I saw a post recently from @therealdepressionproject that I wanted to talk about here on my blog!
Self care has become such a popular, almost trendy topic. But, when you hear someone talk about self care, you can almost always associate it with getting a massage, a facial, getting your nails done, or some kind of lavish beauty routine.
But, on your worst days you might be asking:
"Wait... I can't even get out of bed today and you want me to make a massage appointment, leave my house, and talk to a stranger?! Are you KIDDING ME?!"
"You want me to get dressed, drive to the store, and buy a FACE CREAM?! I haven't even brushed my teeth today!"
So, what about these times when you need to practice self care, but you can't even find the motivation to get out of bed, get dressed, or leave the house? You'll be glad to know that taking care of yourself doesn't have anything to do with beauty products or massages. It's about treating yourself with kindness, however you are able.
The Depression Project gave five great things you can do to practice self care in tough moments of depression, anxiety, or other illness.
Stretch your body. If you find that you're sitting or laying down for extended periods of time, take a few minutes to stretch. You don't have to do any kind of crazy yoga poses - just get some blood flowing through your body. Lift your hands above your head, move your head side to side, stand up and touch your toes. Any small effort at these kind of stretches and movement will help the blood circulate through your body, which can help improve your mood!
Set alarms for the "little things". Drinking water, eating, showering, brushing your teeth. This might sound a little silly, and you might even discount the idea. However, when you're feeling depressed, anxious, or "down", it's important to remind yourself of the daily tasks that you would like to get done... even if it's combing your hair and brushing your teeth, or getting out of your bedroom, or eating a meal. Remind yourself that this is important to you by setting an alarm.
Take a shower, freshen up with a sponge or wipes. Put on deoderant or perfume. For some, taking a shower might be too difficult. If that's your case, find a way to freshen up with wipes or a sponge. Remember that your body is worthy of being cared for. Even the act of putting on deoderant and perfume can help you remember that you are worth it.
Do a small task to establish control. Depending on how you feel, you might choose to wash some dishes, pick up some dirty clothes, sweep the floor, or wash your sheets. Even finishing one task can help you remember that you are in control.
Brush your teeth. If brushing your teeth is too difficult, try using mouthwash instead. Again, this small act of self care will remind you that you deserve care and respect. The different taste and sensation can also have an effect on your mood!
I love these suggestions because they are things that we can do any time, and we don't need to spend money or plan for it. These are things we can do to show ourselves that no matter what, we are still important.
Once you're feeling a little better, you might consider other forms of self care. I've compiled a small list of things that you might not have thought of:
Set a budget and pay your bills on time.
Go grocery shopping before you're completely out.
Prepare a fun meal.
Hug someone you love.
Spend some time with a pet.
Draw a picture (it doesn't even have to be good!)
Clean your workspace.
Write in a journal.
Talk to a coach or therapist.
Gratitude and affirmations.
Dance like no one's watching!
Read a book.
Go on a date.
Go to church or participate in personal prayer.
Organize your email inbox.
Turn your phone on silent.
And my personal favorite: Be super sarcastic or play a practical joke!
No matter what you do, just remember YOU ARE AWESOME! Don't let your brain tell you anything different!