I showered today. To you, it may not seem like a big deal, but to me, it marks being able to actually start my day, even if that means starting my day at 2 p.m. It means finally getting out of bed, finally making strides to get out of my apartment. It means finally stopping with the mindless scrolling on my phone, watching other people’s lives while I try to forget about mine, and then falling asleep until I wake up, only to scroll again. The cycle goes on several times and soon, I see the sun starting to set and I get even more angry at myself for wasting the day. I showered today. And I even washed my hair. To you, this may seem like necessary personal hygiene. To me, it marks self-care. Self-care isn’t always masks and epsom salt baths — to me, self-care is actually being able to push myself to get in the shower and to wash away the bubble I have placed myself in. That bubble of depression and dark feelings that gets dirty and cloudy on the inside, making it harder and harder to see clearly and escape. The grime builds up, the bubble gets darker and soon, you can’t get yourself out. Getting to the shower marks a win. Being able to cleanse my body of the bubble marks a fresh start. Washing my hair is almost like further determination to get rid of those dark feelings and move forward. I showered today. I even put on makeup. I feel hopeful. I exit the shower, freshly cleansed and feeling more capable of handling whatever is left of the day. I put on a fresh pair of clothes — not sweats — to inspire myself to get outside. I dry my hair, put on some makeup, and once I leave my apartment, I feel free of all of the darkness. I showered today. To you, it may not be a big deal. But to me, it’s a small and necessary victory. This story originally appeared on Madelyn’s site.