Self-care Tips for Depression

Depression can make it difficult for people to care for themselves. However, self-care is vital in coping and dealing with depression. Here are a few tips that you might be able to incorporate into your daily routine to help get you started.

Develop a daily routine

Depression can make everyday tasks like getting out of bed extremely difficult. Establishing a set time to wake up and creating a few morning rituals may help you start the day. Give yourself plenty of time to wake up and get ready so you don’t feel rushed or stressed out. Be sure to eat a healthy breakfast. Don’t load up on too many carbs or sweet things first thing in the morning, rather try to eat some protein like eggs so as not to spike your sugar levels first thing in the morning. Fueling your body with good food first thing in the morning will help give you the energy you need to get through your day. Also, remember it is just as important to create a bedtime routine at the end of the day too. Make sure you incorporate relaxation into your plan to ensure a restful sleep at the end of the day.

Triggers to be aware of

Take note of certain things or people that may tend to worsen your depression. Triggers can be food-related (for example, processed foods can worsen mental health conditions like depression). Triggers can also be people-related (a well-meaning friend who constantly tries to cheer you up by telling you to just stop being down and start enjoying life), or they can be related to situations or events. Try not to avoid people in general during times when you are depressed. However, it’s good to know what triggers to be mindful of and set your boundaries.

Positive Self Talk

Self-criticism and negative self-talk are two symptoms of depression. Treat yourself with kindness and find ways to turn negative self-talk into something more positive for yourself. Concentrate on changing your thoughts. It’s okay to acknowledge that you might be feeling negative about yourself but try to notice one thing positive that you like about yourself. Say something positive about yourself and even though it might not feel like you are making progress at that moment, over time, your thoughts will be able to change. Through positive self-talk, you’ll be able to change those negative thoughts and make a shift towards more reaffirming statements you’ll want to tell yourself.

Appreciate Yourself

Depression makes people extremely hard on themselves. It’s difficult to break from depression when depression tells you horrible things and causes you to describe yourself with negative labels. When depression makes you think things like, “I’m stupid,” “I’m so worthless,” “No wonder no one likes me,” “Why try because I’ll just fail,” the idea of self-care can begin to feel pointless. Depression self-care means countering such faulty, depression-driven thoughts with real things you appreciate about yourself. 

Take a Time Out

Time-outs aren’t just for kids.  Practice self-care by acknowledging your symptoms and take a time-out for yourself. Sometimes, you need a short break, like a brief walk outside or deep breathing in a private room. If you are with a colleague, say something simple like, “I need to take a quick break for myself and I will be right back in five to ten minutes.” Honor what your needs are while communicating directly with the people around you. Taking these quick breaks can help the negative feelings from building up, and helps you be in control of what your next steps are to ensure your well-being.

Have Fun

Depression can be, well, depressing. You might feel heavy and weighed down, and honestly having fun is probably the last thing on your mind. However, having fun is important and it’s healthy. Make a concentrated effort to do one small thing you enjoy daily. It could be a simple as putting on your favorite music, reading a book, or watching TV. Make sure you do something for you. Part of self-care is focusing on you even if it is just for a few minutes during the day. It’s okay, it’s your time embrace it. The more you do it the more enjoyment you’ll get out of having a little fun. It may even help lift your spirits and give you something to look forward to every day.  

Self-care is a broad term but most importantly it helps us understand that it’s okay to take care of ourselves especially in times when we are feeling depressed. Depression has a way of making life hard and it may be more difficult for us to feel like we can or want to practice self-care. That’s why it is so important to love and appreciate yourself, be extra kind, and easy going on yourself during times you are feeling depressed. Self-care will help you gain a healthy perspective not only about yourself, but the world around you. Hopefully, this list has inspired you to think of your own self-care ideas that you can incorporate into your life.

How North End Psychiatry Can Help

If you feel that you’re suffering from depression or anxiety, North End Psychiatry may be able to help. Give us a call at 208-345-2212 if you have any questions or need to set up an appointment. Our office is conveniently located just outside of downtown Boise near 15th and State Street.

Colin Eggleston