Take Care Of Your Physical Needs
I am continuously amazed at how intricately connected our physical wellness is to our mental wellness. We cannot have one without the other. Regular physical activity and making healthy lifestyle choices can boost your mood, improve your self-esteem, and reduce the effects of depression. Here are a few things you can do to take care of your physical needs.
- Try and exercise every day: Daily physical activity boosts the happy chemicals in your brain and improves mood. If you arent keen on picking up the dumbbells, you can simply go for a nature walk to induce the same effects.
- Get adequate sleep: Depression is known to impact ones sleep negatively, but there are a few things you can do to help. Avoid napping and try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day to establish a healthy sleep routine.
- Make healthy food choices: The food you eat can directly impact your mental health hence why we tend to gravitate towards junk foods when we are depressed. Foods rich in folic acids such as avocado and spinach can help ease feelings of depression.
- Fake it till you make it with your hygiene: This may sound silly, but depression can absolutely wipe out any desire to take care of your physical appearance. Small steps like showering, brushing your teeth/hair, and getting dressed can make a significant dent in your depression.
Depression And Routine Why Its Important
Okay, now you know why self-care in general is important, whats the significance of having a self-care routine for depression or any mental health issue?
Basically, routines tell our brain and body were safe.
Think about it for a second, if you are massively stressed or in danger you dont do the same things every day because youre dealing with that stressor or dangerous situation. Like back in caveman times you might normally wake up at sunrise, go forage for some berries, look after your kids, etc, etc. But if there was a tiger chasing you then youre not going to stop a pick some berries So the disruption in routine acts as a signal that all is not well.
A signal we really dont want to give our brains when we have depression.
Therefore routines are super important because they do the opposite, they signal to our brains that everything is well and we dont need to worry!
Which is exactly what we want, a nice, relaxed brain.
Rearrange The Furniture In Your Home
Its always nice to give the place you are so familiar with a little shake-up or change of scenery. Move things around, try a new paint color, or add a rug to a room. Changing your home even if they are minor changes is an excellent way to get yourself into a mindset of seeing things from a different perspective.
You May Like: What Medication Is Given For Depression
What Are Some Self
Common self-care techniques include mindfulness and meditation, but there are many ways to care for yourself. Its important to explore your options and find activities that are fun or meaningful to you.
Even a little self-care goes a long way. If youre on the go or short on time, you can try digital apps on your mobile device. Helpful articles, audio, and videos are also widely available online. Here are a few online self-care tools to get you started:
What Are Some Treatments For Depression
If your doctor has effectively ruled out a physical cause for your symptoms, they will probably start you on a treatment plan with a mental health professional.
There are plenty of therapies and medicines that work to treat depression. Some treatments may include medications like antidepressants or psychotherapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy and behavioral activation.
Behavioral activation is useful in relation to self-care, as it is about taking the first steps to break the vicious cycle.
Behavioral activation is about monitoring daily activities to understand the relationship between mood and our activities. It also helps us define and identify our values and goals, as well as gives us the tool to dismantle barriers to activation.
Recommended Reading: Will I Always Be Depressed
Three Productivity Self Care
So we have our basic self-care covered and now weâre fully relaxed, the next step is our productive self-care.
A.k.a. the sorts of things that help us maintain our lifestyle and keep us organized.
I think we often forget that this is a type of self-care because it seems more like âworkâ or âchoresâ but keeping our environment and general life clean, organized and manageable is incredibly important for both our mental and physical health.
Many people take part in âself-care Sundayâ where they have a mini life reset on Sunday ready for the following week. They tend to get all their productive self-care sorted and then once thatâs done they move onto relaxation self-care. A great idea that you might like to try!
- Make sure you have a manageable schedule
- Keep your environment organized and clean
- Feel like you can say ânoâ to things when you want or need to
Get Outside Move Your Feet
In an unprecedented time, such as this COVID era, quarantine has ignited the mental health conditions of so many people within our community. Humans were created to be in a community with other humans and interact with the world around us.
Research shows that spending time in nature, especially lush green settings, can reduce symptoms of depression and increase critical thinking abilities. Taking a walk outside, gardening, stopping by the beach for some meditation, or even just sitting outside has been proven to improve overall mental wellness. The mornings that I wake up and spend 20 minutes meditating outside by my lake are by far my best days. I seem to wake up with a clear and patient mind. When your depression feels overwhelming, move your feet and get outside for some fresh air and vitamin D I promise you wont regret it.
