Week-ends and depression


Week-ends can be a real problems for someone in the throes of a depression.  It’s usually unstructured time and depressed people function much better with structure. (If you work the week-ends, then think of these suggestions for the periods when you do have unstructured time.) So what to do with the forty-eight hours or whatever the that are looming ahead?

There are some people that would suggest it would be OK to just lie around and do nothing. But I’ve never known this to be good for someone suffering from depression. Now, if it’s a “planned” down time, that’s a little different. But most people suffering a depressed episode let such a time get the best of them. The more they are inactive, they more inactive they’ve become.

So it’s important to have a plan for the week-end.

Have a plan and work your plan. 

If you decide to indulge in some relaxation, schedule it as well.

Having a plan doesn’t have to be complicated. Decide for the week-end that whatever you plan, it’s your plan, not depression calling the shots. If your plan is to watch some TV and you can do that without thinking turning into a “couch potato”, that’s fine.

Personally, I find it very rare that watching TV helps anyone deal with depression unless they are actively doing something else at the same time.  Yes, I AM suggesting multi-tasking to a degree. It’s way too easy to ruminate.  TV watching is mindless activity which means that the mind doesn’t have to be heavily engaged and thus it can wander too easily.

I could give lots of ideas but in order for a plan to work, you have to create your own and work it yourself. Even the creating of the plan can keep your mind absorbed. So go get some paper and pencil and start to write down everything you could do this week-end to keep your mind off yourself. There are times during our depression we do need to think but if your mood is really low, this is not the time. That comes when your depression starts to wane a little.

Even though I seldom deal with depression anymore I still map out my day somewhat. I know that being sedentary is not healthy on many different levels. If it isn’t you but someone you love who is struggling with depression (and boy, is that a challenge!) stay active yourself and try to engage your friend, spouse, sibling, whatever, to be engaged with you. This can be like pulling teeth but if you can get them moving at all, it will encourage them to further action.

It’s funny how something as simple as planning your week-end a little better can really help.

Good luck today.  I’m thinking of you.