When you're fighting depression, while practicing self-care is a critical component of getting better, for a variety of reasons, it can also be difficult and challenging to do. And, if you can relate, then in this blog post, we're going to share with you:
- Quotes from members of The Depression Project's 3,000,000+ person social media community about the reasons why depression can make it difficult to practice self-care;
- Quotes from members of The Depression Project's community about why self-care is important when you have depression;
- An action plan for how to practice self-care when you have depression;
- Quotes from members of The Depression Project's community about some of the different ways you can practice self-care when you have depression;
- A depression self-care checklist;
- Quotes from members of The Depression Project's community about things you can do to make it easier to practice self-care when you have depression.
We think you're going to find this blog post really, really helpful, so as soon as you're ready, let's get started!
Quotes About Why Depression Can Make It Difficult To Practice Self-Care
Like we mentioned in the opening sentence of this blog post, while practicing self-care is extremely beneficial, when you're fighting depression, it can also be challenging and difficult to do in practice. On that note, we'd now like to share with you some quotes from members of The Depression Project's community about why this can be so:
- "In a depressive episode, the simplest tasks feel like running a marathon. When this is the case, I take as many shortcuts as possible – and that often involves neglecting self-care even though it’s good for me.”
- "When my depression is bad and I’m really down on myself, I don't feel worthy of self-care or any kind of consideration."
- "Looking after myself is the last thing on my mind when I'm deep in depression. All I think about is blocking out the world and existing until I feel like myself again.”
- "I know I should look after myself, but depression drains me of all of my energy."
- "The depression fog makes it hard to concentrate and focus on any given task, including the simplest of self-care tasks like bathing myself.”
- "An act of self-care can trigger my depression. Sometimes I’ll think: 'I don't deserve this'. Other times, the difficulty of actually doing something self-care-related further emphasises just how bad my state is. Either way, I avoid it – even though this ends up making me feel even worse in the long-term.”
- "Self-care can feel pointless during a depressive episode. I know I'm not going to go out anywhere and will just spend the day in bed, so why bother?"
- "It's like depression makes me forget how to take care of myself. It stops all the momentum in life and I have to crawl my way through things that would otherwise come easily to me.”
- "Depression tricks me into playing the 'waiting game' ... i.e. waiting until I feel better to practice self-care and get back to things. But, sometimes that takes a lot longer than I expect, and then I feel ashamed for letting things get away from me.”
- "I'm just so focused on surviving during a depressive episode that I don't have the strength or the energy to look after myself. It feels like a luxury that I can’t afford.”
- "When I'm depressed, it feels like nothing will make me feel better, and as a result, it's hard to practice self-care because I can’t see any benefit to it.”
Quotes About Why Practicing Self-Care Is Important When You Have Depression
- "As difficult as it can sometimes be to practice self-care when you’re in a depressive episode, I know it’s worth trying to do it, because it helps prevent my depression from spiralling out further and further. It helps me manage it and keep it under control.”
- "Self-care is like an act of defiance against depression. When depression throws everything at me and wants me to do nothing, practicing self-care makes me feel like even in those moments, I still have some control over things.”
- "Even doing something small like brushing my teeth or having a shower can feel so empowering when I’m consumed with depression and don’t want to do anything but stay in bed."
- "Practicing self-care gives me a glimmer of hope. It shows me that there's something depression hasn't taken from me even at my lowest."
- “It helps me recharge my batteries, and restore my energy so that I can keep on fighting.”
- "It helps create a barrier between me and depression's lies. When the lies are telling me I'm 'worthless' and I 'don't matter', me doing something good for myself is like a way of combatting them.”
- "Self-care reconnects me with myself … it gets me back to feeling present in my body again as opposed to just lost in my thoughts.”
- “I know from experience that self-care is essential to pulling myself out of a depressive episode. It’s hard, but I always try my best.”
An Action Plan For How To Practice Self-Care When You Have Depression
When many people with depression think about self-care, they often associate it with its most "obvious" acts - such as, for example:
- Lying in a bathtub;
- Lighting scented candles around a room;
- Getting a massage.
