Written by DiveThru Team
Reviewed by Natalie Asayag MSW, LCSW
How To Care For Your Body When You’re Stressed and Depressed AF
Published Feb 26th, 2021 & updated on Jan 19th, 2022
AHHHH! You’re stressed and depressed and it feels like it’ll never end. What nasty little monsters those emotions can be. Sometimes we just want them to leave and never come back! Cool? Cool.
If only that were the case. Depression and stress can feel like such overwhelming forces, keeping us stuck in bed and feeling like we aren’t able to do anything. Like… ANYTHING! Showering? Nope. Dishes? No way in hell! What about making food? Pfft!
When our mental health is taking a toll, we often forget about self-care entirely. That’s ok! It’s hard work! If reading this article is all the self-care you can manage for yourself today, that’s all that matters. We’re proud of you!
What a lot of us forget is that our own definitions of self-care are allowed to change depending on how our brains are feeling. Yep, it’s not a static thing! If you’re having a great mental health day, some self-care might mean treating yourself to a nice meal, doing a face mask, drawing a bubble bath… all that good shit! But self-care can also be about completing simple tasks that seem too big to tackle.
We’re going to call these self-care tasks “realistic self-care.”
5 Ways To Practice Realistic Self-Care
Realistic self-care isn’t about doing massive things, but it’s about accomplishing necessary things to take care of yourself when you’re struggling. Here’s a checklist if you aren’t quite sure where to start:
1. Take A Shower
Sometimes we just don’t have the energy to take a shower! The thought of having to wash ourselves, do our hair, and get dressed is sooooo daunting. But it’s important to keep clean. Showering regularly keeps your immune system working well, your body bacteria-free, and helps you smell like a fresh little daisy!
2. Eat Something
Eating something can be considered self-care? You bet your booty it can! We literally need it to stay alive. If you have the ability and the energy to go the extra mile with your food-self-care, consider getting creative in the kitchen and making a super nutritious meal, or ordering in your favourite food. But if all you can manage is some cookies in bed, that’s ok! What matters most is that you’re feeding your body.
If you don’t feel like making a whole meal, there are easy options to keep you nourished with little effort. One of our favourite ways to do this is with Evive Nutrition’s smoothies! They’re super easy to make because you pop out the little triangles, put them in a glass with a lid, and shakeshakeshakeshake! Et voilà! You don’t even need a blender, which also means fewer dishes to clean up! The best part? You get a good dose of your organic fruits and veggies. It’s honestly a great option for making sure you’re nourishing your body when you’re stressed and depressed af.
3. Brush Your Teeth
You’re well aware of how important dental hygiene is. Having to go to the dentist can be an expensive trip that we don’t want! If you’re having one of those low days and you can’t bring yourself to do it, that’s okay. We’re just here to remind you that brushing your teeth counts as self-care. If you get to it today, that will be a small and mighty win for you! And for your chompers.
4. Clean Up Any Dirty Dishes To Prevent Mold
Mold is terrible and we know that you know that. We also know that it starts with one plate, then another, then some more, until suddenly you’re facing the leaning tower of dirty dishes. It’s much harder to tackle that tower than it is to tackle one plate at a time. Giving your sink a quick rinse after eating or drinking will help with this. You don’t have to do the dishes right away, but just make sure that any food and liquid is washed away from your plates and cups. This is also a form of self-care!
5. Brush Your Hair To Prevent Knots From Forming
If you’ve been feeling extra low than usual for the past day (or week, or month), you’ve likely been moving back and forth between your bed and the couch. Too many days of that in a row will definitely leave some tangles in your hair (iykyk). We like to call them hair nests. Make sure that you run a brush or a comb through your locks everyday or every other day to prevent tangles from forming. Your noggin will thank you for taking care of it! If your hair is long enough, put it in a simple braid to help keep it from getting all tangled up.
Be gentle with yourself and take time to celebrate the small wins. All of those small wins will eventually add up to make a massive difference. You’ll look back at where you started and it’ll blow your fricken mind at how far you’ve come! Each step you take is a step in the right direction. Omg that’s so cheesy. But it’s true! We’re here supporting you, holding the proverbial digital camera, shouting “You’re doing great sweetie!” You’ve got this!
*This article is sponsored by Evive Nutrition Inc.