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Forums / Staying well / Adherence / Compliance -- How do you make yourself do the things that make you feel better?

Topic: Adherence / Compliance -- How do you make yourself do the things that make you feel better?

  1. zailleh
    blueVoices member
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    zailleh avatar
    27 posts
    6 February 2015

    Hi Everyone,

    One of my biggest challenges with depression is doing the things I know make me feel better and make a positive difference to my emotional state. Especially when I'm feeling my worst, these things would make me feel better but I can't make myself do them because depression just kills all motivation.

    Just hoping to draw on the collective experience here. What kind of things do you to help make yourself do the things that make you feel better?

     

    Cheers,
    Zailleh

    10 people found this helpful
  2. JessF
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    6 February 2015 in reply to zailleh

    Hello Zailleh, for me it's about routine and scheduling. Make an appointment with yourself to do these things. But the key is not to try to do too much at once, otherwise you can get discouraged easily when you drop off with one of your resolutions and then just drop the lot. Make small changes. Say if you want to be more active for example, start with a simple thing that is very doable. Like fifteen minutes walk a day.

    And the next thing is to not beat yourself up if you miss a goal. Say if you want to exercise three times a week, and you have Thursday as one of your days. Things happen, you have a bad day, and you miss your Thursday. Tell yourself that that is ok, and that tomorrow is another day. Reset and start again. That's the important thign, you can always start again afresh the next day. 

    It's about a mindset of maintenance too. Understanding that these things we do to make us feel well aren't cures, they're just things we have to do, like vacuuming the house. 

    10 people found this helpful
  3. Neil_1
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    6 February 2015

    Hi there  Zailleh

     

    Jess’s response to you has really nailed it.  An appointment, a routine, a schedule – it basically all goes or comes down to being committed.  Make the commitment for it to happen;   and as Jess suggested, perhaps try for going out for a walk;  three times per week.  When I’m starting off on a program again, I usually start at 20 minutes;  and I do it by going out one way for 10 minutes.  Then turn around and come back.   And with me being the competitive beast that I am, I always have this little game where I’ve got to come back faster than I went out (this is purely something that I do and don’t suggest it for anyone else – just thought I’d share).   What I do want to emphasise though is just HOW FAST 10 minutes goes by.

     

    You look at your watch and 8 minutes have gone by and wow, so you’ve only got another 2 minutes before you have to turn around.

     

    Ok ok, that’s all for a walk or even walk/jog routine.

     

    But it’s the commitment to do this;  OR whatever else you may decide … and another pearl from Jess was the thing about NOT wanting to do too many to start with;  just try for ONE thing to start off with.   You will have a far greater chance of sticking with it if it’s simply one thing;   and doing it again and again, so what we are after is to change the word “commitment” to become the word “habit”.

     

    Would love to hear back from you on this.

     

    Neil

    5 people found this helpful
  4. Beltane
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    6 February 2015 in reply to zailleh

    Awesome question!! I see this one get asked a lot in posts, so having a thread where we can pull together ideas is awesome!

    its so tricky isn't it! Depression makes us tired and uninterested. And yeah part of the way to beat it is healthy lifestyle Changes, like eating healthy and exercising, plus hobbies or socialising etc.

    the answers above are fantastic, about scheduling stuff but also forgiving yourself if today is a bad day.. There's always tomorrow. Wise words- very wise words.

    i find it's important to prioritise and not do too much. So I know with me, when I'm deoressed which is thankfully rare nowadays, I get overwhelmed by the sheer effort of anything. "but if I go out with my friend, I'll have to shower and get dressed and drive all the way there, and I'm not going to have any fun anyway cos I feel so sad/ tired, and then I'll have to drive home" and BAM I've talked myself out of it before I've even moved.

    so I try deciding on ONE thing to do that day, or maybe say "one day this week I'm going to do this". And I focus on what Ill get out of doing it. "Well actually if I meet my friend closer to home than I won't have to drive so far, and I'll really like seeing my friend, we're going to go out for a lovely meal, infact I think I'll order my favourite pasta and treat myself to dessert..."

