SELF-CARE tips please!

Hi, im new to this group.
Im (30, female) not really sure if im depressed.
i mean, i always think i have no reason to be…i SHOULD be happy. I have a good life. Interactions with my dysfunctional family is minimal (as advised by my therapist) , i did few therapy sessions (i stopped pretty soon though…as i’m not comfortable opening up and going into the details of my depression - i can’t help it), i’m married to an amazing guy, i have a job that pays ok (though i hate it) etc.
But there are times i loose it and feel awful.
<I’m sorry for making this long.>
Anyway, my problem is, i noticed that i dont take care of my appearance. I was going through some pictures and my god…im the fugliest in the group…i look tired, greasy, with uncombed hair and shabby cloths and now (surprisingly → very late realisation) even cleaning my living space and personal hygiene seems to be a big chore.
i wear the most comfortable thing lying around (Being average looking and over weight - even if i go shopping im usually hit by this horrid feeling… this “whats the point? you will look ugly anyway”), i skip taking medications, brushing and bathing even… and this bothers me. i dont want to look like a bum… This has been going on for more than a year. I’m in a profession where i meet close to 30 - 40 people per day…like actually sit and talk to them.
Has anyone gone through this? What did you do to get out of this disgusting state? What do you do? make lists? wake up early and force yourself to be human??
Im not a very motivated person. HELP!

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Well first and foremost welcome to the group! From my personal experiences having depression can make you lose interest in all of those things you just mentioned. Right now I struggle with cleaning and cooking and even bathing as you mentioned. Not because I’m lazy or don’t like keeping up with myself but because depression can literally take a physical toll on you and it can make you tired and sluggish all the time. I myself am still in that state but I’ve been trying to focus all the energy and little bit of interest I have left into my passion which is music. Maybe if you focus your free time on things you really enjoy your interest in other things may start to come back as well. Sorry if it wasn’t much help

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Hey friend. Thank you for sharing this with us. This post is not long, so please dont worry about that. Self care is one of the hardest things when you’re in the mindset that comes with depression. I’m in the midst of a relapse and one thing that people keep telling me, is that it’s ok to take baby steps. Find one small thing that will help make your day better, or even be a stepping stone towards a bigger goal. I mean, you wrote on the wall looking for advice. That’s a HUGE thing, and I’m so proud of you for that. But some day it might just be making goals such as getting out of bed… Having a shower. << the “boring self care” as it’s called. It’s all just small steps that will start to feel like nothing, but move you forward from here. I would also recommend looking into the new book Dwarf Planet. It’s a workbook that takes you through your depression, and helps you to look at it in a different light. A lot of people including myself have started to work through it and found some light from it.

You got this.
Kayla

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Hey @s_ummer,

Welcome to the community! :slight_smile:

Here is an article that you can read that describes common signs of depression. If you want to read deeper into the illness, here is a directory of the different types/forms of depression.

One of my favorite quotes is, “You are your own worst critic.” I’ve never met anyone who disagrees with this quote. Because you’re around yourself all of the time, you know all of your faults and weaknesses. In your case, this can manifest itself into over-analyzing yourself in pictures. I do this ALL of the time to myself. In fact, most people do this to themselves. So know that you’re not alone.

My advice is to start with baby steps. Start by brushing your teeth. Once you have this down, continue by bathing. Once you get in the habit of doing both, resume taking medications. Bit by bit you’ll work your way back up to the top. It’s overwhelming if you clump everything you want to do into one category by saying, “I have to do ALL of these things NOW!” This can only increase anxiety symptoms (and subsequently depression, which is what you might be feeling). You got this! We believe in you.

-Eric

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When I was at my worst, the thing I started for self care was a thing I used to call “Self Care Selfies” It was a project I did where once a week I took a picture of myself, and tracked my process out of the pit. I kept doing this until I was cool with me, and how I looked and such. Theres some pictures where theres a stark contrast between where I was then to where I am now. The older ones have me looking all… scruffy, and unkempt and tired, and very visually not ok, to ones more recently where I look pretty alright, so much so that I can acknowledge I think I look alright.

And it all was every week realizing “Alright, I’m doing this project… I need to make sure I’m ready… so… I’ll shave… and it will be a step forward… I’ll do my hair… thats another step forward… I’ll go get a new shirt… forward…” one little thing, at a time, over and over and over until I way was better with my self image.

As for other self care things, I found creation helped me. Repairing something, painting or sculpting, making my living space nicer, etc… Even simple things like just cleaning and organizing helped make me feel better, until it all became second nature.

Its not a change thats going to happen with the quickness, its all about taking one step, and then another, and then another, and then another, all the way down the line until you’re not even thinking about walking, you’re just going, and living.

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Hey s_ummer,

Dude I feel you.
I’ve been stuck in this apathetic place where I know what I should do, but I don’t do it.
At the peak of my depression I went like two weeks without showering and leaving the house.
I started forcing myself to make my bed every morning. It gave me a sense of accomplishment and made me not want to ruin the bed I had just made haha.
I also got a dog. I know you may not be able to do that, but it helped me so much. She gave me someone to care for and a reason to get up and get outside. She’s the best.

Other things that helped me were finding new passions and getting better at instruments.

Find something you love and run with it.

Hold Fast my friend,
-SJ

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Your lucky you have a community.
I can’t help to feel the same way but I have to accept who I am. There are always shops for curvier people like me and you. I always go there most shops have modelsI who look like sticks I try to avoid that because I get a bad vibe from looking at them shops.
I also like to walk and listen to music it just clears the clutter in my head.
God made you for a reason you may not look like everyone else but that is what makes you special. I have been in your shoes and yet I still am.

