Okay, guys. I’m about to get super real on you.
I know I’m heading toward a low (or anxious high) when I stop giving a shit about the cleanliness of my room. And my hair. And my teeth. And all of my dirty laundry.
Like I said, super real.
I recently came out of a pretty extended low, and was welcomed with one of my weird (but not that weird) OCD triggers– mice.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but it’s getting colder here in the Silver State and the mice want a warm place to sleep. My apathetic depression den (who needs a bachelor pad when you’ve got one of these babies?) was prime territory for one mouse, and that led me to have an OCD meltdown that led to a panic attack that led to me deciding to do a total overhaul of my room.
Cleaning seems literally– and I mean truly literally– impossible when you are not well. The energy you foresee using could be better spent keeping you awake, or feeding yourself, or watching something that you have to actually pay attention to on Netflix.
SIDEBAR: I have to totally recommend Penny Dreadful. Seriously, so good.
Okay, so anyway, I started googling “cleaning with depression” and got a lot of hilariously sad comics in response (check out Rubyetc) but I also found a site that has really helped me to clean and not hate myself. Ready?
They have an app too, but it costs money and I ain’t about that life.
One word of advice that finally got the ball rolling for me was to find the nearest surface to you and just clean it off. Mine is my nightstand, and my entire life lives in and on top of it. So I turned over, still laying in bed, and just cleared it off, not caring where everything went just yet.
Here’s why this helps– cleaning and depression is a vicious cycle. You get depressed, you stop cleaning, that makes you more depressed, it gets messier, and so on. But by clearing off the nearest surface, you have one clean thing. It breaks the cycle. Maybe that’s all you have the energy for right now.
I’m doing one area a day. Just one. I have a note on my phone of all the places in my room that need cleaning and in the order of necessity. I just do one.
Seriously, look up that website. It gives encouragement while also being tough. It’s good. It helps. Make a list if you think it’ll help. Keep all food out of your room. You can break the cycle too!