Depression can be a debilitating illness and it is a condition that can affect one in four people. I, myself struggle with depression and often lose all motivation and struggle to maintain a basic, everyday routine.
For many, they might say what is the point in having a planner during those stages, you’re not doing anything and not motivated to do anything so why bother with a planner. However, I think using a planner during these times can be very useful.
A planner can contain many things, it could be a journal, where you just write how you are feeling, even if that is hopefully lost, alone and deeply unhappy. A planner can become a confidante, someone you can write things that you wouldn’t, or can’t, tell anyone else. I’ve used a planner for this in the past and it can be quite cathartic.
When you feel ready you can start to use a planner for other things, basic tasks, small tasks. Even if it is just to get out of bed, wash your hair and change your clothes. Sometimes in the beginning that is all you can manage and that is completely fine. Over time you can increase the tasks into going out for a walk, or cooking a more complex meal – even just recording what you eat. You can use it to track medical appointments, make notes on meetings you have with the doctor and monitor medication use and possible side effects.
Over time you can start to break larger tasks down into small manageable tasks, such as tackling one aspect of cleaning or part of a project.
You can then begin to use your journal to reflect. How are you feeling today? What made you feel more human? What do you think you can do next week?
It may not seem much in the beginning but setting tasks and completing them, no matter how small can give a sense of accomplishment and that you’re achieving something. Once these build up, you can start to get back into a routine and help you feel a bit better in yourself.
Recently I have found my planner to be a great resource for me when I have been very low.