I don’t know about you but I have trouble practising self-care. Lately since the low of depression has made it’s way back into my life, I’ve been afraid of taking days off because I wasn’t feeling good. I was afraid that if I took a day off and did things to make me feel better, that I would lose the motivation to do anything the next few days and make the depression worse than before. But I finally took a day off and just rested and it has been really good. After pushing myself hard for 2 weeks with not much rest, not only did my mind need this day off but my body did too, and now I feel so much better and motivated to continue this fight. I’ve learnt that self care and rest days is nothing to be afraid of and so if you’re like me that struggle with it, here are just some tips and things I’ve learnt while figuring this fine line between self-care and letting depression win and overcome you, which I would like to share with you.
- Let people around you that you trust know that you’re having a bad day, that your depression has caused you to lose motivation. Let them in. Have them hold you accountable and allow them to help you to get out of this dark hole.
- Make plans the next days so that you’ll have something to do. It’s easier to feel motivated to get out the next day.
- Do self-care things that makes you feel better. Engage in things that make you relax and that you love doing. For me, it’s doodling, watching youtube videos that cheer me up and editing photos. Yours might be, going for a run, taking a bath, watching shows/movies or reading books. Whatever it is, do something that will make you happy(: and also avoid anything that may trigger you, such as movies or books that may cause you to cry and feel sad.
- Make sure you’re eating enough and hydrating yourself. Treat yourself to whatever you want. Don’t feel bad for it. Today’s a day to care for your soul, mind and body.
- Have contact with people. Don’t isolate yourself. If you’re like me, an introvert, and needs time alone to recharge, it’s a little harder to be alone but it is possible. With the help of technology, we can now be physically alone but not mentally alone. So on this day take time off to be by yourself, but try to still make contact with people, whether that’s through a text or social media, find whatever works for you. Or even just have someone in your house in another room, so you’re not fully alone.
- (And this tip is if you believe in Christ or on the journey to knowing Him). Making myself spend time with God through reading the Bible, listening and singing worship music and talking to Him throughout the day. As much as I find it really hard to do this when I’m in the lows of depression, I found that whenever I do engage with these, it always makes me feel better. So on days when I’ve taken it off to practice self-care, I always make sure that I get myself to do these 3 things. And know that whatever you’re facing, God is greater than it. Nothing is impossible for Him and He loves you so much. He’s with you in this whole journey. There is hope.
I hope these will help you when you’re deciding to take self-care days because of depression or otherwise, without it making you feel overwhelmed or that you’re letting depression win. Because self-care is essential for recovery and just life in general. So go ahead and treat yourself without feeling guilty.
Lots of love, Jasmine xx.