Also Check: Copper Iud Depression And Anxiety
Different Types Of Self
Self-care isn’t just about finding ways to relax. It’s about taking care of yourself mentally, physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. In order to care for your health and well-being, it is important to find a balance that allows you to address each of these areas. Sometimes you might need more self-care in one specific area in order to restore balance or find relief from a stressor in your life.
Ways Dads Can Practice Self
Self-care requires checking in with yourself and asking yourself how youre doing and what your bodys asking for. Some people use it to deal with difficult news stories, others just to maintain their happiness day to day. Self-care does not mean the same thing for everyone. Different people will adopt different self-care practices, and even your own definition might change over time. What is self-care for one person will likely differ from someone else, and whats self-care for you one day might not feel like self-care another day, Dr. Amsellem says.
Engaging in self-care regularly could help you put your best foot forward. When we are regularly taking care of ourselves, we are better able to react to the things that go on in our lives, Amsellem says. Its something we do to maintain positive well-being.
When self-care is regularly practiced, the benefits are broad and have even been linked to positive health outcomes such as reduced stress, improved immune system, increased productivity, and higher self-esteem, says Brighid Courtney, of Boston, a client leader at the wellness technology company Wellable and a faculty member at the Wellness Council of America .
Recommended Reading: Can You Cure Depression On Your Own
A Preexisting Negativity Bias
In almost every interaction, we are more likely to notice something negative than we are to pay attention to something positive. As humans, we are unfortunately hard-wired to register negative stimuli more readily than positive.This means we are more likely to:
- Remember trauma more vividly
- Recall insults more readily than praise
- Contemplate negative things more often than positive
- Respond more emotionally to negative events
What does this have to do with not being able to practice self-care?
It means that our belief in ourselves is formed by our own negative bias. If we dont believe were able to do something, then were unlikely to even try.
Create A Support Network
When you feel depressed, you may have a tendency to hide away and bottle up your feelings. However, the best approach is to build a support network of friends, relatives or even dedicated support groups, who can help you address how you are feeling.
We recognise that talking to someone about your depression can be difficult for you. Whoever it is, its better if it is someone who is able to listen and empathise with you about how youre feeling. Dedicated support groups for depression can be a great way to find like-minded people to share your experiences with, either in person or remotely. Look online to find what depression support groups are out there for you.
You May Like: How To Help Someone Who Is Lonely And Depressed
Recognize Your Triggers And Early Signs
The goal of learning to recognize your triggers is that you can anticipate how a situation will affect you. This way, you can also lower the chance of having a major mood episode such as mania or depression.
Questions you can ask yourself:
- Was I irritable a few days before?
- Did I feel more tired than usual?
- Was it difficult for me to concentrate?
- Was I sleeping more or fewer hours than usual?
There might also be some situations that triggered a mood episode in the past. For example, a job deadline, seasonal changes, lack of sleep, or interpersonal conflicts.
Not everyone responds to the same triggers in the same way. This is why it can be helpful to recognize what affects you most.
You might need additional support during these times. By recognizing the trigger, you can move to action and prevent a crisis or major episode.
Avoid Smoking Drugs And Alcohol
There’s also evidence that suggests smoking cannabis can:
- make symptoms of depression worse
- make you more tired and uninterested in things
- increase the likelihood you’ll relapse into depression
- reduce your response to antidepressants
- make you more likely to stop using antidepressant medication
- make you less likely to recover
You can ask your doctor for support and information if you feel you need professional support for drinking, smoking or drugs.
Recommended Reading: Advice For Someone Who Is Depressed
Benefits Of Practising Self
Self-care improves our lives in different areas and in different ways, all of which are important to our overall health.
Practising self-care can have remarkable effects on our self-esteem. When we take care of ourselves, it affirms our self-worth. By taking care of ourselves and our needs, were telling ourselves, I deserve this. And we do.
With regular self-care, our self-awareness is greatly enhanced. Our go-to activities will usually be something that we already enjoy, but it also gives us the opportunity to branch out and try new things. This enables us to figure out what we do and doesnt like and, if we discover new interests, it can potentially lead to new passions and goals.
Self-care encourages self-improvement. It promotes rest and relaxation, which benefits our overall health and wellness, and it also promotes healthy relationships. When our self-esteem and self-awareness improves, it has a positive effect on our overall mindset. This, in turn, enables us to care for our friends and loved ones in a way that we might not have been able to do before.
Why Treatment Is Important
While many medications, such as antibiotics, cure the illnesses they are designed to treat, antidepressants do not cure depression. Their effect is only temporary. This is because antidepressants work by changing the brain’s chemistry, but only for as long as the person is taking them. They do not address the underlying causes of depression.
The National Institute of Mental Health shares that depression has a number of potential, and oftentimes complex, causes. Some may be genetic or biological and others may be environmental or psychological.
