Depression wears you down and drains your energy. The amount of energy required to get it together and take a shower is tremendous, nevermind doing anything with our hair and make-up. It feels like we have to literally drag ourselves around to do anything.
Making dinner is an effort so we often don’t eat or just open a can of something or other. We deprive ourselves of proper nutrition because it is too confusing to keep track of that when our own thoughts are consuming us.
Besides the lack of energy, we don’t really see the point in taking care of ourselves. We feel hopeless and worthless and it just seems like it is not worth the effort. It is not like we are trying to impress anyone. There does not seem to be any hope of anything improving in our lives.
We will neglect our personal hygiene like taking showers, brushing our teeth and brushing our hair. We do not feel up to going to the beauty parlor.
We may have some vague recollection of feeling attractive, but we do not feel that way anymore. It feels like we can barely get through the day, Our minds are occupied with running thoughts that are extremely painful to keep listening to over and over.
Time passes differently when we are in a state of depression. We are not even aware what time of day it is or how much time has passed sometimes.
I have had times when I was depressed, when three hours had gone by and I thought it was a half an hour at most.
This “time confusion” also makes it hard to figure out what to do and when to take care of our basic needs.
When we are in a state of severe mental torment, caring for ourselves just seems like a waste of energy. There is confusion in our minds and we have problems remembering things. A simple thing like organizing our day or making ourselves lunch, feels like a difficult task.
Our appetites are low and we do not feel like eating. or we overeat to make up for feelings of emptiness inside. Either way, our diets become unbalanced. We starve ourselves of proper nutrition and also exercise.
We do not feel good about how we look in the mirror. The mirror tells us we are neglecting our personal care and basic needs. The mirror tells us, but we do not know what to do about it.
The problem is that when we neglect our personal care and our diet, it makes the depression worse. Our self esteem about how we look goes down. Our self esteem goes down regarding our ability to function normally like others do.
Bad nutrition will make our bodies and brains weak and less effective. Our thought processes will be slowed. Our ability to fight off infection is lower. All of these things will increase depression.
The chemicals in the brain are affected by the intake of nutrients from food. When we do not eat properly, our brains become more chemically off balance, as we continue to neglect eating proper meals. It is a spiraling cycle into deeper depression.
It is very difficult to begin taking care of ourselves if we have been out of the habit for a long time. It requires “baby steps” to get back on the right track. We have take small steps to take care of ourselves and nurse ourselves back to health.
Think of yourself as a patient in the hospital. Your bed is a hospital bed. You also have to play the role of the nurse.
The nurse will encourage the patient to take a shower because you will feel better if you do. The nurse will bring food to the patient at regular times and encourage them to eat because the body needs to be strengthened.
Be imaginative like when you were a child. Pretend you are a nurse taking care of a favorite patient.
Play the hospital game and pretend you are a wonderful nurse, taking care of a favorite patient. Encourage yourself to eat a few bites of healthy food. Have some nice soup hot chocolate.
Think of what you would order , if you were in the hospital. Encourage and be kind to yourself about personal care. Get out of bed for fifteen minutes an walk around the “hospital” a little bit.
Be your own nurse and see how it helps. 🙂