“Sorry, WHAT? I’m struggling with my mood and you’re wanting me to even consider this list?!”
Yes, I am. I can’t deny it will be hard. But living with no energy, no concentration, no motivation, negative thoughts, isolating yourself and doing less is harder still, brutal even.
Start small. I really mean this. Small amounts of each of these things is better than none. Enjoyment can be having a hot cup of tea, relaxation can be focusing on your breath for 1 minute, achievement may be having a shower, exercise can be a ten minute walk and contact with others could start with a simple text message.
Don’t fall into the trap of setting yourself up to fail! You are already beating yourself up, and setting yourself bigger tasks which are unachievable TODAY is only going to make you feel worse. Just do not do it. Set realistic goals. That is what you are aiming for;, that may be a shower today, getting dressed tomorrow. Whatever fits for yourself. Set it as a goal and tick it off once achieved.
Choose activities and people important to you. Choose the ones with positive meanings or purpose. Consider rest periods even for a small task. Rest periods are key. You have to build yourself up slowly.
The 5 minute rule…. Commit to the activity for just 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, you can make a choice to stop or continue. You never know, you may find you actually want to continue. One positive every single day, no matter how small. Recognise one positive per day, relate it to a quality it shows about you. I brushed my hair today, it shows I care about my appearance. Reward yourself when you are doing well. Remember to pace yourself. Do more of what works, what helps! Do less of what doesn’t. Yes, give yourself a treat, a mental note, a physical item. Just reward yourself (I am sure you are quick to beat yourself up, so be even quicker to reward yourself).
Write down your thoughts and feelings. Use a journal, scrap of paper, notes section on your phone or an app. This can be very difficult, particularly if you are experiencing strong negative thoughts. However, writing them down allows them to be somewhere else instead of inside your head.
If you feel up to it, look at these from a different perspective. If this was a friend or close loved one, what advice would you give to them? Thoughts lie. You will hear me repeat this a lot. But they do. We cannot simply just believe everything we think. Challenge your thoughts.