My Internal Checklist

10.10.13

Do you have an internal checklist to tell if I’ve had a truly good day or a bad one?

I have a tendency to discount good things that I achieve so I’ve come up with a bunch of little steps that I can look back on and say, ‘yes, I may still feel anxious and low, but I did x number of these things and that’s a positive thing’.

My checklist goes like this…

  • Laundry – There are some days when the simple task of doing the laundry feels too mammoth to do or complete. Putting the wash on, spinning it, drying, folding, carrying upstairs and putting away. Completing all of those steps is just too much and I stall or conveniently forget to finish the whole job. If I can get to the end of a laundry day and have done every step then it’s a good day.
  • Leaving the house – Even if it’s just a trip to the supermarket, if I’ve crossed the doors when I ‘didn’t have to’ then it’s a great thing and I need to recognise it as such.
  • My iPhone battery at bedtime – If I’m feeling down then I have a really bad habit of spending the day drifting from app to app on my iPhone and not getting up and doing something productive. If I can get to bedtime and my phone still holds a charge then it’s proof I spent my day doing things and not hiding on the internet.
  • Keeping my temper – A sure sign I’m feeling low or overly anxious is how short my temper is, if I can spend the day not snapping at the kids, instead acting like the parent I actually enjoy being,┬áthen it’s a really good thing.
  • Photography – I like to look back at the end of the day and see what photos I decided to take for the kid’s 365 projects. If there’s lots of choice and photos of them having fun it was a good day. If it’s a single photo of them watching a movie in the afternoon or one taken just before bedtime I know it’s not a day I’m going to be particularly proud of.
  • Playdates – I dread meeting people, going out, or having people over so if we’ve been out to meet friends or had people over then I have to pat myself on the back and recognise the achievement.
  • Snacking to excess – Like lots of people I tend to snack my day away if I’m not feeling on top of things and if I ate something after dinner it’s an even bigger sign of a bad day. A good day for me has healthy meals and snacks and no snacking after the kiddos are in bed.
  • Reading – Before the kids I was a voracious reader, one of those people who couldn’t sit next to a box of cereal at breakfast without reading every word written on the box! After the kids were born there was less time in my day for reading so I knew I needed to carve out a bit of time most days to read something other than kid’s books. If I’ve purposely set aside some time for reading that’s a great thing, I’ve chosen to do something I enjoy instead of getting sucked into trashy TV once the kids are asleep, or, if they’re awake, it’s showing them that I value reading as a hobby which is also a fantastic thing.
  • Responding to emails and texts in a timely fashion – If I’m feeling good then I like to reply to correspondence as soon as I receive it, but on bad days I’ve noticed I shy away from all forms of contact and put off replying. If I’ve replied to everything I can within a day then I should be proud of that.
  • Clearing the pile of washing up – As daft as it sounds, if I can go to be having done the washing and drying up and putting it all away I know that when I come down in the morning the kitchen will look clean ands tidy and I will feel much better. If I can complete this boring chore before bed then that’s great.

It’s important to recognise the good things we do, I know I’m guilty of discounting the positives and all it does it bring me down.

If I can be proud of the things I achieve, however small they are it’s a far better basis for getting better than constantly knocking my own self belief.

girl in the garden at unset my internal checklist

What would be on your personal checklist?

 

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Posted in category: anxiety & depression

6 Responses to “My Internal Checklist”

  1. That’s a great checklist, and eerily similar to what mine would be.
    liveotherwise recently posted…Emotions.My Profile

  2. Em says:

    Thanks liveotherwise, it all seems so simple and straight forward but it pays to write it down and acknowledge the good stuff we achieve

  3. Carin says:

    Great checklist and very similar to my one. Especially the phone battery…that’s a HUGE one!
    Carin recently posted…Sketching childhood: Kirby’s push along catMy Profile

  4. Em says:

    Ah yes Carin, the time the phone dies is such an vivid representation of the sort of day I’ve had!

  5. Kelly says:

    For a long time after my second child was born I struggled with this. I could never manage to get things checked off the list.

    I had a real breakthrough when I lowered my standards significantly. Any day that I managed to make the bed was a good day. It was a good day if I had managed to give the children three meals. I didn’t even expect myself to clear up!

    This days I am in a better place and since finding the right balance of medication and routine that things are actually getting done around here and I have a list much like your own.
    Kelly recently posted…Monday MovieMy Profile

  6. Em says:

    That’s exactly what I did Kelly, I was expecting too much of myself (given the new babe, toddler and depression). Since I radically cut back my to do list and ‘expectations’ I’m much happier and often surpass the list which leaves me feeling even better.
    Em recently posted…The Trouble With Taking Photos of Toddlers (Well My One!)My Profile