Depression is a difficult state that messes with every aspect of your health and truth be told; it is difficult to practice self-care in such a trying time. However, self-care has been shown to benefit health in many ways, and this includes mental health.
An NCBI study on the helpfulness of self-management strategies for depression shows how several people handle depression with self-management strategies. It also encourages health professionals to use these strategies to improve the health of those battling with mental disorders.
While there is an increased interest in self-care today, very little is done about linking it with depression or other mental disorders.
Below are ways to help you manage depression with self-care:
1. Stay Tuned to Your Mind and Body
Mental illness affects both the mind and the body and to handle this; you first need to recognize how you feel physically and emotionally and pay closer attention to the changes happening. If you feel something different, take note of it and observe. This would help you notice signs of depression early and know how best to tackle it before it becomes a full-blown episode. Noticing early signs could also be an indication that the depression is coming back, and you can reach out to your psychiatrist, therapist, or your loved ones for immediate intervention.
Alt tag: Illustration of 3 people filling up a glass of water, meditating, and collecting herbs with a big heart in the middle.
2. Pay Attention to How You Talk to Yourself
Self-care is also looking at yourself in a positive light and speaking the right words to your body and mind. The power of positive affirmations, especially when done consistently, cannot be overemphasized. There is a science behind it, and recent studies have shown that it could rewire your brain into seeing yourself as a better person. Change how you see yourself in the mirror and become more aware of how you talk to yourself. Don’t be too quick to criticize yourself and end up draining your self-esteem. Despite being depressed, you should always make an effort to change negative thoughts and words.
3. Have a Relaxing Bedtime Routine
Lack of sleep causes the brain and body to function incorrectly, and this could lead to several health conditions. The relationship between sleep and mental health is quite complex, as disrupted sleep could cause emotional changes, depression, and anxiety, the same way these same conditions could disrupt sleep.
However, you can create a balance by having a relaxing bedtime routine. Choose a routine that works best for you, and if consistent with it, you would notice changes with time. For a general bedtime routine, turn off electronic lights and your smartphone, about an hour before bed and take time to reflect or read a book. You can also have a specific time you go to bed every night and also a time that you get up, to help regulate your sleep-wake cycle. Using the right mattress also matters, as it gives you a soothing sleep. Make your sleep worth the while.
There are many other ways you can manage depression with self-care, including visiting a spa to de-stress and sleep better. Also, remember this is not a battle to fight on your own. There are several self-help groups to assist you on this journey and you can also engage family and friends to walk you through it. But never kick your self-care routine aside.
Alt tag: Yellow desk with a calculator, clock, notepad, pencil, PC mouse, and a blue note with take care of yourself written on it.