Depression makes it hard to consistently practice good habits. It kills your motivation and can wreck your self esteem, so it often makes it difficult to care enough about your well-being to take care of yourself. It can be a constant struggle. So when my therapist suggested I commit to a positive activity everyday for thirty days, I immediately felt discouraged and negative about the whole thing.
My inner dialogue is an unrelenting bully and does an incredible job of convincing me that I wouldn’t be able to stick with anything new for 30 days. Even though I successfully wrote something positive about myself for 30 days in a row last year, so I knew I was capable, it still didn’t stop that immediate routine of finding reasons not to.
I struggled and procrastinated to find this positive thing for a couple weeks. Making excuses that didn’t feel like excuses, but in retrospect it was fairly obvious.
Yoga, Pilates, walking, meditation, numerous Android apps, mindfulness, and gratitude lists all came and went in two, sometimes three, day bursts, but nothing stuck. I knew I had to be realistic and find something I would actually do. Committing myself to something that is unfeasible would be counter intuitive. It would have to be easy, accessible, and not time sensitive.
Enter Daylio. Its super simple, cute, quick and it collects helpful statistics.
The idea of Daylio is simple. You tap a mood emoji that sums up your day. That alone is helpful to track patterns, peaks and valleys. You can also tap pre-made activities or add your own. I started to really get in to being more specific and adding more activities the longer I used it.
Tracking what you did on a day you logged as good versus a day when you logged a not so great day, it becomes apparent how your activities affect your mood. I found I had better days when I recorded good meal, gaming, working, writing and sexy stuff. Which, other than the obvious mood boost from the sexy stuff, the rest means I record feeling better about the day in general if I feel like I have been productive. This has been a great tracking tool to increase my self-awareness.
I fell in love with the app immediately. It’s pretty customizable if you purchase the pro version, and my partner made a bet with me that if I could stick with it for 30 days I could upgrade. I wanted that pink theme and I wanted it bad.
Starting in August, I began to take advantage of the Note feature and list three positive things about the day. I am already on the app and it takes just a few more minutes to add a little extra magical fairy dust to counter my depression. I’ve been doing that for 33 days at the time of this post! I am taking these small steps to build healthy habits and self-awareness.
Seeing the evidence laid out in an organized, colorful manner has been an extra layer of motivation to get the fuck up and keep going, because I obviously feel better when I am busy, even if I don’t feel like it at the time. Depression is a filthy liar, but I am getting better at challenging its bullshit.
100 days in a row of anything positive and beneficial to your mental health is pretty awesome. I am glad I found something I could develop into a healthy habit.