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Small Victories in Mental Illness

Life has a tendency to throw curve balls when you least expect it, making it a wonderful, exhausting, stressful experience.  A lot of time and effort is dedicated to the various aspects of our lives whether it be work, family or friends.  On top of that, there is the daily upkeep of our existence that takes both time and energy.  Cleaning the house, cooking to sustain yourself, even shopping can all take a toll on our energy levels.  For those of us with mental illness, it is doubly so.

Maintaining your mental health during times of high stress is difficult. You are constantly trying to motivate yourself, and on days that you can’t, you ridicule yourself.  At least, I do. When I’m struggling in between, I’ve started a little trick of celebrating things I have done, no matter how small.  It’s those small victories that keep me going or motivate me to move onto the next task.  If you are struggling or currently admonishing yourself for not being enough right now, please take heart.  Reward yourself and celebrate any of the following.

woman-making-bed_jpg_653x0_q80_crop-smartYou got out of bed.  – This can be difficult when in a deep depression or at the height of anxiety.  Did you get up this morning and make it out of that bed?  It doesn’t matter if it was only because you had to get the kids off to school or you couldn’t afford to miss another day of work.  You did it!

*Extra points for if you made the bed – Holy shit!  You’re a rock star!  Do you know how many people don’t do this at all regardless of how they feel?!  You are killing it!*

You changed your clothes. Lying around in pjs seems so fulfilling when you are having a downturn.  Nothing matters and your comfortable.  BUT you got up today with intention.  You kicked those pjs off and got dressed!

You washed the dishes. – This is something that I NEVER do when I’m having a depressive episode (along with making my bed). You’ll leave the dishes “soaking” in the sink until they give off a horrible stench.   If you only leave them for a few minutes or a day or two….You are kicking ass!  So many people just leave them regardless.

* Extra points if you do the dishes as your using them – I personally am not this person.  My mother is, and if you are doing this and going through a depressive episode…you are a special unicorn.  Meeting people who do this is rare already, but if you can do it while going through a depressive episode….you need to be honored.*Healthy-Meals.jpg

You ate any meal and/or didn’t over indulge. – It’s common to have a change of appetite when experiencing anxiety or depression.  Mine changes depending on which I’m experiencing.  Anxiety…I stop eating.  Depression…I emotionally eat everything in sight. If you still manage to eat and eat healthy when going through this….you need to write some breakthrough nutritional articles.  Please teach me!

You went to any kind of appointment or gathering and didn’t cancel. – It still counts if you thought of cancelling up until you arrived.  You did not isolate yourself, and you’re putting effort into keeping your routine. You are Miss Popular and Prom Queen all in one.

635957547991286469-89476486_babyatgymYou went to the gym. – You should be a cover model.  Truly.  This,along with making my bed and doing the dishes, are the first things I stop doing.  I put in as little effort as possible as functioning takes the majority of my energy.  If you still make it to the gym during any kind of episode, I’m not worthy. There should be a specific fitness magazine for people with mental health issues, and you should be on the cover for at least 3 months. Articles for this magazine would include ways to stay motivated, ideas to continue exercising while going through depression, and success stories on battling mental illness through your fitness goals.  Call Condenaste now!

Life and mental illness don’t always seem to go together, but it’s not something you can choose.  If you are fighting to keep yourself balanced, you are a true warrior and role model.  If you need a reminder that you are still kicking ass, it’s in those little things that you continue to do.  It doesn’t matter how big or small; you’re still putting up a fight.


29 thoughts on “Small Victories in Mental Illness

  1. I agree it is the small victories that makes things worth it. I was really bad during third year and it made me really sick. I was proud of myself through celebrating the small things and not letting my demons consume me!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so thankful for a dishwasher. I don’t have to worry about the dishes. I just leave it open and drop things in when I walk by and my husband runs it when he gets home. I consider it a success when I manage to go from the bed to the couch with only one pillow and blanket. Because sometimes the whole bed moves with me to the couch and sometimes it’s just one thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I totally agree.. I have had my fair share of those days when even taking a shower was a huge deal but I use to despite having to drag myself and put on fresh clothes, comb hair and spend sometime with family.. Most of the times being lonely during those days is your worst enemy.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such an uplifting way of writing about a serious issue that affects so many people. Its great that you are talking about mental health issues as they are so often ignored. Good job at giving people a platform to help them overcome their depression/anxiety. Love your writing style and outlook.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for this. I am going through a tough period in my life at the moment and after reading your post I’ll try not to be so tough on myself. I do manage to do the wash up straight after using them and though today was tough I managed to get in the shower and dress.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Having depression or anxiety can be really hard. I have an anxiety disorder and I understand how challenging it can be sometimes. One thing my mom always tells me when I am having a hard time is to count the small things as victory. Your post reminds me of her advice.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Small victories are so important, I have an auto-immune disease which has caused me to develop early onset arthritis so some days even breathing hurts but I count the little things as big wins and try not to let my limitations get to me too much. Thank you for sharing something so motivational, a nice reminder that other people are in the same boat and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Everything you wrote is so true. It is in celebrating small victories that get us up and moving. Menial things we often take for granted are considered major achievements for some. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers and hope all will be well with you. Hugs always.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It’s great that you are celebrating these “small victories.” I wish I had seen this post earlier so I could have invited you to add it to my mental illness link-up…the last week’s theme was “celebrations” so this would have been completely perfect. Alas, it’s closed now. But next Friday it will be on healing; I’d love to see you join if you’d like to “meet” some other people blogging on similar topics and add your post to an awesome archive of writing on similar themes 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Awesome! Friday 😉 There are actually more out there than you’d think..than I thought, which is why I created this, to help us come together in one place so we can “meet” and support each other

        Liked by 1 person

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