If you have a mental disorder, and the Sickness Benefit Act starts to apply to you, it is hard to get out of it again. You feel down all day, you do not want to go out, you have no social contacts and (almost) no one will visit you. Simply because you do not feel like it.

But there is going to be a day that it has to change. And this does not mean it ‘has’ to change between now and one or two weeks. Absolutely not! But, after a while you will realise that something needs to done.

Do not set any rules for yourself, that is the only rule I had. If you ‘have’ to do stuff, from either yourself or other people, it will not succeed. Give yourself space to breath.

  • An alarm clock! But not for 7AM. In the beginning I started to wake up at 9:30AM, letting myself snooze until 10AM. Slowly I started to put my alarm clock earlier, until I could easily get out of bed around 8:30AM.
  • Shower and dress within 2 hours after waking up. Preferably I wore my sweatpants all day, but if I wore jeans with a t-shirt I felt slightly better. And after a while, I also started to wear makeup again.
  • Turn off the television, just to avoid escaping reality. It is very easy to forget all of your problems when you are watching television. But sometimes you need to face what is going on.
  • Look for a new hobby or pick up an old hobby. Not to forget your problems, but just to enjoy life. Puzzle, paint, knit. Get a new hobby that you normally would not choose. Amaze yourself!
  • Go out for groceries everyday, so you will get out more often. If I did not had to go out for food, I would not get out of the house at all. I used to enjoy walking, also when it is cold. But since I did not want to do anything but lie down on the couch, I did not do that anymore. So needing dinner everyday made me leave my couch again.  
  • Tell your relatives that you want to change your pattern. They can help you. They can invite you for a cup of tea, or they might even get outside with you. It can be nice to do stuff together.
  • Go to the hairdresser, dye your hair. Be crazy! You will feel different.
  • Make chore lists. Write down what needs to be done and divide it over the week. You can do two small chores on one day. But when something requires more energy, such as cleaning and making up the bed, one will be good too. Accept it, it is better to do something than to do nothing.
  • To-do lists work as well! It gives rest. But put yourself on the list too… And a coffee with a treat, or that movie you wanted to see.

You will see, step by step you will get your life back. Give it some time and trust yourself! No rush, because then you will probably need to start over again and again. Allow yourself to enjoy life again.

This week Racoon with Laugh about it. You got this!

Love, Renée x

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Expert in PTSD, burnout, personality disorders and eating disorder. Even if I only help one person by sharing my story, I am happy!

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