How the smallest goal can help on the shabbiest day

When someone’s mood is low, it’s usual for them to have little appetite – both literally and figuratively.

In its most literal form, there can be two ways of regarding food when you’re depressed.

Sometimes you may look for comfort from over-eating stuff that’s bad for you (either sweet or savoury snacks, for instance), while the alternative situation could be that you really won’t be bothered to eat at all.

More figuratively it’s likely that your appetite for life itself will be diminished.

When you feel like this, it’s common for ‘what’s the point’ thoughts to cascade through your mind, leaving you believing you’ve little (perhaps nothing) to look forward to.

Sadly, this can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, as you may simply stop putting things in your diary – so the days ahead will appear to hold nothing in store.

What can we do about this?

Although it can help a lot to be able to look forward to things, especially when everything around you seems dark, your head is likely to work against itself; refusing to make plans or accept invitations.

Just as the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, perhaps the answer is to persuade yourself to set the tiniest goals.

Maybe you’ll decide that you’ll leave the house at 6pm to walk around the block?

You could plan in the morning what you’ll eat in the evening.

Or you might plan to read just two pages of a good book later in the day.

Although they may not seem like ‘proper’ goals, they are at least the kind of small actions which you could view as achievable, perhaps even looking forward to them a little.

Just as you’d be wise to start eating cautiously after being physically unwell, gently build up your emotional appetite step-by-step when things prove tough for you.

2 thoughts on “How the smallest goal can help on the shabbiest day

  1. To keep me in touch with people when I was very low -I joined MEETUPS . I try to do something with one of my local groups at least once a month. It’s really helped. I Live in the UK, but joining a like minded group is something to look forward to. Also started Tai Chi -again in a group. This is the UK site -it’s got something for everyone -just put in your postcode to find one or two near you . I hope this helps someone

  2. Oh you are so right….when down, it’s too easy to reach for anything to eat to help the feelings brighten up…but it’s a vicious circle as we then feel so guilty for having eaten rubbish!
    I used to follow my golden rule of only eating between meals!!! Lol! Not now though!

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