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‘Sup #NeurodiverseSquad this time I want to thread about sliding *into* a funk (if you haven’t read about getting out of a funk that one’s here: ) If you’ve got thoughts, ideas or questions let me know in the replies or DM #stuffupyourlife
The first thing to remember (and it’s hard!!) is that although the things you DO do Influence your mood & ability to function... they aren’t the only factor.
I spent a REALLY long time thinking that *if only* I got everything perfectly balanced and managed things in precisely the right way then everything would chug along perfectly and that if I struggled then it was because I wasn’t trying hard enough or hadn’t perfected the system
So when I felt myself sliding I would frantically try and... live as though that wasn’t true. Or just straight up deny it to myself. I’d TRY HARDER this time and power through by willpower. Or something?
So then by the time I admitted that I wasn’t actually coping... I was in a really bad place. But generally once I did admit that, actually, I’m depressed again! Even though I promised myself I wouldn’t let it happen again! Things got a little easier?
Not that I magically became un-depressed. But the self-judgement and self-criticism and shame was a whole lot of EXTRA badness that was making me feel even worse.
And when I gave up trying to prevent these episodes I found it MUCH easier to notice them beginning. And usually there were signs at least 2 weeks earlier than when things actually got “bad”. Things like I’d just not feel as enthusiastic about certain chores.
But because I was ~*doing so well right now*~ it was surely okay to give myself a break and I’d do it tomorrow!!
Now when I notice that pattern of thinking coming up it isn’t that I give myself a hard time or push myself all the time... but I try and notice and realise “oh even though my mood feels fine right now... maybe I’ll feel worse tomorrow”
When things are going great you can rely on weekends or days off to catch up. But there’s this subtle difference that I have noticed when I start to rely on having those catch-up days... and then they never arrive. So I just try and notice that?
So at that point - when you go outside one day and think “ah! Storm!” - it’s time to look at your STUFF list and shuffle things around.
Sometimes I notice when the sky looks super clear! Sometimes it still takes me until the rain is actually falling. And sometimes it passes quickly and sometimes it’s a doozy but whatever energy I have left before it hits for real is what I can use to prepare.
It’s time to change gears to T: Treading Water. Any chores or responsibilities that can be neglected without snowballing into something worse get deprioritised. Right now the objective is to “make sure things don’t get worse”. To help with that I simplify as much as I can.
Back when my husband first got deployed in our first year of marriage when I was in a new city with no real support network I had a special shopping list for The Bad Times.
I’d order 10 single serve frozen lasagnes. 10 sunrise microwave meal things. Lots of pasta, frozen peas, jars of cream cheese. If I’m sliding I need to have zero tolerance for skipped meals or I get worse very quickly.
These days I have a toddler and thankfully my husband is home right now. So my cupboard and freezer stockups looks a bit different. But I still adjust my meal planning toward cupboard and freezer staples.
I start to put a higher priority on doing fun/relaxing stuff. When things are going great it’s easy to go “when all my chores are done I’ll relax with a book!” But when those chores start to become harder then suddenly there isn’t time for the book.
And then the chores aren’t getting done because they’re too hard and I can’t even face them but I can’t reward myself for that sort of behaviour so instead of reading a book or doing something nice I’ll just spend hours and hours on The Bad Internet.
So a big part of the Treading Water gear for me is making “participate in a leisure activity (gaming, tv, book)” a high priority chore. Because forcing myself to wait until after all the “real” chores are done is just going to lead to a shame spiral.
When going into Treading Water from my Usual Routine I re-assess what I have tagged on my Survival gear list. Because sometimes it’s a long time since I’ve been here! Having a kid changed things a lot for example!
Survival is... the absolute bare minimum. The list of things that I absolutely non-negotiably HAVE to do. Sometimes the funk passes without me ever actually having to switch my list over officially. But it always helps me feel in control to have that there as a plan.
Thoughts? Questions? Experiences? I have half an hour before I need to serve dinner up to my family. DM is open!
Yes absolutely! The reason I really formalised it was because I’d *feel* fine but things weren’t getting done. Skipping meals is a red flag even if I feel totally great!
For me I think it’s stopped mattering TOO much because procrastination and avoidant tendencies are themselves warning signs that A Funk is coming.
If you liked this and want to hear more about STUFF I’d appreciate your support on Patreon patreon.com/stuffupyourlife
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