Why you need an emotional recovery plan
Living with mental health issues is like riding a rollercoaster. There are ups, downs, twists, turns and even the occasional loop the loop! It’s in those moments when your life feels like it’s turned upside down that you need an emotional recovery plan.
Sometimes there’s no warning depression isn’t just a state of mind its also a physical disorder, and it can take you down anytime anywhere. We have those defunct neurotransmitters to thank for that!
If you stop and think about it, you’ll probably notice a pattern in your behaviour. There are times in life your depression and anxiety are worse than others.
Generally, those times are when things start to get busy, repetitive and overwhelming. You begin to feel mentally, emotionally and physically drained.
The trick is to recognise your risk and then be willing to change something. You can’t fix what’s out of whack in your life if you don’t face the issue.
As the saying goes, by failing to prepare you are preparing to fail. You need an emotional recovery plan in order to do things differently and challenge your automatic responses.
Common signs you’re slipping into a depressive state
- Feeling overly tired all the time
- Headaches, neck pain and muscle soreness
- Being angry all the time and easily irritated
- Depending on food, pills or alcohol more often, to make you feel better
- Thinking nothing you do is good enough or goes unappreciated
- Being run down and catching colds and other bugs
- Feeling detached from friends and family
- Negativity takes over and not being able to see the good in things
Your emotional recovery plan will look different to somebody else’s
When it comes to depression and anxiety, there’s no, one size fits all, Its a very personal experience for everyone. It could be that you’ve tried the “usual” tactics and had no joy.
I think the best place to start with mapping out your emotional recovery plan is by looking at what’s not working! Once you know what’s not working, you can figure out why.
People have probably told you to do these things
- Go on holiday – The problem with depression is it has no preference where you are or what you’re doing it will get you anyway. Holidays can be relaxing, but more often than not you take your problems with you. Going on holiday moves the issue to a different location, and that’s an expensive way not to feel better!
- Reduce your schedule – That’s all well and good if you can but what if you can’t, what if there are things you can’t just choose not to do? Anybody here have a life and kids? Yea me too! Your emotional recovery plan has to be something you can easily slot into your daily routine.
- Multi-task to get everything done – While this might seem like a good idea multitasking is actually counterproductive. Most of the time when I try to do too many things at once I end up in a worse state of anxiety that before. It’s easy to become overwhelmed when you try to do it all and end up having a meltdown because, in reality, you get nothing done well or even at all.
Helpful ways to prevent emotional collapse
- Get plenty of physical rest
- Prioritise your priorities
- Practice self-care regularly- See this list for ideas!
- Value silence and time alone
- Have a creative outlet
- Surround yourself with things that bring your joy
Your emotional recovery plan
If you’re in the midst of a depressive state right now or you want to feel prepared for next time (there’s no optimism when it comes to longterm mental health issues!) here’s how to create your plan.
- Identify areas of your life that are most like to cause you to become depressed or anxious. Such as the tidiness/cleanliness of your home, Too much to do too little time, your finances or the kids behavioural problems.
- Brainstorm some ways you can reduce the impact of those things and what you can do to take charge and change things.
- Develop a work | rest ratio. Plan your time effectively. I like to use the Pomodoro Technique, if you haven’t heard of it, check it out here it really works. (When you do some research you’ll see it talks in a business fashion. However, I use it to get through my daily chores as well, and it works brilliantly!)
- Plan at least three self-care activities into your week
- Fill in your self-care star for when you need some help – Find it in the toolbox
- You’ll find some more simple tips to help you overcome depression and anxiety here.
By creating your own personal emotional recovery plan you will be armed with some powerful tools that will help you reconnect with life. The next time you’re feeling low, and your bed seems like it’s becoming a viable option for the rest of the day (or week!) grab your plan and get to work, I guarantee you’ll feel better for it!
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