The “Depression Monster” or bad days seem to pick the worst times to strike, and often result in a less than productive day. As someone who suffers from depression, I find that I feel even worse at the end of these days because I wasn’t productive. On these days, it can be extremely difficult to get things done but I found that by going through the process outlined, I don’t feel as bad that night. This process can be applied by anyone on a difficult day.

Quick note: If you are suffering from depression or other mental health issues, please seek help from trained medical professionals. 

On most days, I start with a filled-in sheet from the Limelife Planners Hourly Paper Pad that I made the night before. These sheets come in handy when you have a busy day ahead and I like to plan the night before for the upcoming day. Unfortunately on this particular morning, I woke up feeling pretty down. I knew that it would be impossible to complete all the tasks. Instead of ripping up the paper, I went in with my handy Sharpie pen and picked three things from the list. The number of tasks varies depending on the severity of the episode; sometimes I’ll pick one task and on other days, I’ll be able to pick five. 

When picking tasks, I usually choose ones that won’t require too much effort. If you’re having a bad day, choose to do things that won’t require you to drive all over town. Pick tasks that are monotonous like deleting emails, taking out the trash or doing the dishes. Once you’ve decided on the tasks, write them on a separate sheet. This helps to focus on those tasks and prevents guilt from building about the other tasks on the longer to-do list. Throughout the day, I’ll try to accomplish those three tasks.

At the end of the night, I’ll hopefully be able to check off my shorter list. What about the longer list? I’ll get a brand new sheet and plan for the next day optimistically. On these particular nights, I find spending some time journaling helpful. For more details, check out my previous post Write Stress Away, where I outline some different journaling styles and techniques. 

When you are having a bad day, remember to give yourself a break. Allow yourself time to wallow but try not to get consumed by the negative thoughts. Take some time to do something fun, whether that is watching Netflix, journaling, reading or treating yourself to a delectable snack. When you are in the midst of a bad period, it may be hard to implement these strategies, but learning about these techniques on a good day can make it easier to apply against the monster.

This post was written by Sadia Chowdhury for the Limelife Planners Media & Creative Team. For more information about Sadia visit her on Instagram @sadias_ruminations. Please share and repost this blog entry with your friends! All we ask is that you give credit to Limelife Planners and the post author.