Practicing Mental Self-Care
I.e. Doing activities that stimulate your mind in a positive way; and also learning and implementing strategies to help separate yourself from negative thoughts; think more positively; and become "unstuck" from something that you may be ruminating about.
In practice, this can take the form of:
Setting aside time to address your thoughts.
Taking steps to talk more kindly to yourself.
Congratulating yourself for doing the "little things" such as taking care of your personal hygiene or doing the chores.
Doing something mentally stimulating and enjoyable - such as reading a great book or consuming inspirational content.
Practicing Emotional Self-Care
This involves learning and implementing strategies to help you get some respite from the painful emotions you're feeling, to give your mood a boost, and to prevent yourself from getting burnt out and/or from your depression deteriorating. In practice, this can take the form of:
Talking to someone about what you're going through
Doing activities that bring you joy
Retreating to a "safe space"
Taking a "time out" if you need it
Practicing Physical Self-Care
This involves taking care of your physical health; and also learning and implementing strategies to help you, among other things, feel more energetic.
Examples of "physical self-care" practices include:
Exercising or at least moving your body
Practicing good sleep hygiene
Engaging in "energy-boosting" activities
Getting an "immediate sensory relief"
Taking care of your personal hygiene
Practicing Social Self-Care
This involves learning and implementing strategies to help you have positive interactions with the people around you - such as by:
Distancing yourself from toxic people
Trying to establish positive connections with others
Practicing Spiritual Self-Care
This involves learning and implementing strategies which contribute to you feeling as if you have a purpose in the world and that your life has meaning.
In practice, this can involve:
Journalling - in order to help you gain clarity on what you want out of life
Maximising the time you spend on your passions
Practicing Practical Self-Care
This involves learning and implementing strategies to help you feel comfortable, safe, cared for and in control of your life.
It can take the form of, for example:
Doing your chores so that you have a clean home to live in (such as cleaning the dishes, washing your clothes, etcetera).
Taking care of your finances so that you can support yourself (and perhaps others).
Going to the doctor if you're feeling sick, so that you can get better and return to your normal life.
Asking for support when you need it - to help you avoid feeling overwhelmed, stressed out and unable to cope.
Taking the steps you need to take in order to survive, cope with and ultimately heal from your depression.
Practicing self-care when you have depression involves a lot more than just lying in a bathtub, lighting scented candles around a room or getting a massage!
Rather, self-care involves taking a very multi-faceted approach to your depression, and is a critical component of not just coping with this illness, but to gradually healing from it over time as well.
See if you can implement one thing from each of these areas in our life... Start with what feels easy and work your way through it.
With love & gratitude,