  struggle.  As I've heard so many times here, baby steps.  Go easy on yourself.

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That's amazing, you deserve a lot of credit for these efforts and for looking for ways to improve your condition. 

Would you consider adding to your list:

Curiosity. Discover something or someone new each week if you can.

Mastery. Do something a little challenging once per day if you can - not necessarily physically challenging, social, mental, emotional - they count too. 

Self-compassion/acceptance practices. 

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Atra: Thank you for ideas. I might have problem both with doing something challenging and learning something new. Challenging for me is now every single little thing in life, everything seems so hard to do. And for learning something new, i really hate changes and new things. And while i thought that it would be fun and good to learn something new eachday, i just dont think i am capable atm. 

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I like @Atra's idea.  Here's how it's worked for me, except I hadn't quite seen it in those terms.  Today's challenge was making sure I ate and then, purely by choice, posting a few pix to my photo site (that requires posting some details about the subject, including tags).  Other days, learning something might mean learning to use a new word, or looking up a word I'm not quite sure I understand.

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@Sentinel2 thanks for responding and for being honest and open about your situation. I think people reading your thread are going to nod in agreement with you about being real regarding what you're capable of. If we want to do battle with depression we got to acknowledge and accept these things, it's reality. 

That thing I wrote about self-compassion and acceptance practices. I is wanting change but at the same time accepting ourselves just as we are - which isn't a contradiction because we're seeking to balance the two.

14 hours ago, Sentinel2 said:

And for learning something new, i really hate changes and new things.

Yes. When my MDD symptoms were severe I hated anything new because I felt I just couldn't tolerate new. I mean, I could barely maintain in the shrunken existence I lived in. If you don't have the bandwidth for new, put it aside for a future time when you might and instead do what works. Battle plans for depression have got to be tailored made for the individual, I truly believe that.

15 hours ago, Sentinel2 said:

Challenging for me is now every single little thing in life, everything seems so hard to do.

I get that. I probably wouldn't try to do everything on your list each day. Some days, I might try to do several things while on a bad day I'd do just one. Every day of depression is a damn struggle yet your battle plan is excellent. It's built for the long haul. Also, I love that you keep an activity log each day, that's inspiring to me. 

Part of working my way back from zero functionality was adopting the view that intentions and efforts do count, not just outcomes. I tried - that counts. When I tied myself only to outcomes I just made myself miserable. 

Looking at @MarkintheDark 's examples, my depression-mind can find a way to dismiss or minimize each of them: he did that, yeah but he didn't do this so it doesn't count - that's just depression being depression, always finding ways filter out the good. Wise-mind gets that his examples of doing something new are on-point. Looking up a new word. Or, discovering a cool new song somebody here mentioned. Reading the suprising facts thread. Taking one sip of a kale, cucumber, lime, parsley green juice and saying, wow, that tasted terrible! It counts. 

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Posted (edited)

Here’s something I found that u can try. It’s not a physical exercise but a mental one for your mind. It claims that doing this for 30 days will shift your perspective on life. It does help me a bit so u can give it a try:

I want you to write five questions down that you’re going to ask yourself three times a day. Five questions that are positive for yourself that you’re going to ask everyday.

Everyday you’re going to wake up in the morning and read these questions to yourself and answer them. You’re going to read them and answer them. Every morning, and then at lunch: read the questions answer them. At night read the questions, answer them. They can be questions like…

  • What can I feel incredibly grateful for right now?
  • How can I make this moment better? 
  • How could I have fun right now?
  • How could I demonstrate love or excellence right now?
  • What’s the main thought that will be most helpful for my life now?
Edited by Depressedgurl007

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Thank you soo much for all the replies, it means the world to me. I will see how your advices can be incorporated into my routine. 
In my 20 minutes of exercises per day btw are pushups and squats. I like this so i can see how i improve, that makes me feel better. I will improve minutes per day of exercise in time and also add more exercises.

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I have a few updates for anyone who is interested. First, today i went hiking for almost 2 hours with few short stops. I am happy with the acomplishment, in the last 12 years the most time in one go i went was 55 minutes. It was very hard but i had most of today depression free due to this - it was hard walking but it wasnt depression, it was pain which is different. And after i was on top of the hill i really felt good and the good lasted for few more hours. Now i am feeling less good as all evenings but even now its not that bad. 

I kept to my routine for 8 straight days and while this routine is really easy, i am proud that i kept at it, its harder then it really looks. 

Btw at my last outburst of severe depression 1.5 years ago, i started smoking again. A few days ago i tried stopping cold turkey with nicotine patches and learned that when you are very depressed, maybe its not the best time to stop smoking - depression and stop smoking just combine into a living hell. But i will still do something in this direction. In last 8 days i smoked on average 12 cigarets per day. I decided starting tomorrow i will cut to 10 and then each week reduce by 1 cigarete. Again writing this, this seems childish but as many of you understand, when depressed, even simple things seem like a big chore. 

I have it all written in an excel log and after a while i will post it here so you see how it looks, maybe it will help someone on his path. 

 

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26 minutes ago, Sentinel2 said:

First, today i went hiking for almost 2 hours with few short stops. I am happy with the acomplishment, in the last 12 years the most time in one go i went was 55 minutes. It was very hard but i had most of today depression free due to this 

Well done @Sentinel2! Thank you for posting an update on how it's going with your plan.

Exercise can have an antidepressant effect as I'm sure most people here are aware. There seems to be a complimentary effect as well which you also mentioned here: a sense of accomplishment after having toiled at something.

Severe Depression can leave us feeling and believing we're useless and it informs us we're too limited to do many things. Always a good idea to challenge those thoughts. 

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