I have decided to start a segment for my blog about Living with depression and offering advice to people who also struggle. I’ve wanted to post something about functioning with extreme depression but I’ve found that there is so much to say. Hopefully this will be helpful and please let me know if anybody has any requests.
How to look after yourself when you hate yourself.
I have to be truthful I am definitely not the best with self care. People often assume self care is all cosy movie evenings and yoga. The reality of self care when living with mental health issues is that these ‘self care’ examples are just unattainable. For me, often walking down to the kitchen is difficult enough.
- Set a goal. Just 1. It can be the simplest thing and something that maybe seems stupid. Some people with depression struggle to wash their face. Some people with depression struggle to leave the house, even if it is just to get some food. I usually have something like make a cup of coffee.
- Hygiene. This is a taboo of depression but it definitely exists. Try to find time to change your clothes, wash your face. When my mental health gets shit I lose the ability to take care of myself, and can be in my onesie for days.
- Eat. Food is something that can get pretty shit when mixed with depression. A lot of people over eat as a coping mechanism. It is really common and not necessarily dangerous. A lot of people also stop eating or don’t eat a lot. My anorexia is besties with my depression and sees my unmotivated attitude as an excuse for me to starve myself. No matter which you relate to (your eating may also be totally unaffected which is just as common), having at least two meals a day is vital. It is ok if you decide to order takeout because the thought of cooking makes you cry, but comforting food is essential. My go to comfort foods are.
- Baked beans
- Apple crumble
- Try to go for a walk. I hate myself for actually saying this because I hate when psychologists would say this to me. But it truly does help I swear. Different coping techniques work for different people and it may be that going for a walk could be unsafe with your current mental state. But if you feel able to cope with it for even 10 minutes it will help I swear.
I hope this has been useful. Please let me know if you have any advice that I’ve not said. I am sure there are loads more, but these work best for me.