Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Activity Scheduling

The aim of Activity Scheduling:

When people feel low and depressed usually they slow down mentally and physically. People lose concentration and the desire to do anything that is pleasurable. Often a sure cure for depression (as well as medication and CBT) is to rediscover pleasure. This not only lifts moods, but will engage people in rediscovering a sense of self-worth, deserving and self-esteem.

Activity makes you feel better! Activity motivates you to do more!

Activity makes you feel less tired! Activity improves your ability to think!

Two methods:

The two methods of using Activity Schedules are:

1. To self-monitor i.e., people record what they have been doing and they record their moods.
2. To plan ahead i.e., they plan to do more of the things that give them pleasure and help them to become active again so that their moods will be lifted.

Using the Weekly Activity Schedule:

1. Write in each box the activity – what they were doing that hour.
2. Also write in each box a mood rating (0% - 100%)
1. They can rate any mood, e.g., depression, anxiety, anger, even loneliness.
2. They can rate any behaviour.

The aim is self- monitoring. People record what they were doing and how it made them feel. Boxes should look like this:

The numbers in the example are rating ‘stress’. At breakfast the stress was felt a little (low score). The stress was felt more at work (score goes up).

3. Thinking about patterns:

Once people have a Weekly Activity Schedule completed, they can use the “Working with Activity Schedule” sheet to identify which activities affected their mood for the better and for the worse and which they could plan to do more of next week. The aim is to build up pleasurable activities, not tiresome cores, or destructive behaviours.

Working with Activity Schedules

1. Intense Moods (describe the rate and range of rate, both positive and negative)

2. Activities affecting moods:

Write down the activities that made you feel better

(Describe any awareness and thoughts you had at those times)

Write down the activities that made you feel worse

(Describe any awareness and thoughts that you had at those times.)

3. Coping Activities

(Describe what you used to cope with when experiencing activities that made you feel worse – healthy and unhealthy coping strategies)

Other activities (that made you feel better)

4. Times – any noticeable pattern :

Best Times:

Worst Times:

5. Action Plan

When: Where: With Whom:

6. Key Thoughts to challenge:

Planning Ahead with Activity Schedules:

Once people have discovered a pattern of their moods and what activities affect them they can then plan ahead – that is , they can plan more pleasurable activities. They plan to do more of the things that lift their mood. These may literally be pleasurable activities, like self-care activities or spoiling yourself, or, they may be activities like doing a Flashcard Heading, where people choose to face their negative thoughts rather than avoid or try to ignore them.

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