And, while practicing self-care can include these acts, it is also much, much, MUCH more than this - especially when you're fighting depression!
In particular, when you have depression, there are six different "types" - AKA "pillars" - of self-care that are worth incorporating into your self-care action plan. In particular, these include:
- Depression Self-Care Action Plan Pillar #1 - "Mental Self-Care": I.e. Doing activities that stimulate your mind in a positive way; and also learning and implementing strategies to help separate yourself from negative thoughts; think more positively; and become "unstuck" from something that you may be ruminating about.
- Depression Self-Care Action Plan Pillar #2 - "Emotional Self-Care": This involves learning and implementing strategies to help you get some respite from the painful emotions you're feeling, to give your mood a boost, and to prevent yourself from getting burnt out and/or from your depression deteriorating.
- Depression Self-Care Action Plan Pillar #3 - "Physical Self-Care": This involves taking care of your physical health; and also learning and implementing strategies to help you, among other things, feel more energetic.
- Depression Self-Care Action Plan Pillar #4 - "Social Self-Care": This involves learning and implementing strategies to help you have positive interactions with the people around you.
- Depression Self-Care Action Plan Pillar #5 - "Spiritual Self-Care": This involves learning and implementing strategies which contribute to you feeling as if you have a purpose in the world and that your life has meaning.
- Depression Self-Care Action Plan Pillar #6 - "Practical Self-Care": This involves learning and implementing strategies to help you feel comfortable, safe, cared for and in control of your life.
As we hope you're starting to see, practicing self-care when you have depression involves a lot more than just lying in a bathtub, lighting scented candles around a room or getting a massage, for example.
And, right now, we're going to share with you some specific strategies you can implement to help you practice "mental self-care", "emotional self-care", "physical self-care", "social self-care", "spiritual self-care" and "practical self-care"!
Depression Self-Care Action Plan Part 1: Practicing "Mental Self-Care"
So, like we've touched upon, "mental self-care" is self-care when it comes to your thoughts and your mind. And, one such strategy you can implement to practice "mental self-care" is to talk more kindly to yourself.
Now of course, this is something that's really important to try your best to do, since as you no doubt know, when you have depression, it's extremely common to talk to yourself in very self-critical, abusive and uncompassionate ways. For example, by calling yourself:
For this reason, an important component of "mental self-care" when you have depression is doing your best to silence this critical and abusive voice, and instead talk to yourself much more kindly - for example by:
- Firstly, changing any negative statements you make about yourself such as "I'm a loser", "I'm worthless", etcetera to "I feel like a loser", "I feel worthless", etcetera. Even better: Change "I'm a loser", "I'm worthless", etcetera, to "I feel like a loser right now", "I feel worthless right now", etcetera. This is a simple, cognitive behavioural therapy-based, "thought defusion" strategy to help you gain some separation from your negative thoughts, and remind yourself that they are just that - thoughts - as opposed to reality.
- Secondly, we encourage you to remind yourself of the good things you've done today - such as by telling yourself, for example, "I'm proud of myself for surviving depression today"; or "I deserve a pat on the back for getting out of bed and having a shower today when I felt so 'depression tired' that all I wanted to do was sleep".
To learn more strategies to help you practice "mental self-care", we also encourage you to check out our blog posts titled 50 Examples Of Negative Thoughts When You Have Depression, and 75+ Positive Affirmations For Depression. You'll also likely find our collection of Journals For Negative Thoughts helpful as well.
Depression Self-Care Action Plan Part 2: Practicing "Emotional Self-Care"
Like we've said, "emotional self-care" is self-care when it comes to your feelings.
Of course, when you’re fighting depression, this kind of self-care is really, really important as well, because again, it can help you to:
- Get some respite from any painful / consuming emotions you're experiencing;
- Give your mood a boost;
- Combat feelings of numbness;
- Prevent you from getting burned out, from snapping over "something small", and/or from your depression deteriorating.
