Feb 20, 2014

Just another 30-Minute Day

Depression sucks.  There I said it.   I have struggled with depression on and off for more than 20 years.   This year is an "on" year. 

It doesn't have to rule me.  It doesn't have to destroy my confidence, or my effectiveness.

Some days I only make it through the day because I live 30 minutes at a time.  When I look in my calendar and I "get the big picture", I begin to feel overwhelmed and want to hide under the covers until it's over.   If I focus on the next 30 minutes, I begin to feel like I can do anything at all.

If my kids are driving me crazy with their fighting or whining or kid-like behavior, I focus on making it through the next 30 minutes. Maybe I plan to spend 15 with my daughter and 15 with my son.  Time goes by, the kids get the attention they crave, and I can feel like I accomplished something, even if it was sitting really close to my 10 year old on the couch while he tells me all about the youtube video he watched at school.

If my house is a huge disaster, I am frequently paralyzed by the enormity of what I need to do (I could spend hours in this paralyzed state).  If I focus on doing just one or two things in the next 30 minutes, I realize I can clean the whole house that way, just half-hour by half-hour.  In 30 minutes I could have my living room totally picked up and vacuumed.  In another 30 minutes I could have the kids' bathroom counter and sinks sprayed and wiped down, and their toilet clean.  Add just one more 30 minute block and I could have the kitchen clean. 

If I am having a really hard day, sometimes I just do one 30 minute block and then I "reward" myself with 15-30 minutes of reading or Facebook, and then I do another 30 minute block. 

My writing has suffered since my depression has reared it's ugly head once more.  I went from writing 4-5 times a week to maybe 1-2 times a month.   I tried to explain it away with a dozen different excuses, but in the end the reality of my "situation" couldn't be denied.

Almost anything you procrastinate doing can be done in 30-minute-increments.   Bible study. Writing.  Cleaning.  Exercise. Reaching out to a friend with a phone call or a texted conversation.  Laundry.  Dishes.  Yard-work.  Organizing a drawer. You name it, you can do it (or some of it) in just 30 minutes.  

The 30 minute rule also is great if you struggle with focus.  Set the timer and ONLY do ONE thing for that 30 minute time, don't allow yourself to even leave the room to "drop off" items in the next room.  Make a pile by the door and only "deliver" after the 30 minutes is over.

If you are in a post-Christmas funk or you live in the haze of depression or anxiety every day, I encourage you to take life in smaller chunks... it just might make the difference!

Do you ever feel "stuck" because of depression or just the stress of life?  How do you cope? 



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2 comments:

  1. I have been struggling with depression the past couple of months. My writing and tanked. I think that depression snuffs out the light of our creativity. There is just no more spark to do what we used to love. For a while, i felt accomplished if I could do just ONE thing today before I curl up on the couch. It's getting better, but it is a tough demon to fight. Hang in there.

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  2. It really does snuff out creativity! You hang in there too. You are not alone in your fight! Thanks for the affirmation that I am not the only one!

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