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12 Things to Put in Your Depression 'Hygiene Kit'

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When you live with depression, struggling with symptoms like exhaustion, brain fog and suicidal ideation can be debilitating. In times of depressive episodes, it’s common for personal hygiene practices to go right out the window.

If you can relate, you’re not alone. We know how hard it can be to keep up with self-care when you’re struggling with depression, so we wanted to put together a list of small hygiene items you can keep tucked away in a purse or backpack for the times you just need a temporary fix.

We turned to our community to let us know what items they would put in their own “depression hygiene kits.” We compiled their answers below — and added a few suggestions of our own. What would you put in your depression hygiene kit? Let us know in the comments.

Here’s what our community shared with us:

1. Disposable Toothbrushes or Travel Toothbrush with Toothpaste

“Colgate Wisp mini toothbrushes. I actually keep a pack in my car. The biggest thing that takes a hit during depressive episodes for me is oral hygiene. For some reason, these are so much easier. They don’t require any water and you can just quickly and easily freshen up your teeth and breath at any time.” — Brittany B.

“Toothbrush to remind me to brush my teeth. My oral hygiene is one thing I neglect when I’m feeling depressed. I still shower and brush my hair, but brushing my teeth is something I tend to ignore. Gross, I know. But it happens.” — Caroline C.

Our picks: Disposable Mini Toothbrushes ($8) and Travel Toothbrush 6-Pack ($6).

2. Mouthwash

“Listerine strips or a small bottle of mouthwash. My oral hygiene suffers when I’m in a dip, and it makes me really self-conscious.” — Kara D. 

“Gum/mouthwash for when I can’t brush my teeth.” — Harriet M.

2-pack mouthwash

Our pick: 2-Pack Mouthwash ($6).

3. Mints or Gum

“Minty (or cinnamon) gum. Gives me something to fiddle with, and tastes fresher.” — Yael Y.

“Chewing gum for when I can’t even brush my teeth.” — Jenny B.

mints and gum

Our picks: 8-Pack of Sugar-Free Mints ($12) and 10-Pack of Peppermint Sugar-Free Gum ($12).

4. Baby Wipes

“Baby wipes! I can clean all the creases that sweat and stink and wipe off some of the grease in my hair with those things. And I have a baby, so they’re always around.” — Des S.

“Baby wipes. I can never get enough energy to shower, and baby wipes are perfect to get at least that top layer of grossness off.” — Sam C.

cucumber facial wipes

Our pick: Facial Cleansing Wipes 3-Pack ($14).

5. Deodorant

“Deodorant. I always carry it in my backpack. I get weird looks when I put it on in class, but most people are just happy that I don’t smell.” — Sara G.


Our pick: All Natural Unisex Deodorant ($11).

6.  Extra Pair of Underwear

“Q-tips, deodorant and extra underwear in mine. All are a good idea.” — Sandra W.

“Clean underwear and baby wipes.” — Liz C.

undies and boxers

Our picks: “Hiphugger” Panty ($11) and 5-Pack of Knit Boxers ($17).

7. Hand Sanitizer

“Hand sanitizer. It makes me feel clean and some have a nice smell and don’t overpower the room with an alcohol stench.” — Abby C.

hand sanitizer 2-pack

Our pick: Spray Hand Sanitizer 2-Pack ($12).

8. Dry Shampoo or Baby Powder

“Batiste dry shampoo because it’s quick, it works, and even comes in lightly scented varieties so my hair smells like it was washed.” — Zafreen J.

“Dry shampoo because sometimes washing my hair becomes too much of a chore… and I’m too exhausted to do even the bare minimum.” — Jessica N.

“Baby powder or corn starch for when my hair gets a lil not fresh looking… Absorbs the oils and disappears… just don’t dump it on your hair lol… use a lil here and there and swirl it and done.” — Shannon L.

dry shampoo bottles and baby powder

Our picks: Dry Shampoo 3-Pack ($15) and Baby Powder ($2).

9. Facial Toner

“Facial toner (I have a stockpile of Proactiv green toner because I used to never use it). It’s really gentle but gets rid of excess oil without stripping your skin. I’ll do that when I don’t want to wash my face or shower.”— Alexa B.

Thayer's rose facial toner

Our pick: Witch Hazel Facial Toner ($7).

10. Cotton Balls and Q-Tips

“Micellar water with cotton balls. It helps me feel fresh without putting in all the energy.” — Molly B.

cotton rounds and qtips

Our picks: Organic Cotton Rounds ($3) and Q-tips 4-Pack ($11).

11. Wash Cloth

“A washcloth to soak in cold water as an eye compress.” — Alexa B.

3 pack of wash cloths

Our pick: Exfoliating Wash Cloth 3-Pack ($9).

12. Lint Roller

“A lint roller so if I need to go to work but my clothes have fluff on them, I can quickly remove the fluff and be on my way.” — Zafreen J.

lint roller

Our pick: Lint Roller 5-Pack ($11).

If you can relate to struggling with personal hygiene because of depression, you’re not alone. We hope these hygiene kit suggestions can help on days when you’re able to muster up just a little bit of energy. For more stories on depression and hygiene, take a look at the following articles.

What’s in your depression hygiene kit? Let us know in the comments below.

Originally published: February 23, 2019
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