On of the keys to keeping myself from descending back into the depths of depression, I’ve found, is keeping myself active. Too long just sitting around watching Netflix, reading Facebook and keeping up with the news means I start getting stuck in my head, and while I’m stuck in my head I tend to go into dark places. Obviously, dark places = bad. So, in order to keep away from those dark places, I have to keep myself occupied, either physically, mentally, or emotionally. That last is a problem much of the time, but the other two can be done.
Lately, I’ve been working on cooking. Some of it is just because I see recipes that look really good; what can I say? I like food. Some of it is that if I cook my own food more often, it might be a little more healthy – homemade pizza might not taste the same as delivery, but odds are that it’ll be better for me. But really, it is something I can do to help be more self-sufficient, to have something I can do and share with friends, and something that keeps me busy. It’s not hard labor, but it does keep my mind very much in the present, which is very useful.
Oddly, I’m also working out at the same time, so I can work off all the calories I put on with my own cooking. And it’s certainly not easy, nor should it be; easy exercise isn’t really exercise, for me, anyway. Exercise doesn’t tend to keep my mind occupied, though; when I do go to the gym, usually to ride the stationary bike, I have to bring my tablet and my iPhone to listen to music to make sure I don’t get bored. So I just have to make sure that I do it in relatively short bursts so I don’t wander off-task.
To keep my mind active, I play games that keep my mind in the present – mostly on Facebook these days. I read RPGs, trying to keep the rules straight in my head, even if I don’t get nearly enough chance to play them. I read books on medieval history, or on mental illness and support for those suffering from mental illness. And I write blog posts, because it means I have to keep the language centers of my brain working relatively well. I’ve been told I have an interesting style of writing, which I choose to take as a good thing.
It sounds like a lot, but even with all these things, I still have a lot of time that I seem to spend watching Netflix – that’s part of the reason why I want to get a job, and why I’m glad to have had the job interviews I’ve had over the last week. Having that as a regular part of my schedule will help even more to keep me active, while also helping to keep my schedule a bit more regular. Almost normal, some might say. Keeping all this going keeps me from heading back into depression, and might give me the chance to help others, so it’s all for the good.
Oh, and if you’re interested, today I cooked both deep-dish pizza and pumpkin butterscotch cookies. Well, and I made myself a sammich.