I read a quote the other day about depression. It amounted to: don't judge me by my best days, judge me by my worst; it is most likely when I am doing the hardest work. I've been doing a lot of hard work these days. Whenever I have a swing that requires me to push out of my balance equilibrium, I always risk a relapse. Packing up and the excitement of purchasing our first home definitely swung me into a manic cycle. And moving throws off your routines so much. I was surprised to see how much I relied on routines to keep me sane both as a person and as a parent. Now I am in a phase where I am teetering on a depression relapse. Previous moves I haven't had children. It was much easier to focus on packing, unpacking, and learning the new neighborhood. Creating new systems and routines is smooth, thoughtful, and measured. With kids, it is broken up between mealtime, potty time, nap time, bedtime, trouble time and meltdown time. And because toddlers don't respond well to changes, trouble time and meltdown time are frequent. And they both have really needed the consistency of their mama in this transition. I am trying to really give myself space to deal with my potential relapse. I remember my remission rules. I try and mandate balance between daily chores, unpacking, and exploring the new neighborhood. Between relaxing and working; between stimulation and calm. A few ways I have done this:
- Quiet time every day. Breccan's room was first to be baby proofed so that part of his routine could stay.
- Gardening. I've started growing a patio garden. It's a time every day to putz, do a little project like plant seeds or repot something. Nature and nesting. Plus I'm researching and learning since I have never really done it before.
- I do one thing in each area, and focus on each at a time. One chore, one unpacking task, and one new neighborhood thing.
We've been living here just over 2 weeks now, and carving out these strategies has really kept the relapse at bay. What are your strategies when you feel a relapse coming on?