In practice, there are a variety of strategies you can implement to achieve these objectives, and one such one that we'd like to share with you now is practicing mindfulness - which in case you don’t know, has been proven to help people deal with stress, overwhelm, worry, fear, anger, and practically any other difficult, painful emotion that a person can feel.
Have you ever tried it before?
If you haven’t, then we really encourage you to! And, to help you get started, right now, we’d like to share a relatively simple mindfulness exercise with you that can be really effective at making you feel more calm and settled.
In fact, it's so effective that in 2018 it went viral - being shared over 1.5 million times when we posted it on our Facebook page!
Now, to begin with, sit or lie down somewhere comfortable, and simply take a few deep breaths … breathing in through your nose … and then out through your mouth … in through your nose … and then out through your mouth ...
Then, while you continue to do so, gradually try to make yourself aware of:
- 5 Things You Can See: For example, the table in front of you, the nice painting on the wall, the fridge magnet that your daughter made, the clear blue sky outside, and the leafy green tree across the road.
- 4 Things You Can Feel: Once you’ve gotten in touch with five things you can see, then – while you continue breathing in through your nose, and out through your mouth – try to bring awareness to four things you can feel. For example, the chair that’s holding up your weight, your pants against your legs, the soft carpet beneath your feet, or a loose strand of hair brushing against your face.
- 3 Things You Can Hear: Next, bring awareness to three things you can hear. For example, the tik-tok of a clock, a bird chirping outside, or the sound of your children playing in their bedroom.
- 2 Things You Can Smell: Then, try to get in touch with two things you can smell. If you try but don’t find yourself able to smell anything, then try to summon up your two favourite smells. For example, the scent of freshly cut grass, or the aroma of a steaming mug of hot chocolate.
- 1 Thing You Can Taste: Lastly, be mindful of one thing you can taste (if you can't taste anything, then try to imagine yourself tasting something).
As you can likely tell, this exercise only takes a few minutes, but like we said, it can be really effective at helping you create separation between you and your negative / painful emotions, which will result in you feeling more calm and at peace.
Depression Self-Care Action Plan Part 3: Practicing "Physical Self-Care"
"Physical self-care" involves three main components:
- Implementing strategies to increase your energy levels - since struggling with depression can be completely exhausting.
- Taking care of your physical health - which, when you have depression, can often be a challenge to do.
- Connecting your body with the world around you - since when you have depression, it's possible to feel extremely disconnected from the world around you.
And, to help you achieve objectives one and two in particular, right now, we'd like to talk to you about one strategy in particular: exercising (or at least moving your body around).
Now of course, exercising is important for your long-term physical health, but did you also know that it can help you cope with depression as well? This is because:
- Exercising releases dopamine in your brain - which is the chemical found in a lot of anti-depressant medications.
- Exercising can also increase your energy levels - which, like we mentioned above, can often be lacking when you're struggling with depression.
In saying that though, when we talk about exercising, sometimes people with depression respond with something like:
- "But that's a ridiculous suggestion - because when you're deep in a depressive episode, you feel completely and utterly exhausted. So, how on Earth can I go for a run or lift weights at the gym like I usually would? That's just crazy!"
And, there is definitely truth in this - which is why we always say that when you have depression, exercise does not have to be as strenuous as "going for a run" or "lifting weights at the gym", for example.
Instead, we just encourage you to do whatever you feel capable of doing at any given moment in time.
- If you don't feel up to going for a run, then could you try going for a walk around the block?
- If you don't feel up to going for a walk around the block, then could you try going up and down a flight of stairs in your home or apartment block?
- If you don't feel up to going up and down a flight of stairs, then could you try walking to a different room and back?
- If you don't feel up to walking to a different room and back, then could you try stretching in bed?
Again, we encourage you to just do your best to do whatever you feel capable of, since even small amounts of exercise and body movements can:
- Release a little dopamine in your brain;
- Give you a little boost of energy;
- Reduce body aches and pains that can be brought about due to lack of movement.
