I’ve come up with a plan for maintaining health, which I’m calling the Stay Well Points Plan. I’ve seen it before for maintaining balance in work activities, but not for depression. I’ll be experimenting with it myself, so I’ll keep you posted. I hope others will also try it, or at least critique it in the comments.
The basic idea is to identify things that work well for you in your fight with depression. Things like taking your prescribed medicines, therapy sessions, exercise, meditation, massage or relaxation. There are many possibilities.
In my Points Plan I’ve also included things that are reliable triggers for my depressive episodes. These are having a bad argument with someone (major trigger), not getting adequate sleep for days on end, or any kind of very stressful situation.
As you can see from the table I’ve allocated points to items according to their impact on my health. The only exception is medicine, which I’ve downgraded even though it’s crucial for me. It’s too easy to pick up those points each day.
The maximum amount of points in my table is 140 each day or 980 for the week. This is before deducting points for the triggers. I’ve set my aim for the week at 50% of total available points. If I can reach this then I’ll increase it next week. It might be worth adding in a reward for some motivatation.
I honestly think if I can consistently reach such a target, then I am well on the way to more stable health. And by relying on a range of positive strategies, I won’t be pinning my hopes on any single one.
So I’m off to do some exercise – something I haven’t done for months now – but it’s at the very top of my list.
If you want this simple template I’ve saved it for download as a Microsoft Excel file.