Hi everybody! Some things I’m thinking about today are how I practice self care as a person with depression. It’s an important part of the routine, and it’s good to learn some more about self care so you can use them for coping skills. That’s something that was focused on a lot in the partial hospitalization program I just completed.
“Stereotypical” Self Care
One important way to practice self care is just the stereotypical way of self care – I use a face mask (this one, or the holiday ‘Rudolph’ one, usually!) every time I’m in the shower and that makes me feel a lot better. It can just be small things like that, working on beautifying yourself and your skin. I also like to do my nails. These are small ways to make yourself feel better, but for me don’t last too long. The next thing is something that helps a lot more, because it’s more focused on what lasts a while (or at least a few days) and needs to be done, versus wants to be done.
A less obvious form of self care is just doing things you have to do but are putting off – for me, my depression causes me to avoid taking showers or cleaning my house. So sometimes, you have to use opposite action (a DBT skill! I just learned it) and make yourself do it! I know that’s way easier said than done, but I try to take showers at least twice a week and remember I can just do a little bit – just get in and wash my face, or just wash my hair. It’ll still make me cleaner than not doing anything!
And with cleaning my house, sometimes I just start by putting one single glass away out of the dishwasher. Usually if I do just one thing, then that’ll trigger me to do a lot more and really get something done. I know it’s kind of silly, but that’s how my mental illness works – it tries to get me to just sit there and do nothing. Even writing this blog can be extremely difficult at times, with me spending hours on my computer ‘researching topics’ on Pinterest and not ever starting an actual post. It’s my goal to start posting more often… maybe twice a week? I’ve spent almost the whole today typing a few different posts, so that hopefully I have some material for the next few weeks if my depression takes over and I’m not able to post on time.