Depression Self-Care Action Plan Part 4: Practicing "Social Self-Care"
"Social self-care" is centred around having positive connections with other people, and of course, this is something that's extremely important, because, among other reasons, negative interactions with other people is a major factor that contributes to a lot of people's depression.
For this reason, an important aspect of "social self-care" is implementing boundaries with respect to other people.
Because boundaries can help protect you from:
- Having your wants and needs sabotaged;
- Being taken advantage of;
- Becoming burned out and exhausted;
- Having your depression worsen.
To see some of the types of boundaries that you may want to implement, let's have a look at the following examples.
"Social Self-Care" Boundary Type #1: Boundaries On Your Time
For example, let’s say that your friend rings you up and asks if you can spend the upcoming Sunday helping them move house.
Now, if doing so wouldn’t sabotage your own needs and wants, exhaust you, or cause you any other form of harm, then it’s great to help your friend out and say “yes”.
However, there are many scenarios in which saying “yes” would come at a cost to you, and why as a result, it won’t be in your best interests to do so. For example:
- Because you want to spend Sunday morning at church, and even though you could theoretically skip it, you really want to go.
- Because you've had a tiring week at work, and you want to have a proper sleep-in on the weekend to help re-charge your batteries and prepare you for the next week.
In these instances, for the benefit of your own self-care, an effective boundary to implement would be one on your time.
- For example, by saying to your friend: “I’d be happy to help you move – but I’m only free from 12 o’clock onwards.”
"Social Self-Care" Boundary Type #2: Boundaries With Your Possessions
In this instance, let’s say that your friend asks to borrow $200 from you.
Now, there may be many occasions in which you’d be happy to loan your friend the money – in which case, no problem!
However, there may also be many instances in which you don’t want to do so. For example:
If your friend has borrowed money from you in the past but has never paid you back.
If you feel like you can only afford to loan them $100.
In these cases (as well as many others), to avoid you doing something that you aren’t comfortable with, you could establish boundaries with respect to your possessions. For example, by telling your friend:
“I’m sorry, but you still owe me money from before, and until you pay that back, I’m not comfortable loaning you anymore.”
“I’d be happy to loan you $100 – but right now, I can’t afford to give you anymore than that.”
"Social Self-Care" Boundary Type #3: Boundaries Based On How You Feel
To return to our first example, let’s say that your friend asks you to help them move house on Sunday.
Now, like we said earlier, if you have other things you want to do on that day, then you can establish boundaries with regards to your time (i.e. you can restrict your availability to the times when you’re happy to help out).
However, there might also be occasions when you don’t have any other commitments on, but for whatever reason, you just don’t feel like spending the day helping your friend move.
This could be, for example, because you can feel a depressive episode coming on, and you know that the best thing you can do for yourself is to have a quiet day at home practicing self-care.
In this case, the best thing you can do to protect yourself is say "no" to your friend – for no other reason than because you simply don’t feel like helping them move house.
"Social Self-Care" Boundary Type #4: Boundaries Based On Your Likes And Dislikes
In this example, let’s say that your friend invites you to go and watch a football match with them, when little do they know, you don’t actually like watching football at all.
In this case, if you really want to spend time with that particular friend, then you may decide to say “yes”.
However, if you know that you just wouldn’t enjoy the match at all even in your friend’s company, then rather than going just to please them, you could instead say:
“I’d love to spend time with you, but to be honest, I really don’t like football. Is there something else you feel like doing that we would both enjoy?"
Even though you’re not actually stating it, responding in this way implicitly enforces the boundary that you will not do things that you don’t like doing, just so that you can please someone else.
"Social Self-Care" Boundary Type #5: Boundaries Based On Your Values
This type of boundary is all about what behaviours you will, and will not tolerate from other people. For example, some boundaries based on your values may include:
I will not allow my partner to talk to me disrespectfully. If they do, then rather than keeping silent because I don’t want to upset them, I will speak up and tell them that I won’t accept this behaviour.
I’m more than willing to help my friends out when they’d like me to, but in return, I expect them to be appreciative – not to just use me and take my support for granted. I deserve better than that, and if that’s how they’re going to behave, then they don’t deserve my help or my friendship.