    I still have to do this sometimes, because although I've long recovered from depression and anxiety, I still have to make sure I don't let myself go back. Sometimes I still have the little voice that goes "no don't bother going for a walk, it's hot outside and I'm tired".

    now when I hear that voice I have to consider it's real meaning: is it a legitimate reason not to go? Is it really a good excuse? Or is it just that little old anxious voice popping up, and I have to remind it "no it's going to be fun..."

    So maybe start off small- say you'll go for 3 walks this week, and 1 coffee with friends. Then spend ages talking yourself up to it, how awesome it wil be . Once you have some good experiences it gets easier, cos you can use them as proof "hey I didn't think it was gonna be fun last time, but it was heaps of fun and I felt better afterwards. So it'll be fun this time too"

     

    3 people found this helpful
  5. Quincy_J
    Quincy_J avatar
    3 posts
    19 February 2015
    Hi Zailleh, great post and something that stumps me too, in fact only this week I had exactly the same thing. 

    I know exercise makes me feel great but this week, I've lost all motivation. The thing that helps me is not only booking in the time with myself but with a dear friend. It helps me keep the appointment if I know that someone who loves me and wants to help by accompanying me to do something that is good for my body and mind, is waiting for me. I only ever keep it to one-on-one or two-on-one so it's not too intimidating if I want to just cocoon. 

    Also keeping a diary of how these sessions make me feel is helpful too. 

    Much love and all the best xx
    3 people found this helpful
  6. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
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    22 February 2015 in reply to Quincy_J

    DearZailleh

    Hello and welcome to the forum. You have put your finger on one of the most difficult aspects of depression, making ourselves do something. Well you have had lots of good advice and techniques that I cannot really add to. All I can say is go with these suggestions.

    When I was severely depressed my daughter said, baby steps mom, baby steps. I've written that on here so often I should make it my forum name. But it's true. And whenever you manage a step, however small, it makes you feel so good that it becomes a motivator for trying again.

    So no reaching for the sky or even the moon. Concentrate on the immediate step in front of you and work on achieving that before you look further afield. When your horizon is close it is more attainable and gives you hope. Looking too far ahead can feel as though you have too far to go, you will never get there so why bother.

    I have found as others above, that making a date with one or two friends is easier than trying to do it alone. I always believed I could not let anyone down so I went on my "date". And invariably I had a good time. So whether or not you explain to your friends how you feel, make a catch up time and stick with it.

    It is amazing how a demonstration of being loved and cared for can lift you. And a change of conversation from the constant spin of self talk can bring a smile to your face.

    I hope you can respond to these posts. We all care for each other and rejoice in your successes.

    Mary

     

    1 person found this helpful
  7. Pelusa
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    1 posts
    16 April 2015 in reply to White Rose

    Hi Mary,

    New to the site, i justo read your comment and it felt warm and caring.

    I don't have the energy today to take a baby step but it was nice to read your advice.

    Thanks,

    2 people found this helpful
  8. White Rose
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    16 April 2015 in reply to Pelusa

    Dear Pelusa

    Thanks for your reply and welcome to Beyond Blue.  I hope you continue to post on this site. Have you thought of starting your own thread? That way you will get responses to your questions and difficulties.

    Hope to hear from you.

    Mary

  9. London Bridge
    London Bridge avatar
    2 posts
    21 April 2015 in reply to Pelusa

    Hi all, I'm new to this site too. Not sure what I'm looking for as I'm aware of all the things I can do to help myself. Baby steps, a day at a time, do at least one pleasurable thing each day, exercise, exercise, exercise, mindfulness, positive thinking, blah blah blah.  I've been on anti-depressants for many years - it started as post-natal depression 27 years ago. I also get really bad headaches that last for weeks at a time then suddenly disappear.  I have a great doctor who has investigated my headaches & I'm just one of those people that gets headaches. I also dream a lot - vivid disturbing dreams. . I see a psychologist occasionally but not sure if that has really been of any benefit. The thing is, my mind has been great for months - then suddenly every little thing is getting to me. I'm angry, moody, teary, unmotivated & really don't like myself at all. I was aware that I was starting to feel a bit 'flat' & keep telling myself 'don't let this happen. Don't let the black dog drag you down'. But it has & I'm mad at it.

