There you go. I’ve gone and overextended myself yesterday (I wrote about it literally two days ago here, sigh, I should probably take my own advice on this stuff). I met not one but two (!) friends, one after another, then I came and wrote a blogpost and while I had a great time, today I’m a bit of a wreck. I hate it when I’m like this, I have no patience for this weepy, weakly creature that occasionally takes over my brain. I have stuff to do. I cannot start crying because showering is difficult. But that’s what it’s going to be like today apparently. I’ve tried to tough it out, I did get up, I did have my shower, I even ate breakfast and set out to tick off some of my to-do tasks. It’s not really going anywhere. I halfheartedly looked through some job offers and applied for a couple of them, then equally halfheartedly started to set up my LinkedIn profile but I gave it up by now. I want to do a good job of it and it’s just not happening today.
***Ok… Literally just as I was writing this sad rant I got a phone call from one of the companies I’ve applied to asking me for a job interview tomorrow, so hey, things are looking up! It’s just an interview but it’s a start.***
Still… It’s on days like today that I can’t help but impossibly wish for some sort of a golden remedy, some panacea that would take it all away – the lack of energy, the weeping, the tiredness and hopelessness, self-doubt and self-loathing, the dark thoughts, the woolly fog inside my head. Some magic pill I could pop that would, overnight, sweep the dusty and spider web covered corners of my mind and leave me shiny and golden, or you know, functional, with no side effects. Yeah, I know, you don’t have to tell me, I know full well it doesn’t work like that. I know there are no easy fixes, not just in dealing with depression, but in life. I know, I know, ok?! I don’t allow myself naive wishful thinking too often, what would be the point of that? Panacea are a dangerous myth; if it cures all, it cures nothing. Instead I try to stay reasonable and assess the situation in front of me.
Situation: I’m physically and mentally tired today and even simple tasks are difficult. My eyes seem to have relocated to a wet spot again. I feel defeated and annoyed with myself.
Reasons: I’ve been depressed, I’m dealing with a massive change in my life, I spent most of yesterday walking and socializing which is tiring to me at the best of times (socializing, not so much walking).
Pros: I got to meet up with two people and spent most of the day outside, I ate nice things, had good conversations and reconnected with friends. That is something I very decidedly want in my life.
Cons: I’m unable to complete all the tasks I’ve set out to do today.
Assessment: I have not given up on the day, I got up, I have attempted to do my tasks, I did manage to send out some CVs, I started doing my profile on LinkedIn. Upon getting the news about the job interview tomorrow I’ve researched the company and prepared.
Conclusions: Today I’m having a low day, I will always have some of these. I did the best I could with the resources available to me, there is no strict time limit on my tasks, I can take the rest of the day off to recover and get to it tomorrow again.
Additional positives: I just got a job interview. If nothing else it is a sign that someone is seeing the CVs I’m sending out, and is willing to meet with me. Whatever the outcome, it’s a positive – it is, at a minimum, a good opportunity to get used to the process again and to practice my responses to such situations.
There, assessment ready. There really isn’t much to be angry or defeated about. I’ll allow myself a little bit of dissatisfaction with my productivity today but otherwise we’re good, my weepy-me. Sometimes “the best I can” is good enough. Now I shall chill with a book or write some sad poems, or maybe go for a walk.
How do you deal with your low days? Ideas, tips and techniques are all very welcome. The most effective for me so far is the 5-minute rule. If I think something is impossible to do, I still try to do it, for 5 minutes at least. If I find enough energy/concentration/strength to continue with it and complete the task, brilliant. If not, I know I at least tried and made a start on it and so I can stop beating myself up about it.