Changes are painful when you’re suffering from depression and anxiety. They take so much effort and there’s a slow progress. Usually when you change something you expect immediate results. But the truth is these results take time. You won’t necessarily see immediate results and that can put you off sometimes. Or the results you see are not satisfying enough. So you return to your old habits.
In the meantime you’re missing out the big picture.
For example you’re having restless nights, you keep waking up, having nightmares and then you feel constantly shattered. Then you keep drinking caffeine fuelled drinks all day like coffee, tea, sugary drinks and energy drinks. Then you’re having issues the next night again. So you decide you no longer drink them. First day terrible. First night awful. Second day terrible. Second night a terror. So you go back drinking caffeinated drinks to keep going and you think this doesn’t work.
The truth is you didn’t let your body time for cleansing. After a while your brain is just constantly high. If you don’t drink caffeine for a day or two it will produce withdrawal symptoms and it’s still got stock of caffeine. 3-4 days and your body starts running out of caffeine, you’re brain is getting back to normal functions but it’s still got the imprint of bad behaviour in it so for weeks you’ll keep waking up. You’ll feel shattered. You’ll struggle without caffeine. What you don’t notice on a day to day basis is that you’re slightly less shattered. Your brain is functioning better. If you go caffeine free for a month and then you compare how you felt when you were constantly on caffeine and how you feel now you’ll see the difference. Your sleeping will improve. I don’t say you’ll sleep through the night but it is a first step and you’re night will be less restless. I used to drink 5-8 coffee a day. Then I cut down to one in the morning. And I feel so much better. I sleep better.
It’s the same with food. Or cleaning and tidying. Or just doing anything on a day to day basis.
Take small steps every day. Make small changes every day. And small changes will happen. Small improvements. Or things turn slightly wrong but then you just have to take another direction. If you have a crap day then ask yourself what you’ve done today to make this day better? Have you done anything different to another crap day?
The house where is live is grossly untidy. I hate untidy house. I started developing an OCD on tidying and cleaning. But now I can manage some untidy things. Last Saturday I did nothing. Just reading and sleeping and chilling and hating the house was so untidy. Like it would magically change by me sitting and doing nothing. Magic didn’t happen. I woke up on Sunday and it was still untidy. Did I do anything to change it? No. Was there any point sitting and hating it? No. What I should have done is to grab the hoover and do the job. I did it on Monday eventually. But for 2 days I turned my energy towards hating the current situation instead of using this energy to change things. After hoovering everything immediately felt better. Tidier and more pleasant environment.
When you sit on the couch feeling miserable about your life all you should do is just do something. I know it’s hard. Very hard. Yet you have to make an effort. You know, just a little thing: put the plate in the dishwasher, leave the empty roll of kitchen towel (major task for cleaning and tidying OCD!), make a healthy, freshly prepared sandwich or have a healthy dinner out/or order one, do 5 minutes yoga, put some music on and start shaking your bum. Or just give yourself a hug, you know, arms up and stretched, then arms down and squeeze tight. Repeat if necessary. These are the little changes you have to make every day. Then you can take bigger steps. Slowly things will improve and you can take more and more. There will be days when you don’t feel like that. It’s also fine. But don’t let it sink in you for more than 1-2 days. The third day just do something different.
Easy, right? No, it’s actually not but it’s worth it. Been there, done that, I love curling up in the bed and do nothing but it doesn’t lead anywhere. I want things to change and I’m willing to make changes for them. I have more energy one day than the other but I try and make these changes most of the days. Not much changed since yesterday but a lot has changed compared to last August. Or last November. So keep taking your tiny little steps. Now I’m off to do my running on the elliptical trainer. And then have some good sleep.