Depression fighting alternatives that don't involve going for a walk

I'm not sure which came first the clutter or the depression, but I do know that they are inextricably linked. The problem is when my depression kicks in daily tasks become challenging. Some days it is enough just to make it to work and home. Thankfully, not every day, but it does happen sometimes that I only have enough energy to come home, scramble some eggs for dinner and lay on the couch. 

It's frustrating because there is so much I want to be doing in my life and in my business, but I've learned that fighting those days is much more exhausting then just embracing my brain's need to check out for the day. 

I've found a few ways to keep the clutter at bay because once the clutter creeps in and becomes chaos then I don't want to do anything because the whole situation is just too overwhelming. 

Doing the #minsgame each month has been extremely helpful (I did take a few months off because of holidays and winter malaise). Clearing out the unnecessary and unwanted items decreases visual clutter and makes room for me to put things in their proper place. 

I've also tried to create 'getting home' systems. My keys, coat and bag go in the same place each day and I don't set the mail on the counter. It either gets taken care of immediately, or more likely it's junk mail and it gets recycled. 

A place for everything and everything in it's place makes it easier to put things away. When there is space for those items I feel capable of emptying the dishwasher and clearing up. If there isn't space and I start to pile things up then it just creates chaos in my cabinets and drawers and I don't feel like putting away the dishes or the laundry. 

It's ok to let things slide for a day or so. Don't beat yourself up if the house doesn't look perfect or guest worthy. That does not help at all when you are having a hard time. 

To summarize:

  • Embrace your version of minimalism. I wrote a post about finding my path to minimalism because it doesn't look the same for everyone. If you do need help decluttering or want to learn more about minimalism then join the Minimalism Challenge Support Group. You'll get the help you need. You can also follow me along on my decluttering adventures on Instagram.
  • Create a landing zone. Mine is tiny because I live in an apartment and I don't have an entryway, but I've still managed to find a place to put my everyday items. 
  • Make sure everything in your home has its own spot. If it doesn't, then you may need to think about getting rid of it! 
  • Wallow for a day. I find if I give myself permission to not have to adult that I usually chill out for a couple of hours and then find the energy to clean up. Sometimes, not always. Depression can be a fickle master. 


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Thoughts on being broken

I've been blogging for awhile now and I went back to my old blog (which was super private and only select people knew about it) and realized that I've been blogging since June of 2006. That's a long time! Re-reading some of those old posts brought back some great memories and also made me see how much I censor myself on this blog. I do try to be open because I want to bring attention to issues like depression and help other people going through it, but my voice was still not completely my own.

Originally when I started blogging Meandering Design did not swear, wasn't very snarky and in general was a very prim and proper lady. Yes, I can be a lady, but I also sometimes swear like a sailor. There is also a fine line between sharing and over sharing. Let me know if I cross it please!

I went to an awesome event last Tuesday night called Idea Potluck.  I've been going to Idea Potluck for a year now and every time I walk away feeling energized, inspired and amazed. There is always a great mix of speakers including improvers, storytellers, musicians and some every day folks telling their own narrative. 

One speaker in particular really touched me with her story. Maria spoke about her father leaving her family when she was 17. I'm not going to be able to quote her properly but something she said about being broken in relation to having someone in her life today was a huge aha moment for me. 

My biological father left when I was 3 or 4. Looking at pictures of that little girl I don't understand how anyone could walk away. 

While I've done a lot of intensive therapy around some of the other trauma in my life- this is something I never really acknowledged. It's funny because sometimes I'll joke about abandonment issues. Once a boyfriend was late picking me up and I was practically hysterical because I thought he'd left me. 

I jumped back into the dating world a couple of months ago and it has sent me into a tailspin of anxiety and uncertainty. I generally think of myself as pretty confident and self-assured but I've been the exact opposite of that lately. It also didn't help that I was feeling sexually harassed online.  

Hearing Marie speak made me realize that I've never dealt with my father leaving. I called a really close friend who went through therapy with me and she confirmed we never really talked about this. Plus I keep expecting men to walk away. Hey guess what- that's what keeps happening because I keep picking men who will walk away. 

This hurts. This old gaping wound from my childhood. I know that I'll get past this. I know that I'll find a way to reassure that little girl that not everyone is going to fail her. I also know it's going to take time and probably quite a few tears. 

Thanks for going on this journey with me. 

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Thoughts on dating, vitamin d and being an introvert

A little over a month ago I decided it was time to start dating. So one whiskey infused evening I posted my profile on OKCupid. I am a relative dating novice. Most of my adult life was spent in relationships and so thankfully my friends have been extremely helpful while I try to navigate the dating world. 

I had a coffee date with a gentleman and, along with a case of nerves, I felt those hopeful little butterflies. He would text and call occasionally but he never invited me out on a date. In fact after coffee I pretty much thought he wasn't interested.  He left town for the holidays and called when he got back. I invited him to a dinner party at my house and he said he had other plans but he would stop by. He sent me a text the next day saying sorry and I responded with 'no worries'. 

That would be when my friend Kristin stepped in and reminded me that I would never let a friend treat me that way. I deserve way more respect and she was right. I've been viewing myself through a distorted lens and thinking that I was too difficult and way too independent. I've been trying to be easy going to the point where I was becoming a door mat. 

I do deserve someone who respects me enough to show up when they say they are going to and to show up on time. I'm not difficult, but what I am is smart, sarcastic, driven and adventurous. There is going to be someone out there who will appreciate those traits. 

Along with dating anxiety I've been feeling a bit run down for the last couple of weeks for two reasons. The first is simply because I forgot to take my vitamins, which causes big problems  for me because I run out of vitamin d pretty quickly. 

My vitamin d deficiency symptoms mimic depression, which can be confusing. Especially since life has been full of so many fabulous things lately. If I could I would be mainlining vitamin d (which would basically be like streaming sunshine into your veins), but since I can't I'll just take my vitamins. 

Another reason I wore myself to a nub is because I've been spending time with people. People are great, but I haven't had any down time. When I don't have my alone time I start to get anxious, I want to push people away, I nap at the drop of a hat and I want to curl up into a little ball and never come out. 

I need to be better at putting down time on my calendar. I'm not very pleasant company when I haven't had some time alone because basically I want you to go away. 

To recap I am going to expect a man to respect me, take my vitamins and hibernate a little more. 

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