4 Self-Care Guidelines for Depression Management
Although the self-care guidelines for depression can seem simple, when we are dealing with depression, self-care can be difficult. Self-care is “the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one's own health.”1 At a time when we feel like focusing on it the least is actually the time we need to focus on self-care the most since engaging in self-care can help with depression. Look at the following self-care guidelines for depression management. You may discover they're not so demanding after all.
What Are the Self-Care Guidelines for Depression?
- Understand what self-care really means. Self-care can sometimes be interpreted as engaging in activities such as getting massages and going to the spa. While those types of activities may reduce our stress levels, true self-care goes beyond merely escaping the stress in our lives and involves doing the things we truly need to do in order to improve our health. It involves taking stock and figuring out what we need to do for our body, mind, and spirit that will help us to be healthier.
- Meet yourself where you are. When I’m depressed, my energy levels are low and I often find everyday activities draining. During these times, it would be unrealistic to expect myself to be able to accomplish as much as I normally do. And comparing myself to others and their abilities just makes me feel worse. That’s why it’s important that you meet yourself where you are. On days when it seems that depression is getting the best of you, make adaptations to your self-care plan, rather than neglecting it all together.
- Reach out to the experts when needed. When I was younger, I used to feel embarrassed and ashamed when my depression was worse. I didn’t want to let my doctor and counselor know I wasn’t feeling well because I was afraid that they’d be disappointed in me. I now realize that if you’re stuck in the pit of depression, it’s crucial that you get the mental health help you need. This means scheduling and attending appointments with your mental health team so that they can help you. That is what they are there for.
- Make a list of daily self-care activities you need to engage in. What activities do you need to do which will improve your mental health? As mind, body, and spirit are all connected, it’s important that you care for all three in order to have improved mental health. This means treating your body the right way by getting exercise, proper sleep, good nutrition, and refraining from alcohol. It also means taking time to nurture your spirit by spending time outdoors, with friends, with your higher power, or doing activities that you enjoy.
If you’re dealing with depression, I’ll hope you’ll consider using these self-care guidelines for depression management. Your mood will thank you for it.
- English Oxford Living Dictionaries, self-care. Accessed April 18, 2018.
Sedas, M. (2018, April 19). 4 Self-Care Guidelines for Depression Management, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, November 29 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2018/04/self-care-for-depression
Author: Michelle Sedas
Very helpful and important
Thank you, Elliot. I appreciate your comment.
Good lists but probably should have a fifth one--hygiene. I shower and brush my teeth, but not daily. The worse you feel the less that happens. Even on bad days and during depressive periods even a shower, wearing clean clothes and brushing your teeth can give you a sense of self-esteem and self-worth. Easier said than done though.
I completely agree. I also struggle with simple things like showering so I'm really glad you mentioned this.