I will always do my best to make my partner happy, and to help them get their needs and wants met. However, in return, I expect them to do their best to make me happy as well, and to help me get my needs and wants met too.
I deserve to be treated as well as I treat other people, and I will not settle for anything less.
I have no room for toxic people in my life, so if someone behaves selfishly towards me or in a way that shows they have no regard for my needs, wants or values, then I’m going to disassociate myself from that person.
Having boundaries based on your values are arguably the most important boundaries you can have to stop people from mistreating you, and to surround yourself with people who will treat you with the respect, love and care you deserve.
For this reason, we really, really encourage you to carefully think about what your own value-based boundaries are and then put them into practice!
"Social Self-Care" Boundary Type #6: Boundaries Based On Topics Of Conversation
Let’s say you have someone who constantly rings you up to complain about their life – which is something that you find extremely negative and draining.
In this scenario, it’s beneficial to put in boundaries to protect yourself from this, such as by:
Telling them how their constant complaining makes you feel, and how while you’d be happy to help them try to constructively solve the problems in their life, you’re no longer willing to continue listening to them doing nothing but complain.
Alternatively, you could listen to them, but simply stop the conversation when you’ve had enough of it.
Depression Self-Care Action Plan Part 5: Practicing "Spiritual Self-Care"
Now, when many people think of "spiritual self-care", they often assume it's related to religion. And, while practicing religion can be part of "spiritual self-care" if you want it to be, "spiritual self-care" involves so much more, including:
Having a purpose in the world;
Leading a meaningful life;
And, one strategy in particular that you can implement to practice "spiritual self-care" is journalling.
Because journalling can help you become more aware and in-tune with your feelings surrounding "spiritual issues", such as what your purpose is, whether or not you're living a meaningful life, and how fulfilled you are.
In particular, below are some specific journal prompts you may like to answer which can help you "spiritually self-care":
What are some things in my family life that give me meaning, fulfillment, and purpose?
What are some things in my work life that give me meaning, fulfillment, and purpose?
What are some hobbies that give me meaning, fulfillment, and purpose?
What are some areas of “personal growth” I’m working on that are giving me meaning, fulfillment, and purpose?
How could I make more time for the things that really matter to me?
How can I continue to cultivate more meaning, fulfillment and purpose in my future?
What are some daily habits I can practice that will help make me more connected with the world and my place in it?
What could I do to be more "present" each and every day?
What are some good things about the present moment which I can be grateful for?
What are some areas of my life that are lacking in clarity? How can I gain more clarity in these areas?
What would my “highest self” do to navigate the challenges I’m facing right now?
How can I give myself more space to get in touch with my inner wisdom?
Depression Self-Care Action Plan Part 6: Practicing "Practical Self-Care"
So, we're almost at the end of this "depression self-care action plan", and to finish it off, we'd now like to talk about the sixth and final pillar of practicing self-care when you have depression: "practical self-care".
Now, to put it simply, "practical self-care" involves doing the things that need to get done in order to help you feel comfortable, safe, cared for and in control of your life.
Under our definition, it can include, for example:
Doing your chores so that you have a clean home to live in (such as cleaning the dishes, washing your clothes, etcetera).
Taking care of your finances so that you can support yourself (and perhaps others).
Going to the doctor if you're feeling sick so that you can get better.
Asking for support when you need it - to help you avoid feeling overwhelmed, stressed out and unable to cope.
Additionally, when you're struggling with depression, another very, very important component of "practical self-care" is doing the things that will help you to survive-, cope with- and ultimately heal from your depression.
This can include, for example:
Going to therapy;
Reading self-help books that are written by therapists;
Finding solutions to the problems you have which are contributing to your depression;
If applicable, taking your anti-depressant medication;
Reaching out for help so that you can be supported.
