As you learned in Module 9, part of preventing a relapse to depression and alcohol/other drug use is for you to gradually learn ways to take care of yourself.
Even when life seems too busy and full of things to do, it is essential to keep doing activities that you enjoy as well as those which give you a sense of achievement. Equally important, is avoiding spending too much time on things that drain you and lead to a negative state of mind.
In Module 9, you answered the following 4 questions on your “looking after yourself” handout:
What things do I enjoy or give me a sense of achievement?
How can I make sure that I continue to do these things or become more aware of them?
What am I doing in my daily life (or what have I done before) that drains my energy and lowers my mood?
How can I make sure that these activities are done less often.
You then developed a plan to look after yourself, and your homework was to try to use this plan as often as you could.
You may have had some of the following thoughts about looking after yourself in this way:
“You can only do something nice for yourself after your obligations to others or to work are satisfied.”
Or “It would be wrong to put myself first.”
Or “If I don’t keep up, I’ll fall behind.”
If we want things to be different, and more in line with our own needs and goals, but our thoughts tell us things can’t change, then we get stuck.
No matter how busy and hectic life is, looking after ourselves really can’t be just an optional extra “if we get through everything else”.
Changing things can even be as simple as paying attention or noticing what is going on around you — switching off that automatic pilot, focussing on the moment, and making sure that you are going OK.
You owe it to yourself and to all the other people and responsibilities in your life to keep yourself functioning well and at your best. Looking after yourself in the ways you identified in Module 9 is an excellent way to make sure this happens.
So, use your “Looking After Yourself” plan as often as you can.