Re-Frame the Cliche's
Updated: Apr 10, 2019
Let's start with the classic "it gets better".
Don't get me wrong, the intentions are good! However, has someone ever said this to you when it was the absolute LAST thing you want to hear? You're just there thinking... okay cool thanks but like... I need to know just how to get through the day.
All you can put your energy into when you're in a state of anxiety or depression is activities that need to be done between the time you wake up, and the time you go to bed on that same day. I wish I could give you a formula for making everything better but everyone is different. That being said, here are some things that helped me:
Find something to listen to throughout the day, it can act as an escape. For me, the Harry Potter series in the form of audiobooks were a HUGE help. (I'm listening to Prisoner of Azkaban as write this). If you're listening to something for the first time then it can be distracting, but I've already read the whole series so I just have it on in the background whenever I'm at school. If I'm working on something I can turn it off, but I sometimes find that if I'm in a really dark place then I need it on at all times to keep my mind from wandering into places that will send me into a panic attack or just a lump of sadness.
Audiobooks are just one option, this can also be music, meditation sounds (rainfall) etc. Find something to keep your demons at bay.
Take frequent breaks: I resisted this for years but now, whenever I have a bunch of stuff (usually schoolwork) to do, I set my phone for 20-30 minute intervals depending on my mood and the task. When I know a break is coming I'm a lot more productive, and I can reward myself with something after each interval. It'll also prevent hyperfocus (common in people with ASD and/or ADHD). This will help you realize when you need to take a proper break, get some food or something. I usually find I can't do more then 4 intervals, 3 is my average.
Plan your days in sections: I use an agenda (yes a physical agenda) and I write down every item I need to do that day in order that I need to do them. After I've done that, I'll assign times to each part. It helps me stay on track and keep my mind focused on the present.
When you're going through a rough patch, everything seems overwhelming. Plan things a day or two at a time, I never plan full weeks anymore, things change too quickly. I hope this helps someone get through their day!