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A simple list. Wednesday December 11, 2013

Today's blog follows on from last week's.

A number of you commented on my "Having an Under the Hedge Day" and one of the comments was a request for a simple list of things to do on those bad days.

So here's the list. Adjust it as you please because your best list may be different from mine.

1 The important thing is not to think. Just do the next thing on the list.

2 Sit up in bed. Drink a large glass of water. (Put it ready the night before).

3 Get out of bed. Go to the loo. Shower. If you can't shower at least have an all-over wash. Scrub briskly so your skin tingles. Shave (if appropriate). Moisturise (chaps too, ideally but I won't insist on that one).

4 Get dressed in proper clothes. Even shoes.

5 Put on makeup. If you can't bear that thought – at least a dash of lipstick. (Chaps excused this one).

6 Make a hot drink and drink it.

7 Eat something. Preferably protein, not just carbohydrates. A scrambled egg takes just 40 seconds in the microwave. Sliced cheese and ham is pretty easy.

8 Turn on the PC. Do your Moodscope score. It is what it is: don't judge it or yourself.

9 Unlock the door. Go outside. Take five deep breaths of fresh air. If you have the time, take a brisk 20 minute walk. Ten minutes will do. Don't think – just walk.

10 The rest of the day, just take fifteen minutes at a time. Use a kitchen timer if it helps. Do a task for fifteen, rest for fifteen. Do something else for another fifteen. Try to have tasks where you can see a result. Be easy on yourself. Drink lots of water.

11 If it helps you, play upbeat music. My favourite is Mendelsohn or Carol Emerald. Nothing aggressive, just happy.

If you manage all these it's a major triumph! Fabulously well done! Remember – just because the rest of the world can't see the depths of invisible treacle we walk through, the clouds of darkness that menace and oppress us unceasingly, doesn't mean they're not there. Just surviving another day is an achievement. Let's hope tomorrow is better.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our Blogspot:

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Suzy Wed, Dec 11th 2013 @ 6:36am

This is fantastic! Thank you Mary. The shower BEFORE breakfasting is so important for me.

Rozelle Faulkner Wed, Dec 11th 2013 @ 7:41am

For me, a lot of these would not be possible and having them on a list would be like a devastating reminder of what a failure I am (or at least that's how I'd feel at the time). Although I appreciate that this list would give the best outcome if it was managed, I'd like to share my version of a list for hedge days.... 1, wash your face 2, eat something 3, watch trashy tv like Judge Judy or Next Top Model 4, keep warm 5, talk to someone either in person, by phone or online. Tell them how you're feeling. That's it. No more. Anything else would be setting myself up for failure.

Jeanius Wed, Dec 11th 2013 @ 8:02am

This is an excellent list. I am going to print it out and keep it by my bed for what I call 'duvet days'... Those are the days that I literally pull the duvet over my head and shut out the world. 15 years ago those days were pretty regular but I am pleased to say that they are few and far between!

Anonymous Wed, Dec 11th 2013 @ 8:30am

Please stop with the gender-essentialist comments around who's "allowed" to wear makeup or moisturize (or who's expected to by default). Please consider that people who receive a lot of negative response for their gender identity or gender presentation may also use Moodscope. Don't add to the oppression they face; your comments in fact may make their mood worse!

Anonymous Wed, Dec 11th 2013 @ 9:06am

Thank you, really helpful xxx

Anonymous Wed, Dec 11th 2013 @ 9:26am

Enjoyed post thankyou x
on the very black days its
1.get up 2. Drink eat 3 breath 4return to bed
it becomes a big problem if everyday is black day.
In between these days are grey days and cloudy days when its easier to achieve more
best wishes everyone

Anonymous Wed, Dec 11th 2013 @ 9:33am

Perfect guide to getting through the day. The 15 minute thing is really helpful. As a guy, I will reserve the right to put make-up on if the mood grabs me though.

valerie Wed, Dec 11th 2013 @ 9:36am

Great list-sometimes living one day at a time is way too much-15 minutes is much more realistic.I would add these to watch on You Tube-Paolo Nutini Pencil Full of Lead (Live version) and Divine live on Australian T.V "You think you're a Man"-this can be enjoyed by all genders/orientations,but maybe particularly anyone feeling a bit bitter towards a particular man!

The Entertrainer Wed, Dec 11th 2013 @ 9:47am

Thanks for the Caro Emerald suggestion - I'd not heard of her and she's wonderful. Old Charles Darwin said one of his secrets was knowing the difference between 10 minutes and 15 minutes. 15 minutes is a great time segment to chunk your day into more manageable parts. I have a brain-break every 45 minutes too - change posture and attention. It moves toxins from their trapped static state into the lymph to be eliminated from the body.
My Dad introduced me to Haydn (he's quite old). Haydn was a Court Composer who was a very, very happy man. It shows in his music.

Anonymous Wed, Dec 11th 2013 @ 10:47am

I liked the message a lot. I use my smart phone to make a list on these days. Sometimes I know not to list more than 3 items. The 15 minutes on the kitchen timer works great. So does having a clean kitchen sink for me. My docs just put me on Hugh doses of prednisone for a nasty flair I'm in. I fear I'm in for a rough ride. For those who pray--I am

randomangel Wed, Dec 11th 2013 @ 11:53am

In our thoughts EMjae...good luck!
Thank you to Mary. Simple things are so sensible just need to stop thinking/fretting long enough to do them. Great blog today!

randomangel Wed, Dec 11th 2013 @ 11:58am

Valerie - love the Nutini! Thanks! :>)

G Wed, Dec 11th 2013 @ 2:25pm

These are the things I used to do to put myself on track. I kind of fell out of it after the most recent "episode". Thanks for reminding me of the baby steps.

Silvia A Wed, Dec 11th 2013 @ 3:05pm

I liked your suggestion about intervals of time. i will try the 45 min. Haydn, yes, you are rignt, too! : )

Anonymous Wed, Dec 11th 2013 @ 4:04pm

Very good post. I read it first thing this morning and it got me going or gave me a lift., Neil

Rozelle Faulkner Wed, Dec 11th 2013 @ 4:23pm

I agree, that annoyed me too.

Anonymous Wed, Dec 11th 2013 @ 7:36pm

Very good advice,but harder than it reads.All the same,thank you,I will keep coming back to it.

Anonymous Wed, Dec 11th 2013 @ 8:53pm

Excellent post. All things that seem easy when it's going well, and absolutely enormous and challenging on hedge days, but still a vey helpful list.

Anonymous Wed, Dec 11th 2013 @ 11:57pm

Thank you. I can feel perfectly fine without "having to" wear make-up!

valerie Thu, Dec 12th 2013 @ 12:47pm

Particularly love "got food in my belly and a licence for my telly,aint nothing gonna get me down".

Anonymous Thu, Dec 12th 2013 @ 6:21pm

Mary thank you this was very helpful and I felt more positive today it also helps knowing that people understand how difficult some days are to get started

Sarah Thu, Dec 12th 2013 @ 6:24pm

I will definitely be following this list as it worked really well for me.Thank you

Anonymous Sat, Dec 14th 2013 @ 1:01pm

I will be trying this list not just for me, for my family fingers crossed thank you for sharing,

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