I can’t speak to the depression side of it but here are steps that helped me stay focused and busy:
– Get out of bed when you husband does, or shortly after. Be dressed by the time he leaves. The day has started!
– Have a scheduled lunch. Every day, the same time.
– Make a commitment to have at least one lunch date or walking in the park date with a friend. Email someone on Monday or Tuesday, set the date/time, so that you don’t procrastinate and end up not doing it.
– Make a to-do list every day. It can involve house cleaning, cooking, writing emails to friends back home, sending our resumes, or blogging. It doesn’t matter what’s on it, just make it. Check it off throughout the day so you look back and not only feel like you’ve accomplished something but HAVE accomplished something.
– Find some sort of activity to do EVERY DAY, whether it’s a 10 minute walk outside or even vacuuming the whole house for two hours. Chances are you’ll want to do more. Movement- not necessarily structured time at the gym- but movement is so important for seratonin and endorphine levels.
– If you want to work, think outside the box regarding what you can do. Telecommuting, editing, online freelance work. I haven’t worked in an office job in the two years I’ve been overseas, but I have held 3 consulting positions in my field through networking, getting in touch with my old organization, and applying to jobs and later asking if I can telecommute.
– You don’t have to work to feel productive. Your “job” could be learning how to sew, learning a new language, or volunteering. Anything that advances your skills and uses your brain can help you feel productive and improve your sense of self worth.
– If you stay at home most of the day, open windows and back porch doors. Natural light is an incredible mood lifter.
– Learn that it’s okay to be alone sometimes… or a lot of time.
– Have some unstructured relaxed time. Maybe you want to “work” (whether that means cook/clean/tutor/work/exercise) from 9-1:30 PM, have lunch from 1:30-2, “work again from 2-4, and then have 4-6 until your husband comes home be “you” time. That’s the time you get to just watch tv, surf the internet, and just chill. Lazy time is great, but keep it to a specific time period during the day so you encourage yourself to do other things. I recommend the late afternoon; if you start at 1 PM you’re more likely to spend the rest of the day lazing instead of doing things. Plus it gives you something to look forward to.
Just some thoughts. Hope this helps. hugs.