How to Take Care of Yourself When You Have Depression
Doubting on yourself and losing interest in doing your hobbies are just two of the symptoms of a depressed person. Losing hope on yourself and feeling drained will make it hard for you to take care of yourself. However, self-care is the best way to get out of depression. By taking care of yourself, your physical, mental, and psychological health—your well-being—will be at its best state.
What is Depression?
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) defines depression as “a mood disorder that causes distressing symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working.” A person diagnosed with depression experiences these symptoms for almost every day in two weeks. The possible causes of depression are genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological.
Symptoms of Depression
Symptoms vary, and they can be seen in the different aspects of an individual’s life. Here are some signs that you can spot on a depressed person.
- Psychological Symptoms
A depressed person feels intense sadness. If you are one, your mood is so low that you cannot function well and take care of yourself. Also, you have a default feeling of anxiety, guilt, worthlessness, and helplessness. There were days when you found yourself crying for no particular reason, and a little reason makes you angry. You cannot make decisions. Having no energy to look after your hygiene is a simple yet straightforward symptom, but having suicidal thoughts is the most intense and explicit of them all.
- Physical Symptoms
Physical symptoms include changes in appetite and a damaged sleeping routine. Hence, you either lose or gain excessive weight. You feel tired most of the time, and have unexplained aches, pains, and digestive problems. Also, you may feel a loss in sexual drives, such as erectile difficulties.
- Social Symptoms
Your psychological symptoms affect your social capabilities. You isolate yourself from others because you feel unworthy of their love. Also, you lose passion for doing things that you love, which may result in poor performance at work or school or broken relationships.
Embracing Oneself Amidst Depression
In her book entitled “Living with Depression: Why Biology and Biography Matter along the Path to Hope and Healing,” psychologist Deborah Serani expressed that, “depression is an illness that requires a good deal of self-care.” Embracing your flaws and taking care of yourself is the only way out of depression.
Recognize that you are depressed. Acknowledge that you are not functioning normally—you are not your usual self. Also, know your triggers. In that way, you will see the kind of help you will need. You may consult a psychologist and ask for more information about your case.
- Seeking for Help and Staying Connected
With all the negative thoughts that you have, you need to let it out before you explode. Seek help from family members, a friend, or your psychologist. However, you should not depend on this person to fix you. His or her role is to be a good listener who will listen and not judge you.
Show up in social activities, such as support groups, even if you are not interested. In this way, you can receive support and not feel that you are alone. It is also important to show support to them, which will boost yourself. By doing small acts of kindness, you can find worth within yourself.
- Going From Inactive to Active Lifestyle
When you are depressed, merely getting up can appear to be an overwhelming errand, not to mention working out. However, exercise is a powerful depression fighter. Research shows that standard exercise can be as compelling as drugs for mitigating depression symptoms. It likewise keeps you from relapsing once you’re doing well. Training is something you can do currently to support your disposition.
- Taking Care and Being Gentle of Oneself
Taking care of yourself includes having a balanced diet and aiming for 8 hours of comfortable sleep. Likewise, you should also do the things that you enjoy, such as painting, cooking, dancing, baking, listening to music, reading a book, or going out for a walk with your pet. You can also go for a sunbathing as the sunlight can help boost serotonin levels and improve your mood. Exercising outside can also double the benefits of sunlight.
Part of self-care is to surround yourself with positivity by avoiding toxic people and creating a healthy space. Stay away from people who make you feel worthless because, according to Serani, they are like “emotional vampires” who “suck the life out of you.” Create a safe and healthy space for yourself where you can meditate and reflect to have inner peace.
- Challenging the Negative Thinking
When negative thoughts overwhelm you, it is essential to remember that these are just symptoms of depression, which are not realistic. You have to be aware of the negative thoughts that trigger your depression and replace them with more balanced and rational thinking.
Depression is a severe mental illness that needs enough self-care to conquer. Doing the things stated above will not instantly take away your depression. It is a long and complicated process, which you can overcome with willpower alone.
Tartakovsky, M. (2018). 9 Ways to Take Care of Yourself When You Have Depression. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 18, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/blog/9-ways-to-take-care-of-yourself-when-you-have-depression/
Serani, D. (2017, February 6). Why Self-Care is Hard for Depressed Individuals. Retrieved October 19, 2020, from https://www.google.com.ph/amp/s/www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/two-takes-depression/201702/why-self-care-is-hard-depressed-individuals?amp
Melinda. (n.d.). Coping with Depression. Retrieved October 19, 2020, from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/coping-with-depression.htm
Peterson, T. (2016, July 5). Depression Self-Care for When You’re Really Depressed, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, October 19 from https://www.healthyplace.com/self-help/depression/depression-self-care-for-when-you-re-really-depressed
Depression Basics. (n.d.). Retrieved October 19, 2020, from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression/index.shtml
Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only. By providing the information contained herein we are not diagnosing, treating, curating, mitigating, or preventing any type of disease or medical condition. Before beginning any type of natural, integrative or conventional treatment regimen, it is advisable to seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.