1. Breathing in and out. You’re still here – and that is wonderful.
2. Getting out of bed in the morning. Every step you take that brings you further and further away from the comfort of your bed is something to celebrate when the depression and anxiety hits and you don’t want to leave the house.
3. Washing your face. Personal hygiene is important.
4. Brushing your teeth. Again, personal hygiene is important.
5. Taking a shower. Once more, personal hygiene is important.
6. Putting on makeup – (if that’s what makes you feel like the best version of you). If you took the time to make yourself feel like the best version of you, that’s a tiny victory.
7. Putting on a clean outfit or clean clothes.
8. Taking your vitamins or medicine. It’s been said that routine helps with managing depression and anxiety. It’s been said that having a routine helps with goal setting, too. So if you’ve started taking vitamins as part of your routine – keep it up.
9. Making your breakfast, and then actually eating it. You’ve heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day since you’ve been a kid. It remains true as an adult.
10. Getting to work on time. Again, routines are important.
11. Getting your children to school on time, if you have them.
12. Fulfilling your responsibilities at work.
13. Fulfilling your responsibilities at home. Maybe it’s your turn to do laundry. Maybe it’s your turn to take out the garbage. Whatever it is – fulfilling those responsibilities when you’re in the thick of sadness is cause for a tiny moment of celebration.
14. Making dinner for yourself.
15. Making a healthy dinner for yourself. I mean, sometimes frozen yogurt is dinner. But if you were actually able to make a meal that involved a protein and greens – give yourself a pat on the back.
16. Saying, “I’m sad.” Sometimes it’s hard to say the words.
17. Saying, “I’m sad” to someone who loves you. Sometimes it’s hard to say the words, and sometimes it’s even hard to hear them aloud as you say them to someone who loves you.
18. Accepting the help that people want to give you when you’re sad. We put self-sufficiency up on a pedestal. We idolize people who can “do it all”. We idolize the hustlers, the movers and shakers, the bosses. And sometimes that adoration doesn’t leave room for humility. Sometimes all that adoration and idealization makes it seem like you’re lacking in something if you accept help – so when you grasp the hands of those wish to help you stand, I hope you celebrate it.
19. Making an appointment to go see a therapist when you’re sad.
20. Actually getting to therapist appointment. It’s easy to be a supporter of therapy. It’s easy to tell your friends that there’s nothing wrong with seeking out professional help when it comes to your mental health. Sometimes it’s harder to actually take your own advice. So when you get out of that car and walk into that therapist’s office – I hope you say a tiny cheer for yourself. You deserve it.