When I was hospitalised in July, big emphasis was on structure and routine. Everyday, there was a set program to be followed as part of their 'get well' plan. At first I whimpered, grumbled and protested; I wanted to be left alone in the depths of my despair. However, as my stay lengthened I realised how very important a considered day with planned things 'to do' was.
These 'considered' and 'planned' things weren't world changing, just having a shower or eating breakfast, lunch and/or dinner were achievements that made me feel stronger.
Knowing that I would have a considerable amount of time off from work to recover after my discharge and therefore a lot of 'me' time, I carried forward this idea of structure and routine because, for me, tedium equals rumination and rumination can and often does lead to a downward spiral.
So everyday I plan. I am learning to appreciate my day as blocks of time, morning, afternoon, evening and night. Inside these four chunks of time I know there are four essential things that make me feel human, a shower in the morning, breakfast, lunch in the afternoon and dinner in the evening. Around my four essentials I build in one or two tasks, errands or things to do which might include some self-care, going for a coffee with a friend, reading a book, writing for a blog, a trip to the supermarket, tidying up at home etc. Things, that in my recovery are not hugely overwhelming but are acknowledgeable to me as achievements.
As an extra jolt, every morning I start my day with what's called 'Behavioural Activation'... in other words, and as a very famous sports company put it, a 'just do it' approach to get myself out of bed, push myself to have that shower, to eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and so on and so forth.
Every task throughout my day if it seems a struggle I say internally to myself, 5,4,3,2,1 I've got this...
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