It's been such a long time since I've done a mental health-related post! And yet, I'm feeling the effects of mental illness more strongly recently. Today, I thought I'd share some general depression hacks for the more difficult days.
There's no denying that I've been struggling with depression lately, and one day last month it took me until 3pm to actually get up and brush my teeth! I'd spent the entire day in bed pondering life and having absolutely zero energy to do anything. Fortunately, I'm in a better place again now, so here's some of tips and tricks for the harder depression days.
On the days where I have zero motivation or energy, I call them 'duvet days' as it adds an almost comical twist to have, in a way, a lazy day. On such days, I know I'm not in the right place physically, mentally or emotionally to do anything productive - so I spend my day curled up on the sofa with a blanket or in bed snuggled up under the duvet, and don't allow myself to feel guilty about doing so. Sometimes, it's necessary. It's important to take breaks and spend a day to yourself. On these days it may help to:
- Get into a routine. Give yourself a set time to sleep and get up, and ensure you keep within them.
- Know that it's ok. It's good to give your body chance to rest and you may feel refreshed afterwards, give yourself the break you deserve.
- If you know that you're unable to leave your bed, have something at the side to occupy yourself with, e.g. a notebook, a list of your favourite memories/people or a book to read. Remove any distractions, e.g. phone, computer, etc.
- If you're struggling to sleep, listen to calming music / ASMR or watch a really boring film.
When I'm depressed, my eating habits go one of two ways - I don't eat anything at all, or I eat absolutely everything in the house. Whole pack of biscuits, no problem!
- Fill up a water bottle and keep it with you at all times, make sure to take sips now and again and challenge yourself to finish it.
- Have some paper plates in the cupboard for such eventualities, then there's no pressure to do the washing up!
- Cook an easier meal, sometimes toast can seem like a lot of effort! But if needs must, bread and butter would do!
- Have some snack bars saved up, whether chocolate or nutritious, make sure you eat something today.
- Have some meals saved up and frozen, ready to reheat for when you need them.
When depressed, hygiene is my last concern. I have no desire to wash, dress etc. on these days as no one's going to see me and I wouldn't waste my energy on it. However... I admit, you do feel slightly better once refreshed.
- Brush your teeth.
- Wash your face using a facecloth.
- Sit underneath the shower, instead of standing.
- Remember, there's nothing wrong with a pyjama day!
This one is hypocritical of me, because I literally never go outside when feeling ill. BUT, it may help to:
- Spend five minutes sat outside, ideally in the sun.
- Open a window and let some fresh air in.
- Walk around the block.
I know, I know! But if you can:
- Try a five-ten minute yoga or pilates session.
- Have a little stretch.
- Walk up and down the stairs a couple of times.
While a break can be beneficial and what we physically and mentally need, unfortunately life events go on. I like to split my tasks into categories into 'Must do', 'Should do' and 'Could do' and as long as a couple of the 'Must do' tasks are completed, then its been a productive day.
So that's that! There's some tips n' tricks to help you get through the depression days, feel free to add your own below! Note: Unfortunately, I can't disable the Log in / Sign up option to comment below! I would if I could!
Take care and stay safe,