Quotes About Some Of The Ways You Can Practice Self-Care When You Have Depression
Now that we've outlined an action plan to help you practice self-care when you have depression, in order to help you flesh it out, we'd also like to share with you some quotes from members of The Depression Project's community about some of the different ways you can practice "mental-", "emotional-", "physical-", "social-", "spiritual-" and "practical self-care" when you have depression.
Quotes About Ways Of Practicing "Mental Self-Care"
- "I like to read positive, uplifting quotes when I'm in a depressive episode. Maybe for some people it's a bit corny, but it helps me to think more positively and feel more hopeful."
- "My therapist taught me some different CBT techniques to challenge negative thoughts. They were a bit difficult to implement at first when I wasn't used to them, but the more I practiced them, the more and more comfortable they felt, and now, they're a crucial part of self-care for me."
- "When I really need to rest, I try to be compassionate towards myself and remind myself I deserve this. It's so easy to feel guilty for this or to have negative thoughts like ‘I'm weak’ for needing to. So, reminding myself that it's okay to rest when I need to allows me to actually recharge much better."
- "I avoid consuming any negative things that may make my depression worse - like watching the news or getting caught up in some current event that is polarising. I focus on engaging in things that will either make me feel better or more at ease."
- "Listening to a motivational or compassionate speech online helps me a lot. When all the thoughts in my head are negative, this helps me feel a bit lighter and provides me with another, more positive voice to listen to."
- "I just look for any edge I can get on depression. For example, instead of watching reruns for hours on end, I may watch something educational. I'm still in bed and it can be hard to follow everything, but it challenges me and sometimes something sinks in or it starts me Googling a topic, which stimulates my mind and then leads to some positive chain reaction."
Quotes About Practicing "Emotional Self-Care"
- "Doing anything I can to connect with nature is essential for me. Whether it's gardening, attending to my plants, or even just putting my feet in the grass … it makes me feel a bit more present."
- "I put a special tea aside for when I'm feeling low. It's a bit more expensive than what I usually drink, but it gives me a sense of comfort, and reminds me even in my dark moments that I'm worthy of the good things in life."
- "I watch a show or video online that makes me laugh - something simple like a prank, for example. It helps me break out of numbness or a low mood and makes things feel lighter. Laughter is so important for me."
- "I find self-care focused journalling really helps me let go of pent up emotions that I'm holding onto, or even to come up with new ways to navigate some of the struggles I'm facing."
- "I try to prioritise setting aside time for things that give me joy. For me, this is knitting or painting - for other people it could of course be something totally different. But whatever it is, when you're doing something you enjoy, it helps to give you a boost - and when you're fighting depression and trying to keep it at bay, you need all the boosts you can get."
- "Even something like opening the curtains is an act of self-care. Letting the sun in, opening the window to get some fresh air … it's a step closer to feeling part of the world. It's sounds so small but it makes a difference!”
Quotes About Practicing "Physical Self-Care"
- "I stretch my body. Whether I'm lying down in bed, standing up while making a cup of tea, or even in the shower, there's always a way to stretch."
- "I move my body even when I don't have the energy to do my normal exercise routine. I stretch it, I do a few walks around my living room, or maybe go up and down the flight of stairs to my apartment building. It wakes me up a bit and makes me feel a sense of accomplishment. Sometimes, it’s all about the ‘little things’.”
- "I put on music that energises me instead of the TV. Even though it feels jarring for a bit, after a couple songs, it encourages me to do something."
- "For me, drinking enough water is something I always make sure I do when my depression is bad. Cooking or eating a proper meal can be too much in some moments, but I know I can always drink water and remind myself this matters."
- "When I'm in a depressive episode, showering is often the LAST THING I feel like doing. But, it's also an important act of self-care that, if you can work up the energy and motivation to do it, can really help you feel better."
Quotes About Practicing "Social Self-Care"
- "Having a chat with someone close who you trust is a big act of self-care – particularly because depression can cause me to hide myself from the world and isolate for long periods of time.”
- "I have found that I feel immeasurably better when I get away from people who bring me down and make snide, critical remarks."
- "I have joined a depression support group that I find really uplifting and comforting to be a part of."
