I struggle from time to time with depression. Not clinical depression. It doesn’t prostrate me, and usually doesn’t last long. But when it takes me my discipline flags and I find it difficult to get things done.
I am a morning person, and generally feel more energetic and productive in the morning. So I try to schedule my “brain work” in the morning and more mundane tasks in the evening.
But lately I’ve struggled with that routine. The morning goes by and I find I’ve got nothing “done,” even though I’ve been working. Maybe I’m trying to do research for a post, or summarize a book, prep work that takes more time than a morning will allow.
If several days go by without making a post (and lately there have been many), I have a growing sense of anxiety and disgust with my lack of productivity. Moreover there is little I can point to by way of evidence to my wife that I have been working. If the days of depression drag on long enough, they can put me in bed.
I’m a stay-at-home dad, so I have a number of mundane tasks around the house that I am responsible for. When the black dog takes me, if I can keep myself moving by doing these more mundane tasks, then the accomplishment of them begins to shore up my self-esteem. I grow confident again that I can in fact get things done. And my wife has evidence that I have in fact been working, and not just staring at the television or talking with friends.
This week I am making an experiment with my routine and scheduling the housework in the morning. By noon I should be done, and have the rest of the afternoon to work on the blog, confident that I have already got my housework done.
How do you fight through your depression?