Fighting Depression with To-do Lists: Finish Banana ✔

Sometimes I can wake up, and know the day is going to be very hard. I’ll feel sluggish, despondent and utterly miserable. I’m quite used to the feeling, having suffered from bouts of depression for a few years.

The causes of depressive episodes are complex and unique for each sufferer, they’ll manifest themselves in innumerable ways: a common symptom is lethargy. It makes the smallest task seem completely impossible. Of course, in the depressive’s mind, failing to get to work or make a meal, is further evidence to support their false hypothesis that they are completely useless and worthless.

It is very hard to remove yourself from a downward spiral, however it isn’t impossible. I’m currently feeling very ill, I managed to make it to work today, but I was very close to staying in bed. I beat depression today by writing a to- do list in bed. Whereas one of my normal to-do list looks something like this:

One of my standard to-do lists

A depressed day’s looks like this:

Today’s to-do list

Writing something down creates accountability and focuses my mind. Because of how warped my confidence and self-worth are on hard days, it may seem ridiculous but ticking off ‘finish banana’, actually gives me a sense of satisfaction and achievement. I know by looking after myself that I’m battling against depression, and even though I never did get round to getting those other two Weetabix, by following the above list, more or less, it allowed me to build up to bigger tasks and feel a little better for it:

The Todoist Team make a great to-do list app: