Thursday, 26 April 2018

Lifestyle Review

I was thinking about the changes mentioned in yesterday's post when it suddenly dawned on me that I need to get my thinking cap on. This is a year of major changes for me, some through choice as in my decision to retire and some which I just have to make the best of, as in the change of doctor. I'm going to be left behind in my own life if I'm not careful!

Retirement is now only two/three months away. The school term finishes at the end of July but past experience tells me that the schools will be busy with trips, sports days, leaver ceremonies, and end of year plays, so most of the July lessons will be cancelled. I know that having a rhythm/routine of sorts to my days suits me best and will help to keep depression at bay but I haven't yet given any serious thought about how I'd like to occupy my time. I have vague ideas about starting up regular piano practice again, and also a daily walking/exercise, but that only counts for two hours a day maximum, so I'm racking my brain for ideas, not to account for every hour of the day but to add some sort of (flexible) structure to the day.

A recent conversation with Lauren has also made me realise how my social life has changed over the past year or so. I used to have quite a few regular(ish) social things to do such as photo walks, film nights, coffee mornings, choir, and additional book groups, but I seem to have stopped doing all of them. This was partly due to the depression but also due to the fact that it always seemed to fall to me to organise things and I got a bit fed up others relying on me to always be the organiser. The end result is that the only regular events to look forward to is the remaining monthly book group, the new crafting group and the occasional film night, or meal. At one time I was also doing plenty of things on my own and I tried to make sure I had enough things in the diary so that I always had something to look forward to but that's not happening as much now either.  It's so easy to let days drift by and not do anything fulfilling so I need to reintroduce this but looking ahead I'd like a happy combination of things to do with others and things to do by myself. I'll be fine in August as I have both of the rescheduled holidays to look forward to, but for September onwards I need to do some serious thinking and planning.

I've already made a bit of a start and will continue over the next few weeks, with the aim of coming up with ideas of things to do and also examining the real reasons of why things stopped. I have already started a list of ideas of thing to do and, after the initial brain dump, will keep revisiting it as ideas spring to mind. I'll start a separate list next week to get an idea of why all the previous activities stopped - I honestly enjoyed a lot of the regular activities so am interested to get to the true reasons behind why they've ground to a halt. Both lists will be unedited to start with. This is utilising a technique suggested to me back in 1999 as a way forward from a major bout of depression and it has always proved to be a useful exercise. I'll be interested to scrabble about in the depths of my brain to see what things come to light. Watch this space, and feel free to chip in with ideas ... it'll be very much appreciated!


  1. What a good idea! Really looking forward to reading your ideas.
    J x

  2. It's always such a good idea to take stock & review lifestyle choices, what's working, what's not & why. You show a lot of wisdom in recognizing & taking steps to keep depression at bay (& maybe gone). There will be the SPSH coming into play first of June - I'll be posting a list in mid May; hope you play along, so maybe there's some inspiration for the photo walks again.

  3. I am reading this with interest because, I, too, am considering retirement sometime this summer and one of the things a couple of people have asked is, "What are you going to do?" Personally, I am not someone who needs to be constantly doing something. I am fine with just being. I am part of a group of family and friends who meet once a month for prayers and a meal (either lunch or dinner). That is really my only regularly scheduled activity (other than going to work). In addition, there are occasional meals out with a friend. I've considered doing some volunteering at the library, but haven't actually looked into it. I prefer to stay at home and read, knit, sew, etc. Maybe, after 6 months or so of staying at home, I might feel the need to socialize! :)