Grief, Depression & Sharing the Tools I Need Daily: #1 ~ Calendars, Goals and Lists
In the past three years I've really struggled with staying focused and achieving goals. The past 8 months, when depression reared its ugly head, have been the most difficult. The only goals I seemed to be able to accomplish were the ones that were necessary--feed and clothe my family and keep the house semi-clean. Beyond that? The couch was my closest friend. Books and movies kept my mind off the pain. There were spurts of energy where I dove into the distraction the wool business could provide, but my heart wasn't in it.
This past February I was finally able to get some help beyond the "you know what you need to do" platitudes I heard far too often (sometimes you need tools, not just words shared and then dismissed, right?) and slowly I'm crawling out of the muck and mire, but it's a slippery slope.
As I'm crawling out of the muck and mire, I've been struggling with this feeling that I should share some of these tools here on the blog. I can't be the only one who needs these tools. I struggle with sharing them because there are many people who have never experienced grief or debilitating depression and the silent judgement is often deafening...yes, we notice it. I'm a people pleaser and some of the tools that have been life changing for me, will not please everyone. I struggle with that. A lot. Yet, these are tools I wish I would have had a long time ago. So, I'm going to work at sharing these with you. One at a time.
The first one is a pretty safe one 😉: Create a calendar with goals. Some people like to use the calendar on their phone. Me? I'm old school. I like to write it all out.
Every Sunday I try to sit down and map out what I know about the week already and then each day I add what I need to add. Some days all I can handle is the Daily Cleaning. That's okay, I'm learning.
I don't enjoy cleaning the house all in one day, so I divide it up to do a bit each day (and yes, I skip some of the items--a lot--let's be real). Laundry is the same. One or two loads a day and there's rarely a huge pile.
Having things written down is the only way they will get done. If I try to remember what I was planning on doing, 90% of the time I won't remember, unless it's written down.
Completing my goals for the day is giving me a purpose beyond losing myself in feel good Hallmark movies and feel good Amish novels (the only drama I want to handle 😬). I've also been reading with students in Olivia's class twice a week. This too gives me a chance to get out and do something beyond my little world.
Do you have a helpful tool that helps you stay focused and reach daily goals? I'd love to hear about it.