Last time we talked about lack of planning impacting mental health. I will share today on how developing a habit of planning helped in my mental health recovery.
When I stopped looking at the past, it was because I started looking forward to the future. I became motivated to writing notes of every meeting I attended.
At the height of my experience of mental illness I was unfocused, with my writing all over the place. My writing reflected my thought processes. It was disordered, not easy to identify what they related to days afterwards.
Zoe was to help me by example, and by her tireless prompting to make ordered notes on a regular basis. As my writing improved, I found my thoughts became more structured. I began to plan my activities, making out time for feedback.
Being given feedback on what I observed was to help me structure my thoughts further. This in turn made me appreciate the experiences I was exposed to.
On one of my first dates with Zoe, we attended a seminar. I drew a blank on being asked along with others to give feedback on the presentations that we had been given.
Zoe’s surprise and concern about my challenges that day propelled her into motivating me on giving feedback regularly.
I had a habit of writing ideas that came to me on the spur of the moment on any piece of paper that i could lay my hands on. This often meant that old unused diaries had unconnected paragraphs as my writing mirrored my thought patterns.
When Zoe cajoled me into putting dates and structuring my writing in specified notebooks, I was on my way to ordered thinking.
Weeks of regularly following this set pattern led to months of ordered notes. I now have notes going back more than five years. These are often gems for developing ideas as coming across them always gave me the push to do things.
Distilling ideas from my experiences became more of a habit as I made ordered notes. I was soon planning my days as I also got into the habit of making written plans.
Developing a habit of planning my reading soon got me to value my time by reducing the level of distractions I was used to. I found that planning stimulated my creativity.
Having a partner who was very organised ensured the discipline that I was building up in my thought patterns and activities was maintained.
Being exposed to quality demands on my attention helped me in no small measure in recovering from mental illness. I found satisfaction and even greater purpose in the activities I took part in. Being stimulated in an ordered environment of productive activity was to lead in 4 short years to full recovery from 18 years’ journey of mental illness!
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