Organization, Depression and Self Care

Do you ever get depressed? I’m not talking about the blues and feeling sad, but a deep, heart wrenching depression where you can’t see the end of it.

Depression is a very apt name for this crippling disease. You literally feel like you are in a chasm with no way out.

Sometimes it takes a very powerful shove to get you out of this fog that envelopes you and your world. Sometimes it takes medication. But you need to take care of yourself when depression wraps its ugly arms around you.

I speak from experience. I suffer from chronic depression. As organized as I am, I forget things. I’m not perfect. I forget appointments that I don’t write down (this is why I write them down – just sayin’). I forget about bills. I forget little things. I don’t account for everything that could happen in my life. I’m not perfect.

Sometimes, one of these things will pop up that I forget, or don’t plan for. And before you can say Moo Hockey, I’m in a tailspin, or it feels like one. The only way out of this tail spin is to sit down and figure out a solution. But when I can’t see past the end of my nose to start thinking of a solution or a plan of action, I need to remember to practice self care until I am relaxed.

I’ve been talking a lot about self care on my FB group, Rae Organizing You. Funny, it’s the same name as my blog. You can visit it by clicking on the FB Group link at the top of your screen. Or just visit HERE.

What is self care? The name says it all – taking care of YOU! You need to take care of yourself. Every. Single. Day. Whether you are a parent, daughter, employee, self-employed, employer – you need to take care of you. Basic things – eating, sleeping, bathing – and more involved things – meditation, exercise, beauty treatments – all fall into self care. It’s doing something for you. It doesn’t have to cost a darn thing. A nap is a great way to practice self care – something a lot of adults forget about. We are constantly running around from work to soccer practice to PTA back to work that we forget to breathe for a moment. And we wonder why our world is so screwed up.

It isn’t being lazy or self-centered to take a moment or two or three for yourself.

Let me repeat that.

It isn’t lazy. You are not a narcissist for taking 5 minutes away from a world that is constantly demanding your time and attention.

It took a lot of therapy to get me to say this and ACTUALLY BELIEVE IT!!!

“Okay,” you say. “That’s easy for you. Your son pretty much takes care of himself. You don’t have to constantly supervise him and entertain him. I have 3 young children.”

A. It isn’t easy. See therapy above. I have to force myself to practice self care when I’m in a spiral.

B. Yes, my son is self-sufficient and helps me around the house. But he still needs me.

C. Do your children nap? Do they go to school or play dates? You have some time.

D. Self care does not need to take a long time.

Okay, I’m not going to lecture you. But you need to take care of yourself. No one else is going to do it for you until it is too late for you to enjoy life. And you aren’t going to enjoy life if you are dead from a coronary, in a mental institution from a nervous breakdown, or in a nursing home when you are old and no longer have the ability to take care of yourself.

One thing I suggested in my group is that you schedule your self care. Like an appointment you can’t miss. Write it in your planner/calendar/appointment book as a 10 minute appointment with yourself. Put it on that shared calendar with your spouse and family. 10 minutes with you. During that time, your spouse can care for the kids. Or, your kids can read a book (or just look at the pictures). Or, if it really comes down to it, schedule it for after the kids are in bed for the night. Don’t clean. Do something for you.

Don’t make excuses that the house is a mess. The house is probably not as bad as you think and it can wait 10 minutes.

What would happen if you were put out of commission? What would happen if you were seriously sick and in the hospital because you didn’t take care of yourself?

I don’t mean to scare you, but one thing that doctors are constantly telling us during our yearly check-ups is that we need to reduce stress. Too much stress can kill you.

I mentioned in my last post that I have a philosophy. An organized household will teach a child to be responsible and organized. Which in turn creates less chaos and stress for the parent.

This is why I can take time for myself and practice self care. My house is organized. I have raised my child to be organized, even if his room is the epitome of organized chaos. Hey, he can find whatever he needs. One hiccup in my life might be enough to send me into a tailspin, but it is not going to derail my entire house. I can count on my son to do what he needs to do so that I can do what I need to do.

Depression is an ugly disease, and it is too common in our world. However, I have my tools in place to combat it. Do you?

If you have depression or you are in crisis, please talk to someone. If you want, you can talk to me. My email is if you ever need an ear.

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