Depression. Honestly, this is a word I’d never have thought would apply to me, but here I am. I’ve struggled with depression for a long time, even though I didn’t realize that’s what was going on. There is so much stigma around mental health that I just assumed this is how I was supposed to feel –FOR YEARS.
Some days I do really well. I can function, get dressed, complete tasks, and some days I just want a quiet dark place to sit quietly and be alone. I’ve really been working hard on those darker days to pull myself out of it. I really want to be a great mom for my children and depression often makes me emotionally unavailable.
Lots of well-meaning people suggest working out, hanging out with friends, going for a walk etc. They don’t realize that when depression sets in, everything seems like too much effort.
Below are 3 small things I do to try to get myself out of that funk.
Take a long shower/bath
Allow the warm water to soothe and relax you. If you have the energy, pamper yourself in whatever way you can. Use your favorite soaps. Shave. Give yourself a facial.
As a stay at home mom, my showers are usually quick and to the point. On low days, if I have time, I will get the ‘good’ conditioner out and use it and I will shave my legs. Small, simple little things to show myself some love.
Side note: Freshly shaved legs and fresh sheets on the bed feel awesome! It’s one of my favorite things.
Get some sun
No, you don’t have to go outside. If the sun is shining, sit near a window, turn your face towards the sunlight and feel the warmth on your skin.
I live in the Northeast and we don’t get tons of sun during the winter. My therapist suggested a sun lamp. This isn’t a free option, but it could be helpful and there are several available for a wide range of prices. They are also useful in helping you wake up if you have to get up early or are just tired in general (depression can be exhausting).
Color or Draw (no talent required)
Adult coloring books are really popular right now and for good reason. Coloring or drawing is a really mindful task. Coloring books aren’t necessary. Any paper (old bill envelopes are my go-to) will do. Just enjoy the motion and allow this small task to hold your attention.
I was pretty resistant to coloring and drawing at first. I’m not artistic in that way and it felt, well, kinda childish. Once you start though, it’s seriously pretty relaxing.
Depression is really complicated and can be super rough.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
I hope these 3 things can help you on a hard day. I hope you can find some sun and create a little love and peace for yourself. You deserve love and good things.