Day 30: I’ll do Anything to beat depression

Yesterday’s successes include, in no particular order:

  • Going for a walk in the (very rare for this time of year) sunshine
  • Booking a weekend getaway for myself
  • Being productive and enjoying a meeting
  • Laughing and having a good time at a department lunch
  • Re-folding clothes using my new folding board
  • Reading a book instead of watching TV
  • Getting to bed on time

These are self-care successes. I may not have a big project I’m actively working on right now, but I’m not bothered by Nothing when I keep myself busy doing Anything. (Day 28: The Nothing, Day 29: Fight Nothing with Anything)

It’s common, I’m sure, to fight depression with activity. Keeping busy staves off the Nothing.

I’m now pretty sure the Nothing was starting to creep in because I spent a few days in it’s company. I used to enjoy time at home with Nothing, but Nothing, I now realize, is a dangerous companion. Nothing is a toxic friend. Nothing brings out the worst in me rather than encouraging me to move forward and be my best self.

Anything, on the other hand, tells me I’m capable. It is a cheerleader standing in the corner silently beaming with praise. Anything tells me Anything is possible. I can do Anything. Anything is good for me.

Avoiding the Nothing by doing Anything really just means avoiding inactivity.

I’ve now learned of myself that watching TV is Nothing while reading is Anything. There’s a huge difference in how these activities impact me. Watching TV is a depression trigger. If I sit doing Nothing, waiting to be entertained, I wind up unsettled.

Minimizing screen time is a key I can use to help keep the Nothing locked away.

This means leaving the phone in the other room so I’m not tempted to get lost in it’s screen. It means reading a book — a real, actual book, not an e-book — instead of watching TV or a movie.

It also means moving around more, and although I’ve said it before I seem to have forgotten it once again: Movement doesn’t have to mean a workout. For example, pacing my home while listening to an audiobook is movement. Doing chores is movement.

Movement can be Anything and movement is Anything. Movement, no matter what form it takes, will never be Nothing.

I’m making some important realizations. I’m recognizing some things that trigger the Nothing and working out how to avoid them.

Basically, I’m realizing Anything works.

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