Gifts to Future Me

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As is sometimes the case, I feel depressed. I do not suffer from depression in the clinical sense, but incidentally, as I suspect most humans do. I had thought to tell you about Michelle Wolf’s speech from the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, but if you’re on social media, you’ve probably already seen it, along with a half-dozen hot takes. I don’t need to pile on.

When I feel like this, I really don’t want to do anything. I just finished my final exams for the Spring 2018 semester at the local Community College, and I bought myself a new video game as a reward for finishing my exams, but I haven’t been moved to sit down and get into it. Instead, I’m’ sitting in front of my laptop, in my pajamas. Writing. Building habits.

When I feel like this, I find it useful to leave gifts for future me. I do things that I don’t want to do right now, but things that will benefit me tomorrow. These are generally mundane chores that will add to my quality of life: I fold my laundry and put it away (the only difficult parts of doing laundry — I am a pro at putting my laundry into the washing machine, and I even set timers to remind me to put it into the dryer), I make sure I have a lunch for work tomorrow. I try to get a reasonable amount of sleep so that I don’t feel like a zombie in the morning.

There’s something about depersonalization that can make self-care more appealing when one is disinclined toward it. A dear friend of mine, when they hear me getting down about myself, will sometimes say to me, “I need you to be nicer to my friend Nicholas, please.” I’ll chuckle and roll my eyes, but sometimes it actually works. If you have a problem that seems insurmountable, imagine yourself providing advice on that same problem to a dear friend. And then do that.

If depression is something you struggle with, you might find this self-care guide useful. It’s helped me every so often.

That’s all I have for today. By the time you read this, it’ll be Monday. May you have an easy, compassionate start to your work week. If you don’t start your work week on Monday, may you have an easy, compassionate start to your day. Be well.

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