    Oh well I've had my rant. And hopefully I can pull myself up out of this black hole very soon.  

    1 person found this helpful
  10. London Bridge
    London Bridge avatar
    2 posts
    23 April 2015 in reply to London Bridge

     Soo hating that I feel so crappy & have to turn to wine & cigarettes to relax my brain & make me start to feel positive about life.

    Depression does not discriminate !!!!

    We own our home, we have 2 investment properties, 4 children, 6 grandchildren, a dog & a cat, we are young retirees (mid fifties) so life should be awesome. But my brain does stupid things. Anyway I've had another rant ...... I guess that's a good thing ...

    Why are so many people struggling with depression? Why do I hear of so many young people (late teens / early twenties) suiciding? . I'm also concerned about my 22 yr old daughter who has apparent anxiety issues .... Heredity?? She said to me today something to the effect ' what about the people that you hurt'. Yes that is what has stopped me from hurting myself. My children!!! Imagine them having to say 'my mum committed suicide'.  Not a chance. EVER. 

  11. Chris B
    Community Manager
    • Works for beyondblue managing these forums. Not a mental health professional, but here to help. Email: christopher.banks@beyondblue.org.au
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    Chris B avatar
    1757 posts
    24 April 2015 in reply to London Bridge

    Hi London Bridge, welcome to the forums.

    Are you able to start up a new thread in the Depression section with some of your thoughts above? Those are all interesting questions, but this thread is for people sharing ideas on getting yourself to do things that will make you feel better.  

    1 person found this helpful
  12. Bluebelle777
    Bluebelle777 avatar
    1 posts
    4 May 2015 in reply to zailleh

    Planning in advance and routine. Sounds so simple but has taken me 13 years to get it!! Even when I was at my worst, knowing I had scheduled my Saturday morning walk/ brunch with a friend meant I couldn't cancel and the fresh air and company does wonders. I do Pilates and find paying my sessions and booking classes in advance makes me attend. Exercise always helps and is so important to managing moods. Even when I'm well, I keep my psychologist appointments and plan another session always- even if I feel I don't need it. Using my diary to plan down time for me but also time to see people I love, helps Keep a balance.

    Even cooking healthy meals in advance and freezing them for days when you're feeling flat and need an early night, helps to ensure your body gets what it needs even if you don't have the energy or desire to eat. Keep vitamins by your bed or toothbrush and even when you're feeling bad, at least you are helping your body get the nutrients it needs.

    Hope this helps :)

    4 people found this helpful
  13. Doolhof
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    17 May 2015 in reply to Bluebelle777

    Hi Bluebelle777,

    I have been just randomly flicking about on the forum and came across your post.

    Thank you so very much for your encouraging words.

    Due to my depression I often procrastinate and back slide on all the positive things I know are obtainable to me.

    For me the thing is to not give up. If I don't do so well this week, then I can try again tomorrow or next week.

    I too use a diary, they are a wonderful way to keep track of where you want to be and have to be.

    I have paid out for the use of a swimming pool at a fitness centre. If I pay in advance, then I will certainly attend, like your Pilates.

    Hope you are travelling well.

    Cheers for now from Mrs. Dools or Lauren

  14. renmon
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    1 June 2015 in reply to zailleh

    Hi zailleh. 

