About a week ago I started to come out of a deep depression. As I felt it lift, I started to put some serious thought into the things that weigh on my mind. What brings me down? What contributes to my depression? What can I change? I soon realized I needed to refer to my locus of control.
Your locus of control is a representation of problems that are internal or external. Internally, I have put off working out and gained five pounds. This is something that I control and make active decisions about daily. Externally, there have been really cold days and ice on the ground. I can’t do outside cardio with the kids in the stroller on days like this. The weather is outside of my control.
Seems easy enough, right? Well, depression is a crazy thing. It can be like a carnival funhouse mirror for your thoughts, distorting them and blurring the entire locus. On my bad days, I see a five pound gain and no longer logically think about internal initiative or external weather. Instead, I change the entire dialogue to blame the external sources. I find myself using statements like “Why do these things happen to me?” or “What’s the point of trying?” I can blame bad genes for my metabolism, my family for keeping me super busy or just plain old bad luck.
Today I took off my depression sunglasses and put on my clarity spectacles. Looking at my locus I see that when I am low I frequently view things as happening TO me. Now that I’m feeling good, I’m trying to sort out my locus.
Looking at the week ahead, I see that I have plans four out of the next five days. I’m a little overwhelmed and wondering where I’m going to make time to get active and kick those five pounds back to the curb. I can not change that my daughter needs vaccines. I need to get her to that appointment. I can not change that my husband needs to work outside of the home, and most day time tasks fall on me. I can manage my time differently- especially my beloved afternoon nap. (Trust me, it’s no longer self care. It’s an awful addiction that ruins my daytime productivity and my night time sleep schedule.) I can make choices about the food I put into my body.
I spend a ton of time thinking about accountability- and the locus of control is closely related to it. Ultimately there are things that I can not control, but success is finding ways around them. This week I am going to focus on what I am making happen, instead of what is happening to me.
How can you reframe your problems this week? Let me know in the comments!
Stay positive. Stay focused. Stay accountable.