Last week was a weird week for me. I found myself in a funk, struggling to get out of bed, with little motivation to do anything, and not as friendly as I typically like to be. I felt depressed again. It hit me out of nowhere. I was in a bad mood more often than not and just wanted to give up. I guess that is one of the worst parts of depression. It can hit you out of nowhere when everything seems to be going very well.
After some reflection, I realized that I had gotten away from setting intentional time to do my journaling. I had fallen out of the habit of doing it daily. I’m not saying that this is what caused me to get into the funk, to begin with, but once I noticed it and corrected it, I started feeling better. I have two different journals that I use. One is my “jack of all trades journal.” I do my daily journaling in it and write down notes, lists, and writing exercises.
The other journal that I write in is my nightly notes journal. It is a guided nightly journal that has you list one good and bad thing that happened throughout the day and what you are thankful for, what your thoughts were, and what your dreams are. In addition, it has a section in which you write what you want or need to do the following day. This is the journal that I had really been neglecting. Getting away from this one had a much more significant impact on my mental state than I possibly could have imagined. Writing down what you are thankful for each day is very therapeutic. Writing down your dreams is a daily reminder of why you do what you do. Writing down what you need to accomplish the next day helps you stay motivated and on course.
Essentially, getting away from this made me fall off track in all of these regards. I didn’t even notice it. The wild thing is that completing these prompts each night takes no more than ten minutes. Setting aside that ten minutes each night apparently profoundly impacts my mental state.
To be clear, I’m not saying journaling cured my depression. Far from it. It can rear its ugly head at any given moment. I am saying that this helped me get out of the depressed funk I was in last week. I did a complete analysis of what had changed, addressed it, and fixed the problem. I suspect that I’ll deal with depressive states for my entire life. But the flip side of the depressive state is how happy and joyous I can be. If I can manage the lows and enjoy the highs, I think I’ll be alright in the long run. My advice to anyone who is really struggling with their depression, first and foremost, is to get some help. I’ve been searching for a therapist but have yet to find one. The sooner I do, the better. Secondly, I believe that self-care is the next most important thing. Exercising, journaling, reading, limiting screen time, and spending time with people you love. It should go without saying, but do something you love doing. For me, that is playing soccer and riding my bike.
I hope everyone reading this has a beautiful day; thank you for reading today’s blog.