    I agree with a lot of what has already been posted re motivating yourself through depression.  For me, it is about prioritising and being self aware. So I make a list of what is most important to support me through a depressive episode. I make a deal with myself that I will not give attention to NOT doing what isn't on the list. So for a period of time last year when I was unwell, I let lots of 'little' jobs remain undone until I was able to cope with them again. I refused to beat myself up about this. I was totally focussed on what I COULD do that supported me towards being well again. So things like eating regularly, keeping in touch with friends and family, and a bunch of other stuff. I kept a strict routine which included having to do things that were good for me that I absolutely didn't want to do. I was in panic every time I left my house but I knew that to be well I had to leave the house.  I am very self aware so I was able to talk to myself as a parent would to a child and give myself lots of nurturing and encouragement through this period of time. It wasn't easy. Ultimately I knew that being well again meant doing a, b, c and d etc so by delaying or putting off any of these things I was only going to prolong the feeling of being so unwell. It can be such a conundrum really. Sheer grit and overwhelming love for myself got me through a lot of days.  And rewards. If I kept my committments for wellbeing then I would reward myself. 

  15. Goldie22
    Goldie22 avatar
    2 posts
    3 June 2015

    Hi Zailleh

    Your post is very inspiring. I wish I had your drive and self love.

    My current experience is a constant state of knowledge of what I need to do to get better, but a fear of making the change. I'm so scared.

    I know I need to excercise but I can't get out of bed in the morning. I know I need to eat healthy but I don't feel hungry, then binge eat on anything and everything at night when I'm alone. It's like I'm enjoying punishing myself.

    i wish I wasn't alone. My mum tries to help but I just feel worse because she is so strong and determined I can't understand why I can't be like her. 

    im turning 25 at the end of the year and I will have nothing to show for it. I'm a complete failure. I took my life and all my opportunities for granted, and I still am. What I seam to be going at the moment is seeing how far I can push things, my body, my mum and my mental state (I'm not sleeping).

    its all just a matter of time. I'm not sure what I want to happen or if anything will. I don't feel much anymore. 

    beyondblue's clinically-trained moderators often work offline (invisible to you) on issues relating to suicide or self-harm. At the same time, general supportive comments from the community are encouraged. If you have concerns around suicide or self-harm, please phone our support service on 1300 22 4636.


  16. Denv12
    Denv12 avatar
    42 posts
    9 June 2015

    I looked around to find things that would at least improve my overall wellbeing. As I have had several Kinesiology treatments and other muscle testing techniques done in the past I figured I'd stick with acupressure points. I found some books on Acupressure and in the books were various ailments. I do various daily routines in the morning and evening.The good news is its made a difference. The book I picked up online. Good investment. We all have pressure points so everyone can benefit.

    The book I recommend is called :

    "Acupressure For Emotional Healing". By Michael Read Gach.PHD.

    ISBN:978-0553382438.

    and 0553382438.

     

    I've read a book on Emotional Freedom Technique (E.F.T.) and I found out about a (better) technique called " Faster E.F.T".(Faster Emotionally Focused Transformations).Plenty of info on Faster EFT around.Its worth looking into.

    2 people found this helpful
  17. gettingthroughGAD
    gettingthroughGAD avatar
    8 posts
    10 June 2015 in reply to Denv12

    Hi everyone,

    One of my friends has been working really hard at improving his mental wellbeing and has shared some of his techniques with me. I've started to adopt some of them and have found they've made some difference to how badly my anxiety affects my daily life :).

    Keeping a list of things you need/want to do and ticking them off once you've accomplished it. The act of ticking is like a small reward.

    Meditating. I have found for me personally I can't meditate on a boring/bad day. I need to have been mentally stimulated throughout the day otherwise I just end up sinking deeper into bad thoughts. On quiet days if I do meditate it'd more likely be in the morning or middle of the day rather than at night. 

    Exercise: Making a date with a friend to walk has been very helpful in getting me more interested in exercise again. 

    Reading books such as 'Meditations' by Marcus Aurelius and 'The Power of Now' by Eckhart Tolle. 

     Thank you to everyone who's previously posted. I will be adopting some of your techniques too and see how they work for me :).