Quotes About Practicing "Spiritual Self-Care"
- "Sometimes life gets so busy that I neglect the things that matter to me. But lately, I'm really trying to put aside as much time as I can for what makes me fulfilled and makes my heart sing."
Quotes About Practicing "Practical Self-Care"
- "I've made a habit of reading 10 pages of a depression book each day - something written by a therapist that I bought on Amazon (there are plenty). It doesn't sound like much, but over time, it accumulates, and in the six or seven months that I've been doing this, I have learned a LOT."
- "The first thing I do every day when I wake up is make my bed. It's such a small little thing, but it makes me feel better to have a tidier looking room, and gets the day off to more of a positive start."
- "For a long time, I resisted therapy, because I felt ashamed at not being able to cope as well as I wanted to with my depression. But, it's been a God-send. I wish I'd started sooner. Also, going to therapy is nothing to be ashamed of!"
Your Depression Self-Care Checklist!
Based on the depression self-care action plan that we've given you, below, we've also put together a "depression self-care checklist" for you as well:
- Am I practicing "mental self-care"?
- Am I practicing "emotional self-care"?
- Am I practicing "physical self-care"?
- Am I practicing "social self-care"?
- Am I practicing "spiritual self-care"?
- Am I practicing "practical self-care"?
Quotes About Things You Can Do To Make It Easier To Practice Self-Care When You Have Depression
Like we talked about at the very beginning of this blog post, for a variety of reasons, practicing self-care can be challenging when you have depression. So, we asked members of The Depression Project's community:
"What tips do you have for practicing self-care when you're in a depressive episode?"
And below, we'd like to share some of the responses with you:
- "Even the smallest things can feel SO overwhelming when my depression is bad, so I try to break down each task into the smallest action and focus all of my energy on that. I find that it helps to make things feel easier and more manageable."
- "I adjust my expectations and demand less of myself. Otherwise, I feel too much guilt and shame for having the struggles I have. This makes things more manageable and makes it less likely for me to avoid them."
- "I take things slow and remind myself this isn't a race. It doesn't matter how long an act of self-care takes – what matters is doing it. I try to be as patient with myself as I can."
- "I accept doing a ‘half job’ on things. Like, I may have a shower but not wash my hair, or I may pick up my dirty clothes and put them next to the washing machine but not start the cycle yet. It's not the full job, but when the alternative is avoiding it indefinitely, it's better than not doing anything at all."
- "Put reminders on your phone to do things. This is super helpful for drinking water or eating something. It prevents me from constantly putting things off."
- "Even though it's uncomfortable, try to give yourself a break from the TV or anything else you're using to distract yourself. Even if it's 5 minutes between an episode, take that time to think about what you need and what may be good for you. Try to use that time to do something small before getting back to your show. This really adds up over the day."
- “Even if you don’t feel worthy of practicing self-care, I have learned to force myself to do it anyway. This can help kickstart a positive cycle that results in you feeling better about yourself … which results in you wanting to practice even more self-care … which results in you feeling even better about yourself … and then you practice even more self care, and on and on. Just get started!”
- “If you find that you ‘don’t have time’ for self-care, try scheduling it into your day – in the same way you might schedule an important work meeting or a meet-up with a friend. Then, make sure you stick to the schedule! My psychologist advised me this, and it’s definitely helped me prioritise self-care and find more time for it.”
Re-Capping What We've Covered In This Blog Post About Self-Care When You Have Depression
So in this blog post, we've covered a lot of ground regarding how to practice self-care when you have depression, including:
- Quotes about the reasons why depression can make it difficult to practice self-care;
- Quotes about why self-care is important when you have depression;
- An action plan for how to practice self-care when you have depression;
- Quotes about some of the different ways you can practice self-care when you have depression;
- A depression self-care checklist;
- Quotes about things you can do to make it easier to practice self-care when you have depression.
From the bottom of our hearts, we really hope you've found this blog post helpful, and that moving forwards, you have a better idea of how to practice self-care.
All our love,
The Depression Project Team.