One of the things that really helps me cope with the woes of depression is making sure that I can recognize myself in the mirror. It is so easy to go deep into that rabbit hole of weariness where you don't brush your hair, you might skip a shower or two and you haven't washed the three day old makeup off your face. One thing for me is that I would go days without making my bed. I would literally sleep on a bare mattress with my down comforter and felt fine with that. I just didn't have the energy to straighten up my room even if it was to just make my bed. As of Monday, I went almost a month without making my bed. My mom would beg me to stop living like that and I was like "my mattress is clean." Looking back two days later, in my extended moment of melancholy, sleeping on a bare mattress because you can't muster up the energy to carry out day to day activities is not ok and that's why it is so important to remember to embrace SELF-CARE.
Self-care, by definition is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. This could vary amongst people depending on their culture, or preference. I have a way in which I tackle Self-care, and I say tackle because it is something we as all human beings can forget about and when we do remember it can be taxing trying to get back into a routine, but here we go.
Now I am no expert I am speaking only from my experience with dealing with depression and anxiety and what I do to pull myself back together. First things first, clean your living space. For me cleaning involves decluttering, reorganizing, relinquishing items etc.. I first like to go through everything starting from my room. If it doesn't bring me joy I recycle, donate or trash. I do that in each area of my house that I occupy the most and store things. My favorite thing is doing this to the kitchen. There is nothing like a newly cleaned and organized refrigerator followed by a nice refreshed closet. Don't forget to give extra care to your bathroom since this is where most of our self care routines take place. Make sure you fill your intimate space with your most loved items that help you feel brand new. This can be for skincare, your shower routine and even what you use to keep your bathroom tidy and clean. It is important for my bathroom to be just as organized as the rest of my home is and it has to feel like another oasis. I love scented candles and the smell along bleach at the same time. It screams serenity and sanitized.
Once you have organized and cleaned now it's time to take a long look in the mirror. I know body dismorphia is real and some people go as far as to removing all the mirrors in their homes but look beyond what you see in the mirror. Just look at the basic characteristics that you are showcasing to the world. Is your smile bright? How are those eyebrows? Are your pores as large as craters? How is your skin looking? It can feel soo cruddy when the way you feel on the inside matches the out and it doesn't have to be that way. Part of coping and healing can start with how you see yourself on the outside. Now with that being said start waking up every morning and brushing your teeth and washing your face. Don't forget to moisturize and go back to sleep if that was too much. This whole world is too much right now but don't forget you have to shower especially if you missed the day before. Men and women must clean themselves and it's not even up for discussion. Take a military shower if you are afraid of water so much but please let soap and water meet at least once a day. If you're not going to do your hair, tie it up and wrap a a head scarf around it, it will prevent breakage for men and women and if you're going to style it well whip it back and forth, good for you! We have to remember to take care of our hygiene. We can sad but not sad and smelly. Now when nighttime comes, please repeat previous steps!
Here is another important part of selfcare; Reevaluate your diet. Food can influence how you feel greatly especially if you are not eating what's good for you or what is right for you, or even enough. It is so important to make sure you have resources to help maintain good nutrition and that you have access to basic healthcare. When I finally began taking my health seriously at the age of 31 I began to have a whole different outlook on life when it came to my personal diet. I don't necessarily live by eat to live but I do listen to my body and what it wants. Of course with diet comes being active which is still a struggle for me but I am working on it. Any type of exercise for an extended amount of time is essential to everyone's wellbeing. Just the fact of knowing that exercise releases endorphins that make you feel like you're in a state of euphoria is motivation enough since I crave that feeling of bliss so I chase it. You ever walked two miles and just breathed? It's amazing trust me.
Last, but not least, don't forget to do what makes you happy. We often forget about ourselves and want to do everything for everyone and we simply can not please anyone until we do please ourselves. Don't forget to give yourself me time to explore your talents and hobbies or to look for new interests. Make time for yourself to reaccess your life if necessary. Doing this helps you plan for your future and the idea is to always be looking forward! Again I am no expert but I do know what is working for me, and that helps me deal with my struggles and my interest is to help others do the same.