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Confession time...I'm currently wearing brown nail polish. Honestly, it's more a dark bronze than an actual brown, but no matter.
What matters is the reason why I'm wearing such a dark, difficult-to-ignore nail polish.
My therapist said that I had to paint my nails. (The above picture, which I decided on due to the fact that even my pug nose looks depressed, is pre-nail painting.)
My depression and anxiety (which is much better, thanks for asking) comes with some quirks. One of those is obsessive cuticle biting (think drawing blood), so painted nails it is, just to remind me not to do it.
(For the record, I officially do not have OCD! My doctor had me tested, and she assures me that I am "at-risk" for but not yet at the level of full-blown OCD.
On a related note, I have been advised to stop driving back home to check if the door is locked.
And, yes, my therapist did find the humor in the fact that I am so unlikely to check the oven that the smoke alarms go off three times a week, but my back door must be locked and I will drive home for miles to check the lock.
She laughed. She admitted that it was, in her words, "a little crazy." I'll take that as a compliment! I like her.)
As my Loyal Readers know, I use a journal instead of my planner for therapeutic purposes.
(This helps, too.)
This journal is perfect for self-therapy:
While I don't love talking about this particular health condition, I realize that depression is just as serious as my stroke issues (and the two issues are likely related). I also hope this post - and being as open as possible - will help someone else who is struggling.
Besides, my planner is a big part of my treatment. I talk about my planner all the time (and more people mock you for using a paper day planner than for depression, just for the record), so why not here?
I use my planner in so many ways to handle this crisis.
My calendar and task lists help. Simply knowing what I need to do and when I need to be somewhere helps keep my anxiety levels lower. If the anxiety ramps up, I simply go through the plan, one step at a time.
Allow Saying "No"
I am a people pleaser. It's seriously bad. For a long time, I wouldn't monetize my blog because I was scared readers would leave (even though monetizing doesn't cost my Loyal Readers anything and my content stayed quality).
But being able to check my planner and determine that I truly don't have enough time, or even to see that I haven't had a date night in months, helps me to be more realistic about accepting obligations.
Also, pull out your planner and check it before you say "no," and watch what happens. People respect the "no" when you check your planner first. They assume you must really be too busy! It's like magic.
Remind to Take Medication Daily
In addition to a phone alarm and a pill sorter, my daily checklist includes a check for taking meds.
It's the single most important thing that I do to take care of myself, so I duplicate reminders.
Maintain Control of the Physical Body
I log exercise. I write down eating and sleeping patterns when and if they get troublesome, so I can look for causes. My planner gives me a place to do that. (My journal is different. It is about feelings. My planner records facts.)
My planner gives me a place to organize medical history, prescriptions, and doctors' contact information.
Even if you are perfectly healthy, you won't always be. Having a planner lets anybody be prepared if a health crisis sneaks up.
If you enjoyed this post, consider reading:
Creating Happiness in a Planner
Free Printable for Dealing with Depression or Anxiety
How to Make Mondays Better
Avoiding the Sunday Blues
Crying in Public
Don't these look fun?
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