    Good luck,

    Candice

    1 person found this helpful
  18. Carmen Lisa
    Carmen Lisa  avatar
    39 posts
    14 June 2015
    Came to this post for motivation for today. I think maybe it is procrastination/avoidance. I feel like I'm giving up if I get scared and don't do the things that I'd planned to do today and hide in bed. When is it okay to not push myself? I think my goals might be too lofty for my current head space, but I know if I don't keep up with big things the smaller things then become the big things and then suddenly I'm so unwell I need to go to hospital. But oh... How to beat the anxiety? I'm tired. I can't get my head around being kind to myself and to do things that will keep me going. 
  19. Carmen Lisa
    Carmen Lisa  avatar
    39 posts
    14 June 2015
    PS I like your profile pic. Did you draw it? 
  20. Doolhof
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    14 June 2015 in reply to gettingthroughGAD

    Hi Candice,

    Just wanted to thank you for a lovely post.

    It is always wonderful to read when people are able to make a difference in their lives.

    Thanks for sharing the points that are helping you achieve these changes.

    We are all different and will find some thing may help one day and not next week, and that is okay too!

    Having more than one solution to a problem is very beneficial.

    Thanks again from Mrs. Dools

     

  21. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
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    14 June 2015 in reply to Carmen Lisa

    Hi Carmen Lisa,

    I'm sure most of us can recognise those days where everything just seems too much and we just want to go to bed.

    Sometimes I do think that is a very good option. If life is getting too much, bed can be a very safe place.

    Take your phone with you. If your thoughts become too much phone a family member, a friend or one of the help lines. If you are so bad that you believe hospital is the right option, than please go for that as well.

    Regarding tackling things, as others have suggested in many posts, have you tried to make a list of the things you need to do?

    Sometimes I break that list down even further. Say you need to: do the washing, clean the house, shop for food, go to work, and do what ever else needs doing, just looking at that list could freak you out on a not so good day.

    Okay washing- only wash what you really need in the immediate future, do the rest tomorrow or the day after.

    Clean the house? Mmmm maybe wash the dishes and vacuum if you have a malting pack of dogs in the house. Try and tackle one more bit of housework tomorrow.

    Work...well we can't always get out of that one. But if we need to there is usually an option.

    Just take small steps. One thing at a time. Break it down to manageable bits.

    Praise yourself when you do manage to accomplish something. That can go a long way. Hope some of this helps!

    Cheers for now from Mrs. Dools

     

     

     

     

  22. Carmen Lisa
    Carmen Lisa  avatar
    39 posts
    14 June 2015 in reply to Doolhof

    Thank you dear Dooley? I'm new here and it is kinda a good thing to get some interaction with others. My 'big' thing today was being social. I went. I hated it. I think I could have stayed in bed today and it would have been okay. Other times I would go to things and I get on okay and it not be as bad as I thought, but not today.

    I ended up calling suicide call back this afternoon. The lady I spoke to was very helpful. In 13 years of struggling with depression, I'd never called a help line. The best thing she told me was from all the people who she talks to who have lost someone to suicide, every single one of them says if only the person had told them how they were feeling. That really gave me the permission to talk to my friends/accept care from others. I never like to say anything as I think I will be a burden. I think I sound pathetic and I should be able to manage.

    How I need to remember to take one step at a time! I could especially imagine taking your advice when it comes to cleaning. All or nothing doesn't work out so well for me. 


  23. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
    8745 posts
    18 June 2015 in reply to Carmen Lisa

    Hi Carmen Lisa,

    It is great to see you on the screen again! I have been away for a few days due to ill health, so sorry for not being here in contact quicker than this!

    Well done to you for picking up the phone and talking to someone about how you are feeling! Congratulations. Now you have done it once, you know you can do it again.

    It also sounds like the person on the other end gave you some great advice.

    So from what you wrote, does it mean you have talked to friends about how you are feeling or that you feel more comfortable now doing so?

    Sometimes my depression has been so low I have felt like doing something drastic, but thankfully I have not. I think of all the people who would miss me if I did.

    A few years ago a friend phoned and stated he needed to come over as he was feeling suicidal. I am so pleased I was there for him as now he has 4 children and a bright life.

