When looking at a large mess, it can be so hard to know where to start. I have been in a deep depression for the last few weeks. As I’m starting to come out of it, it has been so disheartening to look at my depression room when I have no mental energy left to spare. All of my energy has gone toward battling this, and I have nothing left to give. But as we all know, a cluttered space if often times a cluttered mind, especially when the clutter is the evidence of my weeks of inner turmoil.
So what do I do? Well, I have learned a few tips over the years on how to handle the overwhelm.
Here is a list of the steps I take when trying to get my head above water again.
1. Trash & Food- The most important step, in my opinion, is taking all of the trash and food out of the room. Both of these things can attract bugs, which we don’t need to deal with on top of everything else. It is also one of the easiest things you can do to make yourself feel a little bit lighter. Personally, I like to take a grocery or trash bag (depending on how much I’ve accumulated) and go around the room dumping it all in. Any silverware can be put in a dirty cup. Try your best not to get distracted by other things on your way (I am especially talking to those of us with ADHD.) If you’re coming out of a depression or a chronic pain flare-up, the last thing you want to do is try to tackle the whole thing at once. We are doing damage control here.
2. Laundry- No, not all of it. We’re not talking about the giant pile that’s accumulated in the corner of your room or in the closet. We are talking necessities. Underwear, socks, work clothes, and a couple sets of lounge clothes. I like to throw in my pillow case, too. Because no, I’m not washing my sheets today. Remember, we’re preserving our energy here.
3. Make the Bed- You may not like this step. “What is the point in making my bed if I need to wash the sheets anyway?” “I’m just going to get right back into it.” Or, you may be wondering why this would be a pressing step as opposed to other steps you could take. We are all individuals, so you may not work this way. I thought I didn’t for a long time.
But consistently making my bed despite the state of everything else has been a game changer for my depression and ADHD. Keyword- consistently. My room could be a complete disaster, but I will make my bed, even if it’s 10 p.m. (I do think it’s important to mention that I fell off on making my bed for about a week during the worst of my episode. That is totally okay, but all the more reason to make it one of my first steps to getting my space back to normal.) I do this for a few reasons. A) If I’m already feeling bad, getting into a hot, scrunched up pile of sheets is going to make me feel just as bad if not worse. B) It is typically the “centerpiece” of the room. Meaning, if the bed looks nice, the look of the room is a lot better. C) Executive dysfunction can take me crawling back to my bed, time and time again. If I go down, the odds of me getting up are slim to none. If my bed is made, sure, I can lay on top of the comforter, but thats not cozy. Sure, I can just unmake the bed and get back in it. But if you have ADHD, odds are you struggle with transitions. So the idea of unmaking your bed and getting it all setup to be cozy is a lot harder to digest than flopping down into your already unmade bed. And at the end of the day, unmaking your bed to get back into it doesn’t take away the fact that you made a positive step for you and your space by making it in the first place.
Guest post by: Abigail Ward