With acceptance ,love and respect for your self you will regain your confidence. This will take awhile but it will be worthwhile in the end.

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@s_ummer Here is a self care PDF from a mental health specialist who has a doctorate in Psychology:

There are tons more resources at her website, check it out:
https://www.cocothelouder.com

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TO me it seems your job is what is keeping from wanting to keep up with your “appearance”. Sometimes it doesn’t matter! Do you find yourself comfortable and loving about yourself? I don’t think it should be about what others look to you. Only what your beauty insides reflects!

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S_ummer, i am so sorry your going through this, i know it can be hard. i may not be able to relate to you but when i was younger like 1+ years ago i was inscure of my “chubby” cheeks when i was a baby. i would hate pictures being taken of me yet i like taking selfies. no matter what , you are NOT ugly. its okay to go through a hard time but when you realize, it CAN get better.
no matter what you do , you are still human no matter what. it may take time. each one of us humans , we are different and our apperances it can change after time… just know things will and they can get better.

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i read in the heartsupport book dwarf planet about a word Acedia and its deppresions cousin and when we get in this we dont care and things start to lack and we just get in this funk where we cant do anything but we are stuck. also i have learned about this thing called the spoon theory where we only have so many spoons a day and doing thing cost spoons so we have to choose what we spend the spoons on

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Hey @s_ummer,

Welcome to the HS community! Thank you so much for sharing with us what’s been going on in your life. To be honest, this is going to be coming from a fellow not-very-motivated human being, but who is slowly learning to stumble forward in life anyway. I really resonate with what you said about how you “should be happy”; I think this a lot. That based on my circumstances or what’s going on around me, I should just shut up and be grateful for what I have. But I’m also learning that maybe it’s a lie… and I think there’s a lie society tells us that if we have x, y, z, we should be happy. But when there’s no self-love or positive self-worth, it’s incredibly hard to even think I deserve to be happy in the first place. I certainly don’t mean to overstep or offend in any way, and perhaps this isn’t your case; it’s just where my mind goes to, when I think about the root reasons why I don’t want to take care of myself (showering, washing my hair, laundry, cleaning my room).

Also, as others have said here, my depression contributes to lack of desire to do these self-care things, as well as a lower self-image. I don’t know how helpful this is, but one thing that helps me get through chores, is to play episodes of shows on my laptop and bring it with me to whatever I’m doing. It gets me through some self-care stuff, and makes me feel less in my head or lonely while I do them (especially laundry).

We’re here for you, and we know you can do this. Hold fast friend!
Sincerely,
Alex

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Welcome to Heart Support. I’m fairly new myself.
I feel the bug quite often as well. Music helps me a ton. Have a cleaning playlist and just party that mess out of existence. Don’t feel ashamed if you want to dance to, the exercise can help lift the mood.

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Hi… sorry for the late reply.
“tired and sluggish all the time” really describes the state I’m in.
Passion…i really don’t know what I enjoy anymore. Music helps me sleep though.
It’s a weird cycle you know.
I’m dying for some free time, but when I have it, I waste it on instagram/net till i get a headache.
Just installed an app blocker, lol. Now I have free time and a HUGE feeling of emptiness.
Thank you for taking time to reply.

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:slight_smile:

I’m glad everybody who replied understands. Initially i was really angry and disgusted with myself for not - as i describe it - “being human” (still slightly am. but well…)
Thank you for the kind words and sorry for the late reply.
I will look into dwarf planet.

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Yea. Its true we Over-analyze our own pictures. :sweat:
Thank you for replying.
I go strong for a week and then skip doing stuff simply because of the “i - dont / wont - do - it” mentality. I miss for a couple of days and then stop it altogether thinking - “You just dont have discipline, looser.”
ITs like I’m being controlled by somebody else. I know i should do it. but i refuse to and feel bitter about actually doing what i must. I think I’m so used to not doing anything before and after work that now my self is fighting against doing anything useful :tired_face:
Anyway, I think I’ll start again.

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Whoa…Really fun idea :grin: – really smart idea infact.
Now that i think of it.
I hardly even look at the mirror. I hate looking at the mirror. I look outside when brushing my teeth, I brush my hair and tie it into a bun before sitting on my scootie before leaving for work.
I’m curious, how long did you do it? Do you find yourself looking forward to doing the self -care stuff or…does it come naturally to you now?
I think I’ll give it a try…

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Oh. Im sorry. I hope you feel better now.

I LOVE dogs… But I’m sure I will not be able to handle the responsibility. One of the reasons, I don’t want to have a child (NOT comparing a child with dogs!).
I feel, if i cannot take care of myself, I wont take care of anything/anybody till I’m ok.

Nice words.
Thank you for taking time to reply.

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Shops for curvey models are reaaaally rare in my place.
Infact there is just one…hardly 6-7 things there (very small shop) and three times the rate of actual cloths.
Have you ever gone through the phase where you think, “wow, that’s a gorgeous dress!” - buy it and never wear it because you still look/feel ugly in it?
Then you think, “Im never buying anything again…I’ll reduce a bit and fit into it”.
—and stay in this loop.
I have tons of cloths like that.
They used to fit. They used to look good. Now I look into my closet and go “Hmm, I must loose weight and fit into this”.
Lost so much money.
I’m put off by shopping now.
I really need to hit the gym :triumph:

Funny you should mention that. I was reading articles about self care and they repeatedly mentioned “self - respect is self care”. It makes me wonder about my esteem and confidence issues.
Let’s see.

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Thank you Danjo!
Will look into this.

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