Denver moms: Are you or someone you love suffering from depression? My friend has long struggled with depression and in addition to regular therapy and an ever-changing cocktail of anti-depressants, she recently shared this post that is circulating about how to navigate depression. Sometimes even the most basic tasks seem overwhelming but baby steps can help, even if you only do one of these per day.
Self-care if you’re struggling with depression
- Shower. Not a bath, a shower. Use water as hot or cold as you like. You don’t even need to wash. Just get in under the water and let it run over you for a while. Sit on the floor if you gotta.
- Moisturize everything. Use whatever lotion you like. Unscented? Dollar store lotion? Fancy 48-hour lotion that makes you smell like a field of wildflowers? Use whatever you want, and use it all over your entire dermis.
- Put on clean, comfortable clothes.
- Put on your favorite underwear. Cute black lacy panties? Those ridiculous boxers you bought last Christmas with candy cane hearts on the butt? Put them on.
- Drink cold water. Use ice. If you want, add some mint or lemon for an extra boost.
- Clean something. Doesn’t have to be anything big. Organize one drawer of a desk. Wash five dirty dishes. Do a load of laundry. Scrub the bathroom sink.
- Blast music. Listen to something upbeat and dancey and loud, something that’s got lots of energy. Sing to it, dance to it, even if you suck at both.
- Make food. Don’t just grab a granola bar to munch. Take the time and make food. Even if it’s ramen. Add something special to it, like a soft boiled egg or some veggies. Prepare food, it tastes way better, and you’ll feel like you accomplished something.
- Make something. Write a short story or a poem, draw a picture, color a picture, fold origami, crochet or knit, sculpt something out of clay, anything artistic. Even if you don’t think you’re good at it. Create.
- Go outside. Take a walk. Sit in the grass. Look at the clouds. Smell flowers. Put your hands in the dirt and feel the soil against your skin.
- Call someone. Call a loved one, a friend, a family member, call a chat service if you have no one else to call. Talk to a stranger on the street. Have a conversation and listen to someone’s voice. If you can’t bring yourself to call, text or email or whatever, just have some social interaction with another person. Even if you don’t say much, listen to them. It helps.
- Cuddle your pets if you have them/can cuddle them. Take pictures of them. Talk to them. Tell them how you feel, about your favorite movie, a new game coming out, anything.
These may seem small or silly to some, but this list keeps people alive. At your absolute best you won’t be good enough for the wrong people. But at your worst, you’ll still be worth it to the right ones. Remember that.
Powerful Books if you or someone you love is depressed
F*ck Feelings by Michael Bennet. One shrink (and his comedy writer daughter)’s practical advice for managing all life’s impossible problems.
Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig. This New York Times bestselling author shares this life-affirming memoir of his struggle with depression and how his triumph over the illness taught him to live.
Lost Connections: Why You’re Depressed and How to Find Hope by Johann Hari. An adult, Hari went on a journey across the world to interview the leading experts about what causes depression and anxiety, and what solves them. He learned there is scientific evidence for nine different causes of depression and anxiety-and that this knowledge leads to a very different set of solutions: ones that offer real hope.
Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David D. Burns, M.D. When people talk about books providing effective and evidence-based help for depression, the conversation should always begin with the book
Keep holding on. People don’t fake depression, they fake being OK. Stop asking people who are struggling to reach out if they need help; more people need to reach in.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
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