Step 2: Planning Activities
Planning activities broadly fall in the following four areas:
- Values and meaning. It is important to understand why you wish to be less depressed. What meaning would being less depressed, and functioning better mean to you?
- Physical health. Increasing our activity level is crucial to feel better. We work on identifying and scheduling a list of activities to get you moving.
- Social activities. Humans are social creatures, and it is essential to set up activities to spend time with your loved ones.
- Mastery activities. Understanding your goals and what you wish to work on is essential for giving you a sense of purpose. We make a plan to work on activities that get you towards mastery of an area that you used to work on, or wish to work on.
Once we build our schedule, we get into the habit of asking, "What time is it?", and doing the planned activity instead of asking ourselves, "Am I feeling in the mood to do it?" As part of this process, we also enlist the help of our parents to keep us motivated when we need a bit of support to do so.
"Just Doing It": Behavioral Activation
Therefore, we’d like you to try something different. The idea of the treatment we are about to begin is that your thoughts and feelings are affected by your interactions with others and your overall quality of life. So, we believe that for you to have more positive thoughts and to feel better, you must first become more active and put yourself into more positive situations. Although this will be quite difficult right now, it will become easier as more and more positive experiences occur.