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20 'Legit' Self-Care Ideas (for When Bubble Baths Just Don't Cut It)

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I get so annoyed when I see a list of self-care ideas for when someone is feeling depressed and it has things like: Do your hair! Take a bubble bath! Paint your nails! Clearly these people don’t struggle with depression. There is a difference between legit self-care and pampering. Most people who struggle with depression, or any mental illness for that matter, struggle with actually taking care of themselves. Here’s a list of realistic self-care tips for anyone who might be having a tough day and needs something to do to take care of themselves.

  1. Get out of bed.
  2. Brush your teeth.
  3. Wash your face.
  4. Shower, even if you just get in and rinse off! The water might feel amazing for you.
  5. Eat something. Even if it’s just a cracker or some bread. Just get something in your belly!
  6. Walk out onto your back porch. Stand there for 10 seconds and then if you want, go back inside. Great job, you made it outside! If you feel like it, take a short walk. Get some sunshine!
  7. Put on your favorite TV show or movie.
  8. Check your email and clear your inbox. Respond to anything that is important.
  9. Change your sheets.
  10. Check your actual mail.
  11. Stay hydrated. Fill up a water bottle and keep it close by.
  12. Take your medication.
  13. Stretch. This can be a small quick stretch on the couch or some yoga.
  14. Check your text messages and answer those from people who are important or worried about you.
  15. Pay any bills you might have to avoid late fees.
  16. Change your clothes if you didn’t when you first got out of bed.
  17. If you have a pet, make sure they are good on their food and water. Nothing feels worse than your pet having an empty water or food bowl and you not being aware of it!
  18. Do a creative hobby that you like.
  19. Open up the blinds to let the light come into your house.
  20. Watch a funny video. Laugh.

I know it feels impossible to get up and start the day, but you can do it. It takes one step. Even if it is just to the couch, you did something. It is OK if all you did today was exist. We all have rough days, but make sure you take care of yourself so you don’t make it worse.

Unsplash photo via Laura Marques

Originally published: August 21, 2018
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