Doing Difficult Things. But Not That Difficult.

God gave me the worst New Year’s resolution for 2016! Usually I look forward to starting something in the new year. Even if it’s tough and I don’t stick to it to the end. But this year God clearly gave me a pretty bad one! He said I need to quit watching TV by myself. I can watch TV or movies with Eric (which is usually about 40 minutes each evening), but if Eric isn’t around and isn’t watching then I’m not watching anything either. The Whole Stinking Year! So I’ll fold laundry without TV. I’ll workout without TV. I’ll work in the kitchen for hours on end without TV. I’ll have NO way to give mental energy to shows. AND, because Eric will be watching the shows as well there will be no more “Survivor” or “Biggest Loser” or “Hawaii Five-O.” I know they are dumb shows, but they let me escape my own thoughts and they entertain me. And I’m not watching any of them for a year.

At first I felt like this was too much of God to ask of me. I’m home all day long almost completely by myself. Plus, I’m usually doing something productive while watching. But then I realized two things: The first is that when my kids have had a lot of screen time (video games, movies, texting, etc) they have poor attitudes afterwards. It made me realize I do too. The second is that God isn’t calling me to move to some hot, dusty, dangerous place to share the gospel with people who are about to kill me. He’s calling me to quit watching TV. I’ll survive.

Deep down I’ve always known that TV has been making my depression worse. I don’t know how or why, it just has. And there are other things that are making it worse. Like eating sugar, not exercising regularly, drinking coffee, and allowing clutter to build up in our house. So this year, even though I don’t think these things will get rid of the depression, I’m going to do hard things so that at least I’m not making myself feel worse than I already am. And it won’t kill me to stop watching TV. Truly it won’t. Even on days when my depression is the worst and I want to just sit around and veg-out in front of the TV I will survive without it. And I’ll probably need to come read this for the added inspiration to forge ahead.

I’d like to hear from you. What is it that you know makes your depression worse, but you do it anyway?

7 thoughts on “Doing Difficult Things. But Not That Difficult.”

  1. There’s always listening to some good, loud, kickin’ it music while your doing housework! Singing along, dancing around the kitchen.. in between loading the dishwasher or stirring the stew… well who wouldn’t feel better over that? And how about some good black gospel praise music thrown in for good measure..? just singing those praises can turn any downcast spirit back up where it should be. I agree. T.V can be depressing… after watching too much T.V. I get really lazy and unmotivated too. There’s so much more positive things to do..I think your on the right track with this one!

  2. Wow, not watching TV alone is a difficult one! You do have good points to bring up about it though. I know I watch too much TV, but I am alone now so I watch it alone. The winter weather makes me a little SAD. Thanks for sharing, it means a lot!

  3. Seems drastic. There are shows that uplift like Ted Talks and PBS. Perhaps it’s the type of shows you are watching? Maybe you can watch concerts and documentaries or on line classes and videos that teach… you know, to not feel so alone and completely isolated while doing the domestic chores and such. Just my two little bitty wee cents. Love you!

  4. I haven’t watched tv alone for 18 months. It is really quite healing to read, listen to music, take a walk or even yes ~~ clean! I’m ever so proud of you for making this decision ?

  5. I know that eating sugar and other crappy snack foods makes mine worse. And not exercising adds to that depressing and seemingly insurmountable pile of factors surrounding my negative self-image. I am right there with you, friend!

  6. Being indoors, stuck in our apartment, not getting enough outside time. Screen time, clutter, and not enough adult interaction. Also, being a stay at home mom and homeschooler in a city where I don’t know many people, I have very few reasons to put on real pants much less makeup. I do find that not doing enough with myself after too many days can make me feel pretty bad. Something about putting myself together every once in a while makes me feel better. Even if it’s just for an hour at church. I wouldn’t say I am depressed but I can definitely go into dark spells if I don’t pay attention to what I’m doing it not doing.

  7. Good self-awareness (and God-awareness). I don’t suffer depression, but all the things you mentioned leave a certain pressure on the mind, making me that more anxious about life in general. Everyone can probably work on those things.

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