Throwback Thursday – Depression and self-care.

Approximately a year ago I wrote one of my first posts on this blog. I plan to revisit some oldies and shed my light on them from the present moment. Just to see how far I’ve come already. I started this blog as a personal outlet of thoughts, worries and emotions. One of the first topics I wrote about was self-care. Isn’t that an interesting observation already considering the amount of time I’ve spend on that subject in therapy afterwards? I think so.

Reading my old posts, it astonishes me how much I ‘knew’ already. The things I wrote back then still make sense to me now. That is some kind of ‘proof’ to me that my feelings weren’t wrong and that I had a clear view about what was needed to be addressed in my life.

The difficulty lies in the practice. I can talk all day about ‘shoulds’ and ‘wants’ in very eloquent terms but recovery is just hard work, every day. You can make lists of self-care and pin all the pins you want on Pinterest but one day you’ll need to take the first step.

In the old posts (that are linked below) I wrote about the lack of energy that I struggled with. A little energy is needed to be able to take care of yourself and your environment. It all starts with good (or the best possible) sleep, some motivation (which is difficult to have when you’re depressed) and action (which is being undermined when depressed). A year ago I knew what was needed but didn’t know how to go about it. Once my energy was more present and I was able to connect more with my needs through therapy, I started to cook again. I remember that as a very distinct first step in recovery. I made a meal and it tasted good! I was happy for the first time.

As for personal hygiene I continue to struggle. Taking a shower can be an impossible task some days. I learned that not everything needs to be spic and span every day. I’ve worked out the very basics of personal hygiene that helps me to manage the more difficult days.

In my depression 101 survival kit, you’ll find:

  • wet wipes, my go-to when energy is nowhere to be seen.
  • I use a face wash for my face, so every day I’ve seen some water at least.
  • dry shampoo if I need to look somewhat presentable but can’t deal with washing my hear
  • a good deodorant!
  • comfy clothes to wear when I stay in, that are NOT my pyjamas.
  • every day I try to comb my hair and to brush my teeth. For this I set an alarm.

Most important of all, I don’t beat myself up anymore when I am a bit smelly. I’m old enough to decide when it’s time. I don’t worry if energy is less, I’ll shower the next day. It’s not the end of the world (I used to think that because of some bullying going on when I was a teen).

Most important of all, is that it’s not that important at all. The sky will not fall on my head when I don’t shower.

My eating habits did improve because I don’t live alone anymore. It is way more fun to cook for two and to have someone who appreciates the effort. I’ve learned that I don’t need to present a full healthy meal, cooked from scratch every day. It’s ok to have take-out and have energy left to walk the dog.

Not to toot my own horn but I’m proud of me, because I didn’t give up and now I can take a shower much more quickly than a year ago. But not in 7 minutes like I used to. Who cares after all …. Are you in recovery from a (mental) illness and do you keep track of your progress? Did you achieve some milestones? A milestone can be a small stepping stone to others but a big one for you. You can share your thoughts, questions and tips in the comments. I’m always happy to read them!

Notes, references and resources.

Picture 1 credits Love vector created by freepik – www.freepik.com

Picture 2 credits creative-minimalist-dividing-line png from pngtree.com

Picture 3 credits Photo by Anthony on Pexels.com

Picture 4 credits Photo by Lum3n.com on Pexels.com

30 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday – Depression and self-care.

  1. I have, in the last TWO years, began showering up to one times more a week, than I used to. Which is big. But, I have not been able to do that with consistency. I agree about the good deodorant. That’s very important. Keep on keeping on!!!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. That is progress! While facing a struggle, such steps can be of huge importance.
      And also, time really flies, I’ve been struggling for two years now and I can do dishes and take a shower. Went also out for groceries today, which was an absolute mess… Too much of a ‘good’ thing 🙄

      Liked by 3 people

      1. There is a point here, though. You are able to take some things for granted (skills, if you like). Other people can’t. I think a lot of the time we just don’t realise it, we’re kind-of programmed to do ourselves down.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. And we take a lot, most of it for granted, that is so true. And we compare to past times or others. We should be happy with what we can because all of that can change in a second.
        I am grateful though for how far I’ve come already.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. Yeah I saw a lot of similarities. It’s less tangible, of course, but I bet you’re thinking about different things to A year ago. That’s progress. My favourite word again – reflating 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

  2. I think I’d probably eat healthier if I was cooking for two. It’s hard to care enough to put in the effort when it’s just me.

    It’s fascinating to go back to old posts and see what had and hasn’t changed.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That was one of my plans with the blog, to have some things set onto ‘paper’ and to measure what I’ve manged to do in the meantime.
      I feel with mental illness, things can be so ‘flowy’ in my brain that I need some fixed points to compare.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so happy to know that you’ve been able to reflect and see how far you’ve come Kacha. It’s a long road and it’s never easy — all we can do is what we can — and that has to be enough some days.

    Like you, I can go a few days without a shower and sit in a bit of a messy flat for a few days — without panicking 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I always thought something was “wrong” with me because most days, I’m not put together. I don’t wear makeup, I don’t bother wearing nice clothes, and my hair looks like a wasp nest. It’s part of depression and the lack of energy is very real. I admit I still wear pajamas all day, every day.

    Who do you currently live with right now? I agree that living alone would be harder. Having a pet helps – I have a therapy cat!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes the idea that there is something very ‘wrong’ with wasp nest hair sounds so familiar to me! It’s encouraging to read that I’m not the only one out there 🙂

      I live with my boyfriend now and it helps. I also have a dog and that is a responsibility but he helps me too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Out of 7+ billion people, you’re definitely not the only one out there. It’s very easy to get trapped in our own minds. I often feel like my internal struggles only relate to me; meanwhile others feel the exact same way I do! That’s why I think it’s so important expressing our thoughts through blogging. Often, our readers can relate to what we’re dealing with 😊💕

        Liked by 2 people

  5. It’s great that you have a depression survival kit. I never thought about that. It’s a good thing to put together when you feel better. I should start looking into what I can slot into mine. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome! I didn’t had a clue what a depression survival kit was at the beginning of my journey but I learned as I went along.
      I try everything that can make me feel better and helps me through the day.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

      Like

  6. Cooking a good meal for yourself can be so empowering! I’ve been trying to cook more rather than just eat take-out or fast-but-bad-for-me stuff. It’s hard because it takes a lot of time and some days I’m just too tired to bother. But when I manage, it feels so good to eat something tasty and know that I made it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Empowering is thé word I was looking for! You’re absolutely right about cooking healthy for yourself. As with everything I’ve discovered that I also need to balance that too and that sometimes fast-but-not-so-good-stuff have their place too as cooking takes up time and energy.
      I’ve used your comment about baking for yourself as a form of self-care in an upcoming post, I hope that’s ok with you and of course I refer to your blog!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s absolutely ok with me! Thank you!

        You know, the funny thing about that birthday baking experience was that I was having a bad bout of hayfever that day. I was worried the cake would set me back because sugar usually makes my allergies worse. But as soon as I ate a piece of my cake, the hayfever suddenly stopped. It didn’t work when I had the leftovers later in the week, but for that one day, it was kind of magical.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Taking a shower can be like a mountain that has to be moved. That is how it can feel to me.
      When I feel better I can ‘hop’ in the shower. Depression makes it an impossible task sometimes. Thank you for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

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