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If you want to create a self-care routine for depression, you’ve landed in the right spot.
As someone who has struggled most of her life with depression, I can tell you that creating a self-care routine can be tricky – even more so when you struggle with depression.
However, self-care is even more important for those struggling with depression.
Self-care could be the determining factor of whether you even get out of bed some days.
So it’s imperative that you find a self-care care routine that works for you and practice it daily.
That’s where I come in.
I want to answer your questions about self-care and help you create the best self-care routine for depression and your mental health.
These are some of the most commonly asked questions about self-care for those with depression:
- What is considered self-care?
- How do I start looking after myself?
- How can I take care of my mind?
- How do I practice mental self-care?
- How can I practice self-care daily?
The answers to your questions about creating a self-care routine for depression are answered below.
WHAT IS CONSIDERED SELF-CARE?
Self-care is considered any actions taken with the intent to take care of or better your mental, emotional and physical health.
Meaning you purposefully do things that make your mind, body and soul happy.
In other words, it’s taking responsibility for your own happiness.
These could be things like going for a walk to clear your mind, taking a long bath to relax after a long day, or going out with a friend and having a good laugh.
Sounds simple right?
It is. But often times we’re so busy thinking about the next task we need to check off the to-do list, or so consumed with keeping up with social media, that we neglect ourselves.
Often times when you feel stressed and overwhelmed it’s because you need to slow down and listen to your body.
I know, it’s easier said than done, right?
You can check out some more specific self-care ideas here if you’d like a more comprehensive list you can visualize.
WHY SELF-CARE IS HARD FOR DEPRESSED INDIVIDUALS
When you’re depressed, it can be nearly impossible to think of yourself as worthy of happiness.
It’s easy to fall into such a state of hopelessness and feel utterly defeated.
That’s what depression does to you.
And self-care is usually the last thing on your mind when you’ve fallen victim to depression.
Think about it.
- Low energy
All these things you experience with depression. They don’t exactly make you feel like doing something fun and enjoyable.
But that’s just another reason you need to have a self-care routine.
One that’s easy enough to stick to so once you get out of that depressed state, you can hopefully prevent going back there.
WHAT SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN YOUR SELF-CARE ROUTINE
There are 3 elements of self-care. They were mentioned in the description of what self-care is, but let’s review.
1. Physical Self-Care: Taking care of your body to keep it strong, healthy and free of ailments.
2. Mental Self-Care: Challenging your brain and creativity to keep your mind functioning at it’s peak performance.
3. Emotional Self-Care: Addressing emotions and feelings as they arise. Doing things that keep you in a positive state of mind.
All three of these elements should be addressed in your daily self-care routine.
There are also 6 main areas of life that fall into the 3 elements of self-care.
- Quality of Sleep
- State of Mind
These 6 items are pretty much your checklist for your self-care routine.
But let’s go over some specific things you can do to check off each of these.
- Eat a protein packed breakfast to start the day
- Drink half your body weight in water each day
- Schedule snack times throughout the day to avoid binge eating later
- Take regular breaks from sitting long periods of time
- Walk or practice another form of activity every day
- Schedule yourself for outdoor activities
QUALITY OF SLEEP:
- Go to bed at a decent hour
- Keep electronics out of the bedroom
- Read a book before bed
- Read fiction books in your favorite genre
- Find a new hobby, such as crafting or painting
- Listen to podcasts for inspiration
- Spend quality time with your closest friend
- Plan fun outings with your kids
- Just get out of the house and be around people
STATE OF MIND:
- Keep a Gratitude Journal
- Practice meditation
- Spend time with positive people
HOW TO CREATE YOUR SELF-CARE ROUTINE FOR DEPRESSION
Okay, so now it’s time to put it all together so you can create your own self-care routine for depression.
Steps to Creating A Self-Care Routine for Depression: Your Daily Self-Care Checklist
- List out the 6 areas of life for self-care.
- Decide what your one thing is for each.
- Incorporate those into your daily schedule.
- Practice getting better at these new habits every day.
- Give yourself grace if you don’t follow through 100%.
Practicing self-care daily really is that simple.
The hardest part is implementing these things in your everyday life so that they become habits.
But if you start with the small stuff, give yourself grace and put forth the effort a little more every day, you will be feeling happier and be better equipped to keep depression at bay.
Self-care is extremely important when you’re struggling with depression. It might seem overwhelming to implement at first, but if done in small steps a little at a time, it is so worth the effort.
Remember to implement activities to improve your diet, exercise and sleeping habits. And practice creativity, socializing and being mindful. Create your checklist and add those self-care tasks into your daily routine.
I know nothing’s simple when you’re depressed, but creating a self-care routine specific to your needs and desires can be a key step in overcoming depression and preventing it in the future.
I encourage you to commit to creating your own self-care routine and start implementing today. Then, come back here and let us know what self-care habits have worked for you.