When you have anxiety and/or depression, your energy levels are depleted, and so your available energy for normal every day tasks is limited. This is actually a surprisingly hard concept to get your own head around, let alone for your friends and family to understand. It took me until very recently to realise that I can’t do everything I set out to do and so I have to adjust my expectations of myself to match. More importantly, I have to adjust my expectations of myself to reduce my anxiety.
Because I get all these grand ideas about cleaning the house, or knitting a thing, or organising the garage and then the weekend gets here and I hardly have the energy to leave the couch. I take the dog for a morning walk and then I get back into my PJs and cuddle up on the couch. Sometimes I have a nap.
And all of this is totally okay.
So what if the floor doesn’t get vacuumed this week or next. So what if I don’t fold and put away all my clothing. That is totally okay. These are inconsequential things that are not actually that important. I’m conditioned to believe they are important, that if I do not maintain a beautiful spotless home and keep all my clothing tidied up, I am somehow failing as a woman and as an adult … but to me, in the overall scheme of things, they are really not that important. So I will save my energy for completing tasks that are important to me. Like walking my dog, and keeping my kitchen clean, washing my work clothes, and sorting out prep-for-university tasks (I’m going back to university again-again-again-again).
Then, if I have energy left over after what I’ve deemed are my essentials, I’ll do some cleaning. But if I don’t, I don’t push it, and I try not to let myself feel guilty for not doing it.