I met with my counselor last weekend and he reminded me of all the things we've talked about in the last year, things I should be doing regularly to increase my chances of staying depression-free. But I get complacent and stop doing them. So I've created a schedule and put it on my refrigerator to remind me daily. I need to be moving my body, challenging my mind, and focusing on taking better care of myself EVERY DAY. So...
What I'm Reading
Fiction: Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas (James Patterson)
Non-Fiction: The Catholic Guide to Depression (Aaron Kheriaty, MD) How the Saints, the Sacraments, and Psychiatry Can Help You Break Its Grip and Find Happiness Again
Bible: The New Testament from the Gospel of Matthew to Revelation.
I've read Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas before, but it was years ago. It's an easy read and a sweet story. As for the non-fiction... I have SEVERAL books that I've purchased in the last year or so and haven't taken the time to read them. Now the time is scheduled on my calendar. I'm also reading three chapters of the New Testament each day between now and the end of the calendar year. I should be able to finish it by then. Then I'll start on the Old Testament. That'll take me a whole year!
How I'm Moving
Workout - Les Mills Combat 60-day schedule
Walking - three times per week
I love Les Mills Combat. It's all punching and kicking. Just over and over again, punching and kicking. It makes me feel powerful. But walking is probably the best workout for me right now as I'm so out of shape. So three times a week, I'm going to get a significant walk in, at least two miles.
There are other things I've scheduled just because I've been slacking on doing them and it's affecting me negatively.
- My journal - I want to journal daily, just vent the good and bad so I can mentally and emotionally move on.
- A clean, organized, comfortable environment - I want to spend 15 - 30 minutes each day focusing on one room in my home, just to maintain a healthy environment without having to spend my entire weekend cleaning.
- A Budget - I want to get back to a strict budget. I read Dave Ramsey's "The Total Money Makeover" last December and want to get back to his suggestions for saving money and getting out of debt.
- Writing - I want to write more often. I used to write all the time, whether it was just a blog entry or the next chapter in my latest novel. I miss the writing process and want to spend time on that again. It'll be mentally challenging as well as creative.
I just want to be a better version of myself. I want to follow my counselor's suggestions to focus on more positive things, healthier things. And by doing these things -- moving my body, challenging my mind, and focusing on taking better care of myself -- I'll have a much better chance of fighting off depression before it takes over my life. And if I do happen to slip into a depression, I'll have several positive options for distracting my mind.
That's my plan. And I started yesterday. (I usually wait until the first of something to start anything new.) Yesterday, I successfully read three chapters of the Gospel of Matthew, read The Catholic Guide to Depression for 30 minutes, straightened my bedroom, and did Combat 30 (which kicked my butt). Today, I'll take a walk after work, balance my budget, read three more chapters of the Gospel of Matthew, do the laundry, and get a Les Mills Combat workout in... all before having dinner with the girls tonight. It's all good!
Now my next challenge is sticking with the plan even when I don't feel like it.