Why Is It So Hard To Practice Self-Care When You’re Depressed?

Colin Rose

Anyone who’s ever suffered from clinical depression can tell you just how difficult it can be to engage in great self-care habits. The reality is that the symptoms of depression can be so severe that things we once cared about like oxidative stress, wrinkles, stretch marks after pregnancy, taking our vitamins, and getting enough exercise on a regular basis just doesn’t seem important.

The reality is that, without our mental health, it’s hard to find the strength to get out of bed, complete ordinary tasks, and even maintain relationships. Even with mental health professionals available over the internet, going to therapy regularly can seem too hard for someone struggling with severe depression. If you’re feeling this way, you aren’t alone. Read on for more reasons why self-care might seem hard when suffering from poor mental health and how you might turn things around.

Stigma and Fear of Reaching Out


One reason many people get stuck with bad habits and skip self-care and even mental health counseling appointments is because of the stigma attached to mental health. The reality is that more people than ever are suffering from anxiety disorders and depression. Going to a professional for mental health help is actually a sign of strength and a form of self-care. Instead of worrying about what others might think, consider doing a little research on just how many people see therapists or go to therapy, and you might feel less alone.

Hopelessness and Lack of Motivation


When we become depressed, a dullness shows up in our worlds. In the same way we need vitamin D and vitamin C to stay healthy, our minds and spirits need social interaction and purpose to feel motivated enough to meet responsibilities and engage in good self-care routines.

Maybe you’re someone who once paid close attention to essential oils, products, and vitamins to stay healthy. Perhaps rosehip oil was your favorite go-to product, and you haven’t purchased more since you ran out. Make that purchase: Odds are, it’ll make you feel more like yourself.

Overall, if you’ve been struggling and haven’t been able to keep up with your blog or job, it’s important to understand that your lack of motivation and feelings of hopelessness don’t define you. Instead, it can be a good idea to remind yourself of how far you’ve come and that you’ve made it this far. Go easy on yourself and start by setting small goals by the hour and you may start to feel better. Someone like you might even be able to share your story, helping to end stigma.

Understanding Why Self-Care Matters


If you’ve stopped engaging in it, you already understand the importance of self-care. In fact, your symptoms of depression may even stem from new habits like skipping regular self-care routines. By not exercising, doing things you enjoy, or spending time with people you love, you could be making the depression worse.

Having a strong support system is another way to have great self-care habits if you’re struggling with them on your own. At the end of the day, something as simple as staying distracted by calling on your support system could be a pathway toward better mental health. In fact, you could experience a significant reduction in your symptoms if you lean on people who love you most to help you to maintain self-care routines. Instead of making them complicated, start with something basic.

Where you might have once cared about skin condition and skin hydration as part of your normal beauty hygiene, for example, washing your face and having a friend come over for a movie will be a testament to your strength and a great first step toward mental health. The rest can wait. You matter most.

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