Easy Ways to Practice Self-Love on Difficult Depression Days
Depression makes it difficult to practice self-love, particularly on the darkest of days. When a seemingly simple activity such as getting out of bed is overwhelming, it is hard to think about practicing self-love; however, by doing small things to show ourselves love, nourishing our minds and bodies can be done.
Since February is the month in which we celebrate love, what better way than to celebrate the most important love there is? The love of ourselves. This can be challenging for those of us who battle depression, yet it is an integral part of our journey towards healing. Also, self-love does not have to be elaborate. Self-care activities can be quite simple. I've found several ways to practice self-love that are quite easy and I'd like to share them with you.
Four Ways to Practice Self-Love
- Practice proper hygiene. Practicing proper hygiene is one important aspect of self-love that is often difficult for those of us who struggle with depression (Why Don't We Want to Shower When We're Sick?). When I find taking a shower to be too daunting, I opt for a bath. It takes less energy because I'm able to sit rather than stand and there is something quite soothing and relaxing about soaking in the bathtub (Baths vs. Showers and Why This Schizoaffective Prefers the Bath). Also, if I find that I lack the energy to actually wash my hair, I'll use dry shampoo.
- Eat for nutrition. Preparing food is one of the most energy-draining activities for me as someone with depression, but eating is one way in which we practice self-love. While I typically enjoy cooking and do it quite well, when I'm going through a really down phase of depression, I just cannot find the motivation to plan and cook meals. In spite of that, I can still have a healthy meal. For breakfast on these hard days, I eat instant oatmeal or fruit and whole grain toast. For lunch and dinner, I toss frozen veggie meatballs (I'm vegetarian) with marinara sauce in the slow cooker with a slow cooker liner and I steam vegetables in the microwave. It's also easy to add a bagged salad to a meal. None of this requires much prep time or clean up; this is not overwhelming and still allows me to have healthy meals. Proper nutrition is a necessary act of self-love that our bodies need.
- Spend time doing things that make you happy. When you're struggling the most with your depression, that's when you need to do something that brings you pleasure. I know that when you're in the worst phases of depression, this feels impossible (Bipolar Depression and Feeling Nothing at All). I've been there recently; however, just keep it simple. Listen to a favorite song or artist. Watch a favorite movie or TV show. Read a book. Find something that has made you laugh in the past. Just relax. Don't put pressure on yourself to instantly feel better. Just love yourself wherever you are.
- Spend some time outdoors. You don't have to take a walk unless that's what you want to do. You could just sit outside and soak up the sun. I enjoy going outside at night and looking at the stars. I find it peaceful and calming. It's quiet and I can allow myself to relax. Finding time to get outdoors is one way I practice self-love.
More Self-Love Ideas to Practice
Practice self-love in ways that don't overwhelm you. It can be done in small, simple ways that won't seem too daunting for those of us with depression. I encourage you to find some easy ways to love yourself that make you feel nourished and better able to cope with your depression.
More on practicing self-love when you're depressed.
Smith, J. (2018, February 6). Easy Ways to Practice Self-Love on Difficult Depression Days, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 19 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2018/02/depression-and-simple-self-love-strategies