Depression sucks, there’s no doubt about that. So when it hits hard, life can feel unbearable. Sometimes you need to be kind to yourself and practice self care in order to make it through the day. I’ve had depression for over 5 years so I’ve got some experience with trying to combat it with self care. Here are 8 self care ideas for depression that I use when the depression hits hard.
As you’ve probably gathered from this blog, I am obsessed with bullet journaling. Not to be dramatic but bullet journaling (basically) saved my life – more on this in my post about why you should start a bullet journal.
I find journaling to be therapeutic and it’s my go-to activity for when I am feeling sh*t. I’m not the sort of person who writes their feelings down every day but if that’s something that helps you, a bullet journal is perfect for that too!
Meditating is something I used to scoff at and thought was nonsense. I mean who would have thought sitting with your negative thoughts would help with depression. I was completely wrong. I try to meditate everyday, especially before bed, and I have noticed a big difference in my moods before bed.
I used to hate going to sleep because it was a time to ruminate on the horrible thoughts inside my head. Meditating helps to quieten my thoughts and gives me time to think about everything I am grateful for. I like having the distraction of someone talking to me so guided meditation is my favourite!
I really recommend meditation to everyone and would encourage any sceptics out there to try it at least once.
When you’re feeling really low it can be difficult to get out of bed, let alone go outside. When I’m in the midst of a depressive episode, I can go for days without even opening the curtains.
However, it really does make me feel better once I’m out of the house. If you really stomach that, why not try and stand in the garden for a bit or even stick your head out of the window for some fresh air.
Talk To Someone
Having a mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of and you shouldn’t feel bad for needing to talk to someone about it. For some people, talking can be one of their most beneficial coping mechanisms. If you feel comfortable talking to family or friends, why not reach out to them?
If you think you’d prefer speaking to a stranger, there are many mental health helplines that are trained to help you. At the bottom of this page, you can find some contact information for the main helplines. Please seek help if you are struggling because you are worthy of getting better.
Do something you love
One of the worst things about depression is losing passion for things you used to love. I fell out of love with some of my favourite hobbies when I was first diagnosed. But since then I have discovered other activities that I enjoy and are able to do when I am really low. One of these was bullet journaling!
Even if you can’t think of anything you love, why not try and find something you can tolerate doing. This could even be mindlessly watching youtube if that’s your thing! As much as I recommend trying to do something to distract yourself, I completely understand that sometimes it’s just too hard. Be kind to yourself and recognise your body (and brain) needs to rest.
Do what the doctor tells you
Ah doctors. You either love them or hate them. Some of the doctors I have seen have been terrible with mental health but others have been amazing. When you are feeling really depressed, it can be tempting to give up and not want to do what the doctors suggest.
Please continue to take any medication you are on and continue going to therapy if you are having it. Stopping medication and/or therapy will make you feel much worse and that’s not what you need right now!
Pamper days can really make a difference! Showing yourself some self love and looking after yourself can help boost your mood! I like to have a warm shower, stick on a facemask and paint my nails. This is just what I need after days (or even weeks) without showering or doing the bare minimum personal hygiene.
Watch your favourite show/films
One of my favourite things to do when I’m feeling rubbish is to cuddle up in bed with a blanket and watch some Friends on Netflix. Sometimes that’s just exactly what I need! If you’re not feeling good, why not stick on an uplifting film? Try to avoid watching sad or triggering films that might make you feel worse!
Please note: I am not a mental health or medical professional. I am speaking from my own experiences and recommend anyone who is struggling with any mental health issues, to seek professional help.
Samaritans 116 123
Anxiety UK 03444 775 774
CALM 0800 58 58 58
For more mental health helplines visit this: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mental-health-helplines/
I hope these self care ideas for depression help you in some way and that you are able to feel better soon. Remember you are enough and things will get better. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
Thank you for reading,