Taking care of yourself while feeling depressed is often quite difficult on its own. Taking care of others or your home on top of that can seem impossible at times. People with depression can leave their daily tasks unattended and let clothes pile up while dirty dishes stay in the sink for days. Recognize that symptoms of depression will make self-care very difficult.
Set small goals, such as getting out of bed, getting in the shower, or sitting in a different room with some sunlight or fresh air. I remember that when my depression was at its worst, I couldn't get out of bed. I literally slept for hours and hours, almost without moving my body. I set a goal to roll over from one side of the bed to the other and then try to sit on the bed for a while.
Those goals were NOT easy to achieve. But they led to larger ones. And a few days later, I got out of bed. Many people struggle to perform basic hygiene tasks when they are depressed.
This may include showering, washing your hands, brushing your teeth, washing clothes, or brushing your hair. Avoiding social contact is a common pattern you can see when you fall into depression. Some people skip the activities they normally enjoy and isolate themselves from the world. Others turn to alcohol or junk food to mask their pain and unhappiness.
If, at the end of the day, your self-care really consists of fixing your nails or having lunch with a friend, that's fine, Trout says. Once your symptoms of depression have reduced, be careful to follow a routine that allows you to maintain your self-care program. Exercise has a powerful antidepressant effect because it increases the levels of serotonin and dopamine, two brain chemicals that often decrease when you're depressed. The key to self-care is to accept that it is necessary to move from the empty numbness of depression to a more active state.
I am very protective of my personal care plan and make sure that my family and friends respect my naps, drink tea and listen to music. If your depression is so severe that you can't make these experiences happen on your own, ask someone to help you. To be diagnosed with major depressive disorder, some of these signs and symptoms must be present for at least two weeks. In my experience and according to the stories of others, self-care is rarely a candlelit bubble bath with luxurious pampering.
Self-care is best defined as the ability to adequately address the needs of daily living, such as eating, sleeping and grooming. Depression has long been associated with frontal lobe dysfunction, so it's no surprise that people with depression find it difficult to care for themselves. People with a serious medical condition, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or Parkinson's disease, may be at greater risk of developing severe depression. Depression is a state of total and utter exhaustion, and recovery occurs sooner when you take the time to see, feel, hear, taste and touch.
Children and adults who are depressed often have trouble doing many of the following things listed below, all of which are executive functioning skills. Not only can lack of sleep worsen symptoms of depression, but staying awake in bed gives your brain enough time to focus on negative and unwanted thoughts. Most people also have low levels of vitamin D, and increasing your vitamin D intake can improve your mood.