    We all need someone to listen to us.

    On Sunday I talked to some people at  Church about how I am sometimes so depressed I have thoughts of suicide. A couple of them stood up and said they would be there for me. Others didn't.

    Not everyone can be, but that is okay. You have a phone number to call now. Just in that, if for some reason you don't "click" with the person you are talking to, ask if you can please talk with someone else.

    Please don't ever think of yourself as being a burden, and don't think you should be able to manage by yourself. Just ask yourself can a person suffering from asthma or serious diabetes look after themselves without any help or assistance? Not very effectively No and maybe not at all.

    We are all entitled to help and assistance when we need it. I am worth it. You are worth it!

    Cheers for now from Dooley

    Oh yer, the INTERTACTION part is also a great way to better understand how you and others feel.

    You may like to check out some other posts and threads and join in the conversations.

    A great thing with Beyond Blue is that  we are all anonymous. No one judges. We all have our own problems, but we don't need to be alone. We are all part of a caring community!

    Cheers again to you!

     

     

     

     

  24. Carmen Lisa
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    39 posts
    23 June 2015 in reply to Doolhof
    Thank you 
  25. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
    8745 posts
    23 June 2015 in reply to Carmen Lisa

    Hi Carmen Lisa,

    You are welcome.

    I hope you are travelling okay.

    Cheers to you from Dooley

  26. V17
    V17 avatar
    169 posts
    30 October 2016 in reply to zailleh
    Hi Zailleh,

    I have not asked myself this, so thank you for the heads up.

    Okay, each day I shall aim to ask myself what I am grateful for.

    So, today: I am grateful that I can walk.

    Oh, wow. I think my heart smiled.
  27. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
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    30 October 2016 in reply to V17

    Hi Judahlion,

    I just connected with you on a different thread. Welcome to you.

    There is another thread called "Three things to be thankful for each day" you might like to post there as well or read what others have written.

    While connecting with this thread, you may have noticed it has been some while since this thread was active. That's for starting it up again!

    Cheers again from Mrs. Dools

  28. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
    8745 posts
    28 May 2017 in reply to Doolhof

    Here is another thread I am reactivating. Thanks to the moderators who have reconnected me to these helpful and worthwhile threads when contacting me over the weekend.

    Today I am planning to do things that I know I will appreciate after. The smell of cooking apples and making lemon butter soon will fill the house with lovely cooking smells.

    I've made a mental plan of how I hope my day with go. If my plans are interrupted for one reason or another I will work on accommodating the necessary changes required.

    I could just twaddle off to bed, but I know if I complete a few things I will appreciate my effort later on.

    Sometimes I need to encourage myself and be thankful for what I have managed to achieve.

    Cheers all from Mrs. Dools

    1 person found this helpful
  29. Lolita
    Lolita avatar
    17 posts
    6 June 2017 in reply to Doolhof

    Hi Doolhof

    I have noticed too that I feel so much better if I get even a few things done during the day, as opposed to spending the day in bed doing nothing. It's really hard to do, but I think little things like that do make a difference.

    I often find things that are generally a habit for me (e.g. gym, brushing my teeth, moisturising) are so much easier to do on my really bad days compared with self love things that I don't do on a regular basis. So I think building good habits can be really helpful.

    Cheers

  30. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
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    7 June 2017 in reply to Lolita

    Hi Lolita,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. On my bad days I don't seem to be able to brush my teeth, my hair or shower so I chew gum, wear a hat and put on clean clothes at least. Even though I usually do those things daily, some days it seems all too hard.

    Thankfully those days haven't happened for a while.

    Yesterday I seemed extra tired so I didn't achieve much, today I attended a craft group, ran a few errands, came home, went for a half hour walk, picked up sticks for about an hour from the back yard and brought the washing in. I feel like I have achieved something.

    Tonight I am going to attend some training for one of the volunteer groups I am involved in.

    I should sleep well tonight! Hopefully...if my back behaves itself.

    Cheers for now from Mrs. D.

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