Today is “Blue Monday”. Every year the third Monday in January has been labelled as the most “depressing” day of the year.
A couple of years ago I wrote a blog titled; “Stop Calling It Blue Monday” where I described the many formulas for which “Blue Monday” got its namesake and sure, on paper, today could very well look like it may live up to its name (see blog: https://youareenough712.wordpress.com/2019/01/21/stop-calling-it-blue-monday) but the campaigns which are associated with “Blue Monday” are commercializing on it (book a tropical getaway now) and therefore further trivializing what is a very serious, debilitating and often life threatening disorder for so many of us, including myself.
This time of year can undoubtedly be difficult enough for so many of us as the bills start piling up from the holidays, new year’s resolutions are being broken, getting outside for fresh air has become more difficult due to the inclement weather in many parts of the world and for many others there is possibly an overall feeling of gloominess stemming from having less hours of daylight in our day.
So when it is suggested to us that we should all feel somewhat depressed on one single day each year feels very belittling and almost condescending, especially this year more than ever.
But I will give “Blue Monday” kudos for giving a voice to Depression. By talking about “Blue Monday”, by watching it being discussed on all the news channels today and by listening to many experts on the radio giving both advice and important resources available to you for tackling Depression head on is helping to further destigmatize it. It is allowing for many individuals who may be feeling very much alone right now to find the courage to ask for help and it’s letting you know that help is available. And most importantly it’s telling someone who may not know it yet but it’s okay to not be okay; yesterday, today and even tomorrow.
I stopped making New Year’s Resolutions a long time ago because if there is one thing I have come to learn while in the throes of my mental illness it’s that by setting big goals at the start of any new year will only further exasperate my feelings of failure and defeat.
But I’m a planner and I have always tried to fight off the need to ensure that every part of my life is organized to a tee except that when I do find myself veering off course my OCD, my Depression and my Anxiety will set me back for days on end which only leads me to those further feelings of defeat and failure.
Over the last many years the only daily planner I’ve used to organize my goals has been the calendar in my phone but those daily or sometimes hourly notifications that pop up as simple reminders or good intentions have become all too overwhelming for me and can often be quite triggering at times.
So as the new year nears I have decided to try a different approach to help keep many of those triggers at bay. Several times a day when I receive one of those notifications on my phone I look at it like you would a deer in your headlights and then I find myself quickly deleting it or moving it to some future date. So for now my plan is to begin the new year off by writing down simplified goals each day and my daily intentions instead of typing them into my phone.
This I am hoping will help to alleviate my need to search for them because they will be more readily visible to me and I won’t be able to delete or move them about so easily either. I also won’t be so easily distracted by a ping on my phone that can trigger a sense of hopelessness in me and instead I can choose when I am mentally able to open up my planner for the day.
I do try and set small, simplified goals or intentions for myself each day but I’m finding myself with less and less motivation to tackle much of anything right now.
My headspace is filled with an abundance of clutter; I’m sleeping less and less, drinking and smoking more and more and unable to complete so many of even the tiniest of intentions which is why I plan to use the brightest and most colorful markers to fill in my new daily planner and I plan to do so with the greatest of intentions. And even if some days all I can tackle from my daily planner is maybe taking a warm bubble bath then at least I will know that I did so with great intention.
What do you use to write down your day to day plans/goals?
With a year like no other almost behind us, how have your goals simplified and what do you hope to fill your 2021 daily planner with most?