Table of Contents
What Is Depression?
Depression can mean something different for each individual and hence to define depression is not the right thing to do. As for the meaning of the word depression, Google says: “a feeling of unhappiness that lasts for a long time. Depression can be a medical condition and may have physical signs, for example being unable to sleep, etc.”
Different symptoms are reported in depression, all of which may not be present at all times for all people. But some symptoms would definitely be present. You can learn to identify the Symptoms of Depression.
What Is Self-Care?
To make yourself a priority. While in depression the worst thing we do is avoid our own well-being. We do not pay attention to our physical or mental health because our emotions are not in balance. The lack of energy and interest makes us avoid the most important thing in life- Ourselves. When I went into depression I realized I did all the stuff that I could for people around me. I smiled for other people in my life, I tried hiding my emotions, my true self. I did all the work that was needed to be done but after that, I had no energy left. I had no energy left for myself.
Later, a few things in my life made me realize the importance of me. I understood the importance of self-love and self-care. one of the greatest changes in my life was brought by dance and movement therapy. I took a Diploma course on Dance and movement therapy that helped me overcome my depression to a great extent.
I understood that taking care of yourself is not selfish, I understood that it’s ok to think about yourself, and I understood that I can take care of my loved ones only when I am alright. If I am weak, physically, mentally, or emotionally it will take a toll on all aspects of my life and the people associated with me. I researched more and read more about self-care and I understood that self-care is not expensive and is not a luxury that normal people cannot afford. We can practice self-care every day.
But while suffering through a depressive episode, the daily self-care is sometimes not enough. Daily self-care acts as a maintenance dose but right now you need to put some extra effort to help you deal with depression.
Self-Care Habits That Can Help To Fight Depression
When it comes to self-care for depression not everything and anything will work for you. The reason for depressive episodes can be varied and hence the way you can overcome your depression also might vary from another person whom you have seen coming out of depression. All I am saying is what worked for them might not work for you. Hence I am trying to list down a few options for self-care that help in overcoming depression and you can try them to understand what works for you the best.
- Develop an exercise routine. This is not an option. No matter what the reason of your depression is, you need to get up from the bed and move your body( unless you have a severe physical ailment) . There should be at least 30 – 40 minutes in your day where you do some form of physical activity and your heartbeat goes up. The choice of workout, however, is entirely your choice. For me , aerobics and dancing works the best. I also love to go out on walks in parks. Being close to nature is another thing that makes me happy.
- Continuing on my previous point of being close to nature, another aspect of self-care is also taking small little breaks from your monotonous life and going on small vacations also help to overcome depression.
- Practice Positive Affirmation. Create positive affirmations for yourself, anything that suits you and relates to your life. Repeating the positive affirmations would help you design an optimistic mindset. And here by optimistic mindset I don’t mean wishful thinking. It is just being able to accept the possibility of something very positive happening in your life. Mindset would make it reality.
- If the reason for your depression is loneliness and not having enough people around, then social self-care is something that becomes of utmost importance. It is not always the case that we are alone. Sometimes we shut everyone out so hard that we end up creating that loneliness for ourselves. So, the next time someone calls you, don’t avoid talking and reply to messages. The next time someone invites you for a meetup or a gathering say YES. Commit to one social meetup each week . If there is not invite from others then go ahead and invite someone on your own. For times when going out is not possible take help of video calls.
- If the reason for your depression is financial then start now to build some economic stability for yourself. It is never too late and the situation you are in can be changed. Nothing will change overnight but trust me when I say things will change. Learn how financial self-care is important and how you can build the economic stability you want.
- If the reason of your depression is not feeling loved enough or losing a romantic partner then PLEASE start loving yourself again. We often indulge in our relationships so much that we stop loving ourselves and that is what leads to being sad and lonely (whether you are in a relationship or broken apart). Love Yourself First. It is not being Selfish.
- Spend some time in knowing yourself better. One of the greatest ways to do that is through journaling. Get some journal prompts for self-awareness, get a journal, and depending on how creative you are, some stationery. Find some time every day to come closer to yourself. Do not edit or re-edit your words. Just write in a flow.
- Dedicate some time to developing your spiritual practice. The form may be anything that helps you . For me meditation and reading good books help the most. If you believe in energy healing or practice do that. If you believe in crystals then use their power . But by getting into such healing I don’t mean that go to a healer pay them a handsome amount and get healed . I would suggest , learn these things for yourself. Start with a book , get into a course and understand the very basic of healing yourself .
- Soothe all your five senses. Organize your space so that you live in a clutter-free home and office . The aesthetics of your home and office help a lot to reduce stress. What you look at the entire day is an essential part of your life. Listen to good music , it will help you relax better. Eat the food you love and soothe your taste buds . But do not forget to eat healthy too as what you eat becomes very important in dealing with depression. Massage your feet and hands. If need be go get a full body massage to relax and make you feel pampered and last but not the least your olfactory senses may help a great deal. That is why aroma therapy is getting so popular nowadays. Go get some good fragrances in form of a candle or diffuser and it will make you feel good.
- Practice mindfulness. Be in the present moment as much as you can. Thinking about the past and worrying about the future is going to contribute only to overthinking. Hence practice mindfulness exercises and help your mind stay in now and here.
Ways to Self-care are many but the basic philosophy behind it is that you are your longest commitment and your relationship with anyone or anything can never be above your relationship with yourself.
Above all this, I would always suggest that there is no harm in asking for help. If you are feeling depressed and are not being able to handle things on your own then seek help from the people around you and if need be, seek professional help. You can connect with me here to book an online counseling session.