Chase Depression Away
You can create a Self Esteem Booster Box while you are feeling stable. This is a creative project and will be fun for you. The first thing to do is to get a nice sturdy box that opens and closes. You can use a box that you already have and decorate it, or you can purchase a decorative box. This is your Self Esteem Booster Box. You will put your Self Esteem Booster Action Plan in your Self Esteem Booster Box along with a few other Self Esteem Enhancers. When you begin to feel depressed, you will have your Self Esteem Action Plan to use, which will be housed in your Self Esteem Booster Box. Let me explain:
You can train yourself to take the actions that you know will help you feel better about yourself while you are stable and able to focus so that if you feel a depressive episode coming on, you already have the good habits. These habits might prevent you from falling into a full blown depression and/or might help the episode resolve quicker. While you are feeling “normal” and are in a generally neutral or good state; take the time to complete these projects and store your Self Esteem Booster Action Plan and other Self Esteem Booster Items in your Box.
First, if you have not done so already, keep a thought journal for two weeks. Then review it for negative thoughts. Identify your negative thoughts and select affirmations and alternative positives thoughts to use that will erase your negative thoughts. Write your positive thought list, and affirmations on piece of paper, put that paper in an acid free paper cover (if you can). Keep a copy of this affirmation and thought replacement list in your Self Esteem Booster Box.
Next, write a list of all of your accomplishments including how you overcame hardships, graduating from high school or GED, or college etc… a paper that you wrote exceptionally well and your teacher told you so, the volunteer job that you did, etc… Put all certificates and letters and all reminders of your good work together with your list in your Self Esteem Booster Box.
Now, find Self Esteem Booster Artifacts and store them in your Self Esteem Booster Box. This might include a letter that you received from someone who had praiseworthy things to say to you about you; a report card that made you feel confident and competent, a fabulous meal that you prepared and everyone loved it; a project that you were involved in that made you feel competent and confident; a committee that you participated in at work that made you feel like you were a part of something larger than yourself; a piece of artwork that you are proud of, etc. Also include Self Esteem Booster Tools. These tools might be a special perfume that makes you feel confident, special earrings, a book that you like to read that always seems to help, a phone list of numbers (yes a second phone list) that you can call, that contains only people who help you feel good about yourself; a list of volunteer agencies that you can offer to help, special fragrance to use in your home, etc . Be creative… what reminds you of who you really are, what you are really capable of? What is symbolic of your higher self? I have silk white roses; they symbolize me- my higher self, my essence. When I am in touch with that, I am lifted out of my negativity. So, for me, having a special silk white rose in my Self Esteem Booster Box makes sense. You might have a name tag from a group that you belonged to that really says allot about who you are. Any type of symbols or memorabilia, or pictures etc… is perfect.
Next review this list of Self Esteem Booster Actions that work for you. Choose several; at least 5 that you can do daily, and 2 that you can do weekly. Rewrite them in a way that works for you, using great detail if that is helpful to you. This will be your Self Esteem Action Plan. You will want to keep a copy in your Self Esteem Booster Box. Again, if you have acid free sheet protectors, it is helpful to store these in a sheet protector. You might want to get a small binder and write out each activity on a separate sheet of paper and store it in the binder; put the binder in your Self Esteem Booster Box. Below is a list of ideas to choose from. Hopefully by reading this long list, you will find some positive actions to choose from, or your own creativity will be triggered and you will come up with some of your own.
· Extra time grooming:
· Set of “happy clothes” (Clothes that make you feel competent and confident- that you like how you feel in and that you feel project a confident image to others- could be a dress, a suit, etc)
· Greetings: When someone asks you how you are feeling, you can always say “Better and better!” (That is the truth no matter how you are feeling J . Say Good morning! , Good Afternoon! Or Good Evening!, with a SMILE to at least three people.
· Put on your best makeup (even if you are not going anywhere)
· Say something wonderful about the weather. “I’m so glad that it is raining, the earth really needs the refreshing water!”
· Practice positive statements until you have them memorized!
· Hold the door open for someone who is holing stuff in both arms and smile.
· Sing Disney Songs (Chim Chim Cheree, Bare Necessitates, The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers). Learn the “I Love Myself Song by……
· Play a favorite game that you used to play when you were a happy child such as hopscotch, color pictures, play a plastic flute, turn on the music and dance. Remember what age you were when you were happy; remember how you felt and what your aspirations were, and the kinds of things you did. List three activities that can make you feel like you felt then.
· Put on your best clothes, and go to the grocery store, buy lunch and then go to the park and eat lunch in the park. Call a friend and invite him or her to do the same with you.
· Look at your self esteem booster artifacts.
· Use your self esteem booster tools (light pretty candles, play classical music, feel elegant)
Now, actually Do the actions that are on your list for three weeks. Then, make a set of the same list (photo copy a bunch of them). Make it part of your Wellness and Recovery Plan to Activate your Self Esteem Boost Acton Plan as soon as you notice you are starting to feel depressed . Since this will be in your Self Esteem Booster Box, you can simply grab the list and the pen that is in the box and Do your Positive Actions the moment you notice yourself going down that slippery slope of expression. You might be surprised at how this practice brings you back up. Although you may have a chemical imbalance that is activate to make you begin to feel depressed, these actions will help boost your neuro-chemicals to counter act the depressive cycle.