mental illness

Depression – The Importance of Self care

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. 🙂



9 thoughts on “Depression – The Importance of Self care”

  1. Thanks Annie for the useful information. I’m struggling with this right now. I will try this. I just recognised that I was depressed and not just sad. I have absolutely no energy. I feel so broken and useless. I waisted my youth trying to raise a family with an abusive husband. Now I’m 55 and I have nothing left. But I’m going to try it your way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i understand how you feel that you wasted your life. Narcissistic men make their wives do everything for the house and the children and do not allow us any time for ourselves. Kinder husbands allow the wives to have a life outside of taking care of the family and working.
      My ex never helped with the kids, the house or anything. The finances were always in a shambles and I had no life other than the kids.

      It is very sad when you are treated like a non-person. Hopefully it is not too late for you to be able to do some things that you want to do for yourself. The abuse takes a heavy toll on your psychological state.

      The feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness are programmed into you by the abuser…and very likely by your childhood also.Many people who end up with selfish spouses were taught that it is selfish to care about yourself…and that you have to focus on someone else’s needs all the time.

      In the mean time, everyone else’s dreams, and desires get met . Other people are able to feel that their lives have meaning and your life has none.

      One of the problems with people that have C-PTSD from abuse is that the old emotional wounds are not healed. There are some NLP hypnosis techniques that can help with healing the emotional wounds. If you are interested let me know. I can give you more info. I have some clients that I have done this kind of hypnosis on and it seems to be very helpful.

      I hope you feel better. The holidays can be triggering for emotional wounds and C-PTSD.

      Wishing you happiness,
      Annie ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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