No matter the cause, untreated depression can be extremely debilitating to an individual, interfering with every part of life. In addition, severe depression can potentially lead to suicide if it does not receive immediate attention.
Depression has also been linked to a variety of physical health issues, including heart disease, obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and other chronic disorders. In the case of heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes, depression may accelerate the progression of the disease.
Having depression can even make it more difficult to treat other medical illnesses because the lack of motivation and energy associated with depression makes it more difficult for patients to comply with their treatment regimens.
Don’t Miss: University Of Utah Depression Study
Connect With Your Community
Depression is a mental illness that thrives in isolation. Connecting with your community is a great way to ease feelings of depression. Spending time with other people who can relate to feelings of depression and getting outside of isolating can make a significant difference in how you feel. Creating a community of supportive family and friends is vital to mitigating feelings of depression and anxiety. There have been numerous studies that back up the importance of human connection and overall mental wellbeing. I can tell you that when I am in the middle of the Fellowship, my problems and depression seemingly disappear as I get involved in helping others and spending time with the people I love the most.
This Twitter Thread Perfectly Sums Up What Self
Self-care has become a buzzy word in the past few years, and it means something different to everyone. At its core, self-care is knowing your needs and actually meeting them. But, for people dealing with mental illnesses, self-care takes on an even more crucial roleand one writer is making that abundantly clear.
A few short years of twee self-care tips has convinced mentally-well people everywhere that depression is something you can just wash off in a bubble bath, Jenny Trout explained in a thread on . Tip: If a mentally ill person is talking about self-care, they probably mean brushing their teeth or making a sandwich. In my experience and from the stories of others, self-care is rarely a candlelit bubble bath with luxurious pampering.
She followed that up in her Twitter thread by pointing out that theres nothing wrong with taking bubble baths, and if they help you, that’s great. But you can’t expect them to help everyoneand you definitely can’t treat them as a “cure” for mental illnesses. Part of the problem is that a lot of us who are mentally ill do not have the energy or the voice to write 70 think pieces a week about yoga and bubblebaths that allies do, she said.
This content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.
This content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.
Don’t Miss: Best Way To Beat Seasonal Depression
Be Selfish With Your Self
I know, this sounds like a total oxymoron. However, prioritizing self-care is one of the most important actions you can take to combat your depression. Self-care is the kryptonite to depression. Depression is a motivation-killing mental illness that feeds into the very spaces in your mind that tell you to absolve yourself of taking care of your own needs. There are a few specific self-care strategies you should always be selfish about:
- Keep a daily gratitude list: It may seem lame but keeping up with a daily gratitude list has been my saving grace on my most depressive days. Take the time each and every day to write down at least three things youre grateful for. I will have five years sober in June, and this is a requirement of my sponsorship family we exchange our daily gratitude lists in a group chat.
- Discover what sets your soul on fire: Depression is all-encompassing. It can make you feel as though you have lost your zeal for life dont let this happen. Whether its people, places, hobbies, or passions find what sets your soul on fire and do a little bit of that each and every day.
- Treat yourself: Whether its a massage, manicure, new shoes, or a hot bath it is essential that you take time to treat yourself every now and then. I used to be completely horrible at this. On days when Im feeling the most depressed, getting out of bed to do my make-up seems like an absolute chore but turns out to be the little missing piece needed to spark a little motivation.
Exercise Meditation Caffeine Sleep Therapy
When you have an anxiety disorder, your anxiety can range from a minor nuisance to extremely debilitating on a day-to-day basis. However, developing a well-rounded approach to self-care can help reduce the number of bad days you experience or at least decrease the severity of the worst days. Below are five, scientifically-backed ways that can help manage your anxiety. This list is by no means comprehensive, but it should provide a good starting place for anyone wanting to improve his/her self-care.
Everyone knows that exercising helps you attain and maintain good physical health, but did you know that a consistent exercise routine can also help with anxiety1? In particular, aerobic exercise can decrease both state and trait anxiety3. Evidence suggests that developing a consistent routine where one exercises for 20 min or more per session provides the strongest benefits for anxiety. In fact, when used in such a way, exercise has been found to be so effective at helping with anxiety that some have suggested that it could serve as a clinical intervention and may even help prevent the development of anxiety disorders4. Thus, including a steady exercise routine as a part of your self-care can help to manage your anxiety over a long period of time. Before starting an exercise routine, consult with a medical professional to ensure that you are healthy enough for exercise and that you choose the exercise type that best fits your lifestyle.
2. Mindfulness Meditation
Read Also: Can You Be In The Military With Depression