During times of high anxiety it’s easy to let little household tasks go undone when we feel overloaded, and when the anxiety slips into depression for some folks, those things just keep piling up until it feels too big to tackle.
As someone who has battled with high anxiety for most of my life, and with depression for some of it, I learned the value of doing the little things.
I called it going into auto-pilot mode, and found I felt better about myself (sooo much less negative self talk)!
Here’s some of the little tasks I do which helps me to feel I can a) tackle my day and b) gives me a sense of accomplishment from the get-go:
- Making the bed each morning: I pull back the bed covers and sheet so the bed can air out while I’m in the bathroom brushing teeth and showering, etc. When I’m done in the bathroom I make the bed, then I have a nice place to lay out my clothes for the day!
- Brushing teeth: when I wake up to get rid of dragon-breath and to help me face my day! Brush teeth after each meal really helps me to feel I’m taking care of myself!
- Brush hair: this may seem like a no-brainer when going out to work, but truthfully, are you doing it while home-bound? Again this helps a person to feel human!
- Get dressed! Just the act of changing into day clothes helps start the day feeling more prepared! When working at home I wear my comfy clothes, but I make sure they’re clean!
- Do laundry! I don’t have a washing machine so I hand wash clothes in the sink: fill 2/3 with hot water, add a cap of laundry soap (only about a tablespoon or two), let soak until water cools down, squeeze and agitate clothes in water, drain, rinse 3 times, squeeze out a lot of the water, drape onto clothes hangers, hang in shower area to drip off, hang clothes hangers on shower rod to completely dry.
- Fold and put away laundry when dry. I’ve learned to fold the Marie Kondo way, the clothes fit into drawers so much better, and the mindful practice of folding is very relaxing! (No I won’t come over and fold your laundry! LOL!)
- Wash dishes after each meal. I leave mine in the dish rack to dry off, then I put them away before I start washing the next load! Putting them away is important so the don’t stack up like the leaning tower of Pisa, then crash to the floor… that will take more work to clean up!
- Put things away after using… except for art supplies – those stay out all the time… in the living room, on my sofa! Don’t worry, I’ve got my easel right beside it, so they’re getting used!
- Get outside/open the windows for fresh air! Stale air leads us into stinking thinking, which results in everything stinking!
- Get some exercise, get the blood flowing! Each time you get up to go to the bathroom or kitchen, do 5 of something, even if it’s touching (or trying to) touch your toes! Getting outside for a walk in nature is even better!
- Keep in communication with people!
Mindful things I do to help my mind and spirit:
- Pray: Whether you go to church, temple or out in nature, prayers are a universal energy! I pray prayers of thankfulness, for myself, for my family and loved ones, for the world!
- Keep mindful about feeling grateful for all that is going well, for all the wonderful people helping us!
- Keep on the look-out for how I can help someone, even if it is virtual… for that’s all we can do sometimes!
- Keep a kind heart… it’s easy to slide into critical, and complaining mode, but the stress chemicals that creates in our bodies seriously weakens the immune system, while feeling hopeful, positive, confident in faith, kind, gentle, helps us to produce more endorphins, which in turn helps boost our immune systems!
These are a few things I do to keep my sanity and to help me feel there’s a continuity to life!
What are some things you do which help you feel like a sane human?
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Challenge: When a negative thought enters your mind, think three positive ones. Train yourself to flip the script!
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