Having a self-care routine for depression allows you to better cope with this psychological disorder. We will offer a few suggestions.
Psychological therapy is the most valid and effective resource for dealing with mood disorders. Supplementing with a depression self-care routine further enhances treatment itself. Ultimately, to heal any mental condition, what we need most is to integrate new healthy and enriching approaches into our routine and mind.
On the other hand, If there’s one thing that’s challenging for people with depression, it’s engaging in new activities. The mind is trapped in a very rigid and frail frame, and the body is like a slab. Everything blows, tires, and even getting out of bed is a real challenge. Being able to introduce new behaviors is a fundamental axis for overcoming this condition.
If you are going through this process right now, we suggest you discover all the information the following article has to offer.
Believe that life is worth living even when you don’t believe it. Look for the memories that depression takes away and project them into the future. Be brave; Be strong; take your pills. Exercise because it’s good for you even if every step weighs a thousand pounds.
Why are self-care routines helpful for depression?
A depression self-care routine is a complementary strategy to psychological therapy itself. Therefore, if you want the therapeutic process to be more effective, do not hesitate to engage in such daily tasks. The goal is nothing but to favor such a decisive mechanism when it comes to dealing with depressive disorders such as behavioral activation.
As a study conducted at the University of York explains, psychologist Frederick Skinner said that a person with depression stops exhibiting healthy behavior. Silence, isolation and despair are the black holes that condition them daily. Behavioral activation aims to change the way the patient interacts with the environment.
Self-care activities are positive reinforcers that connect the depressed person to the world and, in turn, to themselves in a more positive and compassionate way.. Below, take a good look at what characteristics define these complementary techniques.
You will want to read: Differences between situational depression and clinical depression
Benefits and features of self-care for people with depression
One of the goals of self-care routines in depressed people is to promote motivated behavior. Research as published in the journal Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews suggests that this disorder completely alters cognitive and emotional processes. Making progress on this issue is crucial. Other advantages are the following:
- It improves self-efficacy.
- Encourage self-control.
- Promote physical activity.
- Activate decision making.
- It provides benefits of social connection.
- Improves working memory.
- Reawaken the will.
- Establish self-care routines.
- Improvements in emotion regulation.
- Structure your days into routines and new habits.
- Encourage new goals, no matter how small.
- Taking the Mind to Another State: From Negativity to Motivation.
- Improve your self-image by discovering that someone is capable of activating change.
- Improve cognitive flexibility. Thanks to a depression self-care routine, a person will get back to planning, time management and prioritizing.
Having a depression self-care routine promotes new changes in the brain that feed back on patients’ behavior and motivation.
A self-care routine for depression
Self-care during depression is a must. We know that leaning on others, going to therapy, and committing to change is the key. However, improvements will come when we can see ourselves as our greatest responsibility and promote progress by which we improve. Let’s see those keys to building your own self-care routine.
1. Each day must involve following the same routine
Our brain works better if each day is organized through habits and routines. You will feel more confident, and this will affect your physical and emotional well-being. Note some strategies:
- Eat at the same time every day.
- Get up and go to bed at the same time every day
- Build moments of relaxation, leisure and social connection into your schedules.
2. Set small goals and celebrate them
Depression is overcome by small daily steps that must be celebrated. Getting out of bed and showering is a success. Making your breakfast is another big win. Tomorrow you will achieve more things, but what is done today is already amazing. Write down in a journal the goals you want to achieve each day and be proud of each achievement.
3. Regular physical activity
Physical activity cannot be missing among healthy habits for depression. Moreover, studies such as those conducted at the University of South Australia show that this approach is essential in the treatment of depression, anxiety and psychological stress. Therefore, do not hesitate to implement any of the following suggestions:
- Go swimming
- Ride a bike
- Visit the beach or the countryside
- Go for a walk together
- Start a new sport
- Walk every day for half an hour
4. Feed your senses
When it comes to dealing with depression, stimulating your senses will be of great help. This psychological state numbs us and puts us in a dark dimension where nothing reaches us and nothing stimulates us. We must break that isolation mechanism created by this mental state. In this regard, the following activities are useful:
- Stimulate your sense of hearing with music.
- Don’t hesitate to stimulate your sense of taste with foods you love.
- Stimulate your sense of touch by stroking, hugging and being close to your loved ones.
- Stimulate your eyes daily with movies, art or beautiful natural settings.
- Don’t forget to stimulate your sense of smell with pleasant scents like lavender, vanilla, etc.
5. Find a new hobby
Among depression self-care routines, it’s essential to look for new daily motivators. Open up to different hobbies, learn new skills and immerse yourself in art in any of its forms. Sometimes, the smallest changes bring wonderful revolutions to your mental health.
- Write in a journal, draw, paint, compose music, start a sculpture, etc.
- Sign up for a face-to-face course on a topic that interests you. It will connect you with new people and get you out of the house.
6. Find the relaxation techniques that work best for you
Dealing with depression is not easy, but along with psychological therapy, relaxation techniques also help. In this regard, each person must find the technique that best suits his characteristics. Not everyone finds benefits in the same resources, so it’s always good to try different suggestions. Here are some suggestions:
- Tai Chi
- Relaxing baths
- Deep breathing
Cognitive-behavioral therapy already incorporates mindfulness into its model as a resource for treating depression and avoiding relapse. So don’t hesitate to give this ancestral technique a chance. Studies like those published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology point that out it is very helpful in reducing the worries and thoughts associated with clinical depression.
Full attention allows us to focus on the present moment, generate a shift in the brain, and have more control over our thoughts.
8. Say yes to social connection
Good company cannot be missing among the healthy habits for depression. Devote an hour, at least, to a conversation with a friend who knows how to listen to you or with that friend who makes everything easier for you and takes away your burdens and worries.
It is good to rely on your environment and know that you are loved. There’s nothing like sharing simple moments to remind ourselves of the value of life.
Also read: Neurofeedback to treat depression
What if a depression self-care routine doesn’t work for me?
Dealing with depression is not a straight line; there are always falls and relapses. The goal of a self-care routine is to promote change, increase motivation, and integrate healthier habits. If this doesn’t happen, it doesn’t mean you failed. It means you need more time to move forward.
It is most important to continue with psychological therapy and not to abandon these healthy habits for dealing with depression. There will be days when you don’t feel like implementing them, and that’s normal; tomorrow you can start fresh. Overcoming any mood disorder requires a strong commitment to self and, at the same time, self-compassion.
Remember, you are not a superhero. You are a person in the process of healing and recovery, something that requires at least a few months. Be patient with yourself.
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