Self Care is something we are hearing more and more about. People are all about practicing Self Care however during a Depressive Episode, the very term "Self Care" is almost laughable if it wasn't so frustrating. Outside of this, its a very healthy and positive approach to looking after yourself and in another post, we'll talk about things to do when you are feeling mentally more balanced and less distressed.
I have put together the top things that may seem small to some people, but anyone with Depression can tell you that what is "small" to some people, is insurmountable to others.
1. Shower - Now this may seem like a strange tip for #1, however for me, it is sometimes the hardest, especially when I don't have to leave the house that day. Even if you don't spring out of bed and into the shower like you may like too, just getting in there at some point throughout the day will 100% make you feel a tiny bit less like you are moving like a snail. Plus it can be an indulgent experience, or simply making it in and out. As long as you get in there, you will feel a tiny bit better for it.
2. Promise No Judgement - All you can do is try, try your very hardest to acknowledge how you feel and that it will pass, but for now you are in the zone and the only thing you can do when it seems impossible to draw any strength at all, is to promise yourself you won't judge, you won't let one day, one week, hell one month, define you.
And that's it! You were expecting a list right? I'm not going to sit here and say "do something you enjoy". because when you are depressed you don't enjoy anything, that's kinda the point. Having someone encourage to find joy in something can sometimes lead you to feel worse, because you just can't.
Nor am I going to preach about getting outside and exercising, even though again we know the healthy benefits and on those days where you can manage it, do it! You will absolutely feel better for it. But on the days you can't, remember, no judgement.
I know for some you will think I am crazy, having just two points on my Self Care List. But this isn't a list for when you are feeling well and able to do all the things that a real list can achieve. This is a realistic look at the immense struggle it takes to do even the smallest things. So when you constantly read a list 20 Tips long that you just can't follow through with at that particular moment in time, it can often lead to feeling worse.
This is just my perspective on when I am right in the zone of feeling depressed. As I have mentioned its the smallest tasks that can be the hardest, and not being able to achieve them can lead to feeling like you have failed. The truth is that we have to get ahead of the eight ball with depression and plan ahead, which I'll talk about in another post.
A hug, a snuggle with your cat or dog, seemingly innocuous tasks for others can be a small comfort when you are in the zone.
This is just a small post to say that you are 100% not alone, when things become too hard, trying to achieve a list of 20 things is just not realistic. Its about getting through that period of pain and difficulty and implementing healthy tasks when you can actually achieve them.
To end this post, to the Dr who said "just go to the gym" - Find another job ;)
Thanks for reading, you are a warrior and you are not alone.
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