Self-Care For When You Just Don’t Care
When you’re dealing with depression, self-care is an act of courage, but it’s not all about pleasure and indulgence.
I am not at rock bottom. This is my mantra. My affirmation. My reminder that things could be much worse. And some days, it’s all I have.
- Take a shower. We both know you probably haven’t showered in entirely too long. Your hair is probably getting a bit greasy, you’re probably starting to get a bit of an odor, and even though you might not notice it, other people do. So get your ass in the shower. I’m not going to tell you that it’s a magic cure and it will wash all your troubles away. It might make you feel better, but it might not. But it’s a necessary part of self-care. Then set a reminder on your phone to take another shower in a day or two.
- Find someone you can be totally honest with. You probably don’t want everyone to know the depths of your despair, and that’s okay. You’re putting on a brave face for the world as everything collapses around you, and that’s okay, too. But you need someone that you can be totally honest with. A friend, a therapist, a doctor, someone, anyone that you can go to and say, “My life is shit right now, and I don’t know how to survive it anymore.” Introverted? Shy? Don’t have anyone in your life that you can tell the truth to? Try 7 Cups of Tea, where you can find a trained listener, for free, to listen to whatever you need to talk about.
- Take stock. This is where my mantra, “I am not at rock bottom,” came from. Make an honest assessment of your life, past and present. Start comparing. Is this the worst it’s ever been? Okay, well, then you might be at rock bottom — but probably not. I’ve seen a lot of people hit rock bottom. Rock bottom usually doesn’t have internet. Of course, you might be heading towards rock bottom, in which case, I’m very glad you’re catching yourself now. You have to take stock of your life to figure out how you got there — so you don’t do it again — and to figure out how to get out the corner you’ve painted yourself into.
- Take your meds. If you have meds, take them. You have them for a reason. There’s this fucked up thing in our culture that convinces people taking medications for mental health is a sign of character flaws. That if you have to take medications, then it’s because you just weren’t mentally strong enough to deal with life. It’s bullshit, of course. The brain is a body part, and like any other body part, sometimes, it doesn’t work like it’s supposed to. Taking anti-depressants to regulate your brain chemicals is no different from taking insulin to regulate your diabetes.
- Move your ass. This one is tough when you’re depressed. People that have never had to deal with depression often don’t realize that it’s as much a physical disorder as it is a mental one. It’s not only your brain that slows down, but your body starts to get sluggish. Depression can cause aches and pains; either new ones or exacerbating old ones. On top of that, there’s a desire to cocoon yourself and hide from the world. But exercise helps to release happy hormones, and while it’s not a cure-all, it can help to make the depression a bit more bearable so other things can start to take affect.
- Pay your bills. It’s really easy for the days to blend together when you’re dealing with depressive episodes, but if you don’t pay your bills, things are just going to get worse. Rock bottom will come that much faster. Depression, particular in the long-term and cyclical manifestations of it, can wreak havoc on your finances. It can be difficult to focus, and motivation is pretty much out the door, but the bills will keep coming in. Your calendar is your friend. Put your due dates on it, with reminders a week in advance.
- Get out of the house. Even if all you do is spend five minutes out in the yard every day. Yes, sunshine is good for you. Yes, fresh air is good for you. But more than that, staring at walls for hours on end is a great way to get sucked even further into the pits of despair. So go outside, even if it’s just for the Vitamin D.
Depression sucks. I’ve dealt with chronic cyclical depression for years, and at times, it feels like a neverending battle. But it can get better.
Like what you read? Click the ❤ to let the world know.
Want to read more of what I write? Follow me.
Want me in your inbox every week where I’ll share interesting bits I’ve found or written during the week? Drop your email below.
I hope your day rocks as much as you do! ❤ ❤ ❤