1. Make the bed
It seems trivial that something as small as making the bed has any impact in regards to managing my depression. The irony is that it is precisely those mundane things that can make a small difference to our state of mind. The first thing I do in the morning is to make the bed. Not only does it look tidied up, but it also gives me a sense of accomplishment because of the fact that I have completed the first task of the day. I believe that if you start your day feeling accomplished, it can encourage you to do more. Having depression means that even the most basic tasks seem impossible to do, like taking a shower or having proper meals throughout the day. This is why making the bed has become a habit of mine to encourage myself to do things I need to do for myself.
2. Do my skincare routine
Our skin has to endure a lot because we wear our emotions on our faces. We carry a lot of underlying stress around us when we have depression, which can cause breakouts and acne. A lack of rest affects our immune system and decreases the hydration and texture of our skin. Staying in often doesn’t help either—a good amount of vitamin D acts like an antioxidant, which helps with fine lines and wrinkles. But remember, too much sunlight can deteriorate our skin as well! I stress a lot, barely sleep, and don’t go out that often. That’s why it is important to do my daily skincare routine religiously to compensate and take care of my skin that already needs to endure a lot. I do my skincare routine twice a day and really take the time to be present while doing it to let it all soak in, literally and figuratively.
3. Drink plenty of water
It seems like a no brainer, but it is easy to forget to stay hydrated when you’re depressed. But really, a glass of water does give you that extra push that you need to get through the day. When feeling dull or weary, drink water. Maybe you won’t feel it immediately, but drinking enough water will help increase your energy levels. Dehydration will even worsen the feeling of being barely alive, just like having depression—not coincidentally, if you consider the fact that humans only last three to four days without water. Tip: bring a water bottle with you wherever you go.
4. Have a moment of indulgence
Nothing seems enjoyable anymore when you’re depressed, especially during a major episode, but I still try to go against my stream of consciousness and force myself to enjoy, even for a little moment. It can be really anything, depending on what you used to like to do. Take out the books you used to read, make a cup of tea for yourself, sit back and enjoy a movie. Just for a moment, I beg you not to feel guilty and enjoy it while it lasts.
I know, it’s not the first thing that comes to mind, but it does make me feel a lot better when I come home to a clean house instead of having to do the dishes during the evenings. It is better to start early so you enjoy a clean space later on in the day. And by cleaning, I mean not only the obvious dirty dishes and laundry, but also the parts that tend to be forgotten. I make sure to regularly change my duvet and cushion covers. To be able to smell the just washed covers afterward makes it all worth it to sleep on it.
6. Talk to someone that I trust
It is easy to feel alone in it when we bottle everything up instead of talking about it. It is easy to forget that there are people who care about us. It takes some weight off my shoulders for the moment if I talk about everything I feel with someone that I trust. It reminds me that I’m not a burden, even if I want to talk about it with someone. It reminds me that I’m not a waste of space in this world and that by talking about it, I take courage in to make it a little bit better every single day, no matter how hard that is.