I often get lost in big-picture thinking, but, if my ongoing recovery process has taught me anything, it’s that the small actions are what counts. For me, these fall in to two categories: the small, repetitive, everyday actions (eat well, exercise, work, etc.) , and the small, spontaneous actions. The latter is where I really struggle. I thrive when I have a routine. I like to be in control. I plan ahead. I fill my days with task upon task.


Photo by Angelina Kichukova on Unsplash

But, as I wrote a couple of weeks ago, I’m learning that for my spiritual, mental, and physical well-being I need to let go more often and actively practice enjoying life. For me, productivity = I can feel okay about myself, whereas rest/fun/relaxation = I stress about what I could be accomplishing instead. I’m striving to change that, so I’ve started writing down what I manage to do throughout the week that involves rest/fun/relaxation.

Here are a few that I wrote down this week:

  • Went to a yoga class on the beach instead of using the time after dinner to lesson plan.
  • Walked downtown instead of shortening the time by driving.
  • Sat and drank tea without any work in front of me.

It might sound silly but by keeping record of it, it turns into something I feel proud about — that I did accomplish something. It might not seem like “productivity” to the masses, but for someone with high-functioning depression this type of productivity is momentous.

So, pat yourself on the back for all the small things you did this week to take care of your mental health. It might not seem like a big deal, silly even, but you’re living and growing and that deserves to be celebrated.

If you have a story about mental illness—whether personal or concerning a loved one—please consider sharing your experience by writing a guest post, doing an interview with one of us, or joining the team as a regular contributor. Even if you aren’t at a place yet where you feel comfortable disclosing your name, the church body needs your voice. Let’s shine a light on the darkness, together.

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