When I get really Depressed I have a tactic that almost always works. I sit down and start making a list that will define the morning of my day. It is a morning routine that I plan in minute detail. It works even better when there is a nighttime routine also.

Last time I made it I had 28 steps to follow on a sheet of paper I kept next to my bed. I followed every step without thought during the next 2 hours and by the end I was confident, accomplished valuable daily goals, and fed for work. After 4~5 days I felt okay again and stopped following the plan so I could spend more time with my Girlfriend at night. There have been times where I lived this way for months.

One of my big challenges is finding a way to do something like this while having a significant other. I value people over systems, but the system is perhaps the most important tool I have for fighting depression. Honestly, that is a topic that might take years to figure out. Right now I have something else in mind.

I’m not sad enough to follow my routine.

A weird idea, right? However, I find that I am happy enough right now that it isn’t this do or die importance pushing me to sit-up and drink water and start the routine. I wake up or go to bed whenever because things will be alright and nothing terrible is going to happen if I don’t. I’m not going to spend the day in bed, or miss too many meals, or lose my job cause I didn’t follow the routine. If I were depressed and struggling, then I’d also be forcing myself to hold onto the routine by my finger-tips just to keep my lifestyle afloat until calmer times.

I need a way to connect those darker times to why I follow a routine whenever I have the chance to follow one. If I could just make the routine my Default way of living through the first 2 hours of my day. I bet I could also cut down on the time depression steals from me.