Death by paper cuts
There are certain things that kill me every single time without fail. There are certain little things that snowball into an avalanche of slacking and weeks if not months of depression. But before I retreat into weeks and weeks of nothingness there is always a pattern of beliefs and habits that lead me to this place. Let's talk about how I get there and how I get out.
Not showering. Let's just get this one out of the way so you can judge and move on. I do shower but when things get gloomy I skip once then twice. So yeah that's important and as important as changing your clothes. Gross I know. But it's so easy to wear sweats or yoga pants everyday without switching it up. I try to wear jeans but they usually come off at 6pm so wear whatever you're comfortable in but also what makes you more productive.
Sleeping well into the pm. I know quarantine has pushed back all our wake up times and I have to admit I wasn't much of an early riser before the pandemic hit but when it hit I found myself waking up really really late. Like whatever you're thinking but add 4 more hours. Yeah it was that bad. I know things are going to go downhill just by looking at my sleep patterns. Now I don't put too much pressure on kicking this habits and waking up at 5am but simply just waking up in the ams and hopefully being able to sleep in the pm.
A messy room and unfolded laundry is always a red flag and my sister knows this about me now and shames me. Just know that there is A LOT of clothes you can fit on a queen sized bed before you have to deal with it...
Opening curtains in the morning and now I sleep with blinds a third open to be more spatially aware of the time and to not wake up in complete darkness which doesn't better my mental health.
Caffeine dependence. I like coffee and love tea and I used to restrict how much coffee I had because I thought I should but now a days I just track when I have coffee and how I'm feeling. Coffee doesn't influence my mood but my mood influences how much coffee I drink. For example, I usually drink a cup a week but when I'm stressed out I'll have coffee everyday or twice a day now.
Finally, being aware of my thoughts. Unconscious thoughts are the little snowflakes that manifests everything that I listed above. And it's hard to keep track of everything we think about without practice. Meditation is good in slowing down and filtering our thoughts. Positive affirmations are good to rewire negative thinking patterns and vows of silence help to process everything going on internally and not engage with everything being thrown at us (other peoples energy, demands and opinions). This is part of my daily practice to better communication with others as well as with myself. If we're all stuck here together we might as well learn to get along (with our thoughts).
So yeah these are red flags that pop out when depressive episodes want to make their debut. I am getting better at knowing the signs of what lies ahead and not sinking with the ship. For every bad habit I have, I try to buffer it with a positive habit that helps my mental health. Like sitting in the living room when I'm feeling anxious instead of in my room. Taking a walk before the sun sets instead of waking up late and only having a couple hours of daylight. These are little little things but these little harmless and mindless actions and thoughts are what causes that "unexpected" breakdown. It's important for you to take time and write down your bad habits that hinder you and actions to undo them. "Death by paper cuts". Little things build up over time. Deal with them
Here is a couple songs that inspired this post:
get well soon by Ari
Daylight by Taylor Swift
Death by a thousand cuts by Taylor Swift