Advice Mental Health

The Importance of Self-Care

Self-care is so important. Especially, if you have a mental illness. Here are some tips I've written out that help me.

I feel better on the days I complete all of my self-care tasks. But some days are harder than others to get them all done. When I don’t, I beat myself up. The meanest I am to any single living being is to myself. It’s a compulsive need to put myself down constantly. I’m trying to learn to be kinder towards myself. To love myself, but it’s hard.

Drink Water

I know this one should be blatantly obvious, but it’s really not. It’s easy to forget to drink water when your brain isn’t functioning at its best. It’s a habit I’ve had to force myself to learn and now I drink around 90-100 oz every single day.

Take Vitamins

When I’m not doing good, I’m either eating very unhealthy or not eating at all so vitamins are a must for me in order to get some of the nutrients my body needs.

Brush Your Hair and Teeth

This one might seem weird to you if you’ve never suffered from depression, but sometimes depressive episodes get so bad that even the most basic self-care needs are not taken care of. It can be literally exhausting to brush your hair or teeth when suffering from depression or in the case of Bipolar, depressive episodes. I’ve seen this one pop up time and time again from people talking about how hard it is to get through depression. There have been instances of women going to a hair salon to get their hair brushed because their hair is so matted that they can no longer brush their hair out. This one might be one of the most important self-care steps you can take. Each day just brush your hair one time. Even though it seems exhausting, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment when you’re done. And it might even give you a bit of a confidence boost.

Take a Shower or Bath

Of course you should be doing this every day as is, but once again, when you’re in the throes of depression this can be difficult, but it can also be relaxing. Sometimes a fifteen minute bath can help you feel a little more relaxed. Add scented candles to your baths or even a bath bomb (*note do not use bath bombs everyday as they can cause infections). If you enjoy reading, grab your favorite book, or magazine, or throw on some music or a podcast. Give yourself a relaxing and enjoyable environment to give yourself that extra dose of love.

Exercise

This one is often recommended by doctors, therapists and just about everyone. The reason for this is that exercising releases endorphins, and endorphins, in return, will give you a mood boost. No, it won’t cure how you’re feeling, but it’ll help ease the symptoms. Exercise is also very good for your physical health. When your physical health is good, this too gives a tiny bit of a confidence boost.

Change Your Clothes

I have found on days that I get dressed (instead of just staying in my pajamas all day and then changing to new ones at night), I feel a little better. I’m dressed for the day and feel more motivated to get things done. I change my clothes to take my daughter and son to their bus stops, but a lot of times I’d get back into my “comfortable” clothes but that would just make me feel less motivated and more tired. I didn’t believe this one at first, until I started utilizing it.

Eat a Cookie or a Slice of Cake

Most of the stuff on my list includes healthy things, but there is no reason to deny yourself something you enjoy. It could be ice cream, your favorite candy, a soda, or even some chips. Don’t limit yourself so much that you’re only focusing on being healthy. Remember, you are working on yourself and you need to take care of your brain, sometimes that includes indulging in your favorite junk food.

Listen To Music

Sometimes we need a good cry so we listen to a sad song. It’s okay to do this even when you’re feeling depressed. Sometimes we’re angry and we listen to that one song that gets us ramped up, screaming it at the top of our lungs. Other times we listen to those feel good songs that just make us feel pumped for the day and for life. Listening to music can be a great way to get out your emotions. It’s healthier than say, punching that person in the face that you’re mad at. Listening to music also releases dopamine, so there’s that. I’m a music fanatic and have a bipolar playlist I’ll be posting soon!

Skin Care

Washing your face and adding a good moisturizer can make your skin feel brand new. It’s another little confidence booster to add to your day. I’ve been following a skincare routine twice a day for 2 months now. It’s been amazing for me and I highly suggest it. I started out with only washing my face in the evening. When that left my skin feeling dry, I added in a moisturizer. When I got used to this routine, I added a morning one.

Remember not everything in this list is going to work for you, and that’s okay but I urge you to give each one a shot and just see what combination works the best for you. Are there days I don’t feel like taking care of myself because the depression is so bad? Yes. And it’s okay to have those days. It’s okay to not be okay. But doing at least one small thing for yourself can do a world of good.

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