As Winter approaches, so does my yearly cycle of worsened depression. With this depression comes the depression piles and a depression mess and I’m so over them. I am very familiar with depression messes and depression cleaning. Today, I’m sharing some of the things that I do in order to minimize the depression messes as much as possible.
This year is a bit different because I’ve finally taken steps to better manage my depression and anxiety. I joined Cerebral which gives me a counselor and a prescribing doctor who manages medication so that I can better battle depression and anxiety.
In the past few weeks since starting my medication I’ve noticed a world of difference in my ability to do the things that I should be doing. I’m also a lot easier on myself. If I don’t get around to cleaning a certain area of my home, I don’t beat myself up for it like I used to.
Cerebral is affordable and I plan on writing a full review in the coming weeks of my entire experience with Cerebral, so keep a look out for that.
For those who aren’t familiar in the mental health community we have a few terms that we use to better understand some of the behaviors we exhibit. With depression, anxiety, and ADHD we often deal with something called executive dysfunction.
This means we often have a hard time deciding what tasks we should do first and it often leaves us feeling paralyzed and unable to complete any of them. To a neurotypical person this may seem silly or lazy. It’s not, it’s just the way our brain functions.
This means that while we might be able to go through our daily lives, messes – big and small – end up in our surroundings. These can be as small as piles of mail or papers that need to be organized and disposed of. Or it could be piles of laundry, a messy bathroom, and a messy kitchen.
Depression messes are no joke and those of us who deal with executive dysfunction and depression often feel more isolated because we just can’t seem to get it together. Here’s the thing, we understand each other, the messes, and we are there for each other.
Not a single one of us is alone in this, we all have each other. We support, motivate, and are proud of each other when we get through our depression cleaning. We get it and there is a large community of us spread out over most social media networks.
Because of this, I wanted to share some of the things I did that helped me minimize my depression messes for anyone who may need it. Again, this helped me, it may or may not work for you.
Pick 1 Thing Each Day
Every person who deals with depression can tell you, depression doesn’t always look like staying in bed for weeks on end. Sometimes it’s going to work and doing the out of house chores but being unable to do the chores inside the house.
The way I battled this was by picking one thing every single day that absolutely had to get done just like work or grocery shopping. In my brain I made this one thing a life sustaining responsibility that had to get done.
It was usually something to do with the kitchen or laundry, though sometimes it was vacuuming or cleaning the living room. Just having this one must do task usually kept my home from becoming just too much to handle while allowing that one task to not overwhelm me.
If The Mood Strikes Go With It
I find it’s much easier for me to just work with my moods and motivations. For instance, if I wake up in the morning and I’m just motivated to clean my house I go with it until the motivation goes away.
This works for more than just cleaning. Going with what your brain actually wants to do is a great way to get some extra good feelings that can help you break through some of your depression.
We know that depression isn’t something that just goes away but we have good days and bad days. Doing anything that helps us have more good days is important.
On days that I needed a bit of extra motivation there were a couple of different ways I accomplished that.
My biggest motivation was watching real life cleaning channels on YouTube. My favorite is Becky Moss. Videos like hers that show a real life mess and her cleaning it really helped me to find the motivation to clean my own home.
Turning on motivating music also helped a lot. Whatever would help me to keep moving and stay motivated. Something I really like listening to is instrumental soundtrack music. It provides just enough background noise to keep you moving without being distracting.
Another motivation and if I could afford it was saying if I clean these things I can treat myself to take out for dinner.
Tackle That Depression Pile Once A Week
Every week I tackle my depression pile. My depression pile is mail. It’s junk mail, bills, and ads that I just put on my desk to look at later. Every week I sit down and tackle that one pile and it helps me to keep my desk clean so I can continue to get my work done.
Whatever your main depression pile is set one day a week to clean that up. Doing this one thing once a week is going to help you break through the neuro-normative guilt that we all feel when we just can’t seem to break through our depression.
Keep a Journal of Your Cleaning
Every time you clean something, take a few minutes to write down what you did and how it made you feel when it was done. Acknowledging your accomplishment is key to helping you stay on top of your tasks.
Furthermore, if you aren’t feeling particularly motivated to tackle your one task a day, or your weekly depression pile, read a few entries and remember how it made you feel to accomplish these things.
Depression often leaves us chasing dopamine and serotonin hits. Remembering how we felt can help to motivate you to complete a task again.
Put Garbage Cans In Every Room
I don’t have garbage cans in every room however I do keep plastic bags in each room in order to have an easy place to collect garbage easily. This helps to keep my home a bit more sanitary even when I’m struggling heavily to keep my home clean.
Go Easy On Yourself
Remember to go easy on yourself. Do not hold yourself up to neurotypical standards when you aren’t neurotypical. Hold yourself up to your own standards, beat your personal best, but don’t compare yourself to others.
The smallest accomplishments are still accomplishments and you deserve to celebrate them no matter how small or how big. Embrace the joy, relief, and all the good feelings you can when you get through something you didn’t think you would ever be able to.
If you are coming out of a particularly bad depressive episode and you are getting ready to clean up your depression mess, know that I 100% support you in this. You have a lot of people who are supporting you, who understand what this is like, and who are on your side with it.
You are not alone and there’s loads of us out there who have faced this battle too. You will get through this, you can do it, and you are going to be just fine.
Do you have any depression cleaning tips? Leave them in the comments below. Follow us on Pinterest for more like this and pin this to your favorite cleaning boards.