Depressive episodes can hit out of nowhere. Doing the most basic, simple tasks can feel unfathomable to even attempt. Here are my favorite tips I've learned over the years that have helped me get through those dark moments!
- Paper plates!!
Having a sink filled to the brim with dirty dishes is my worst nightmare. When I’m in a depressive episode it’s hard to even think about doing the dishes, nevertheless doing a sink full of them.
I always keep paper plates, plastic utensils, and cups on hand for when my depression hits. One less obstacle to successfully eating a meal - I’d call that a win! No dirty dishes, just eat and toss the plate. This has been a game changer for me and I always keep these on hand!
- Leave the house once a day
I know, I know. Getting out of bed can feel like it’s impossible. But we’re setting smart goals here (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely). I’m not saying you have to go to some big event or step into your local Walmart on a Monday evening (my worst nightmare). This is an achievable goal! Think more along the lines of a walk up and down the street or driving through your favorite coffee shop drive-thru and grabbing a drink. Just 5-10 minutes outside of the walls of your home. This helps remind me that there’s a world outside of my “depression cave” and gives me some perspective.
- Keep grab and go foods handy!
The last thing I can imagine myself doing is COOKING. Here’s a list of some of my go-to's that I keep on hand: cheese cubes, yogurt, frozen chicken nuggets, cereal, PB&J ingredients, hummus and pretzels, granola bars, fruit, etc. I try to pick up these foods (using Walmart pickup of course) during the seasons my depression usually hits. This way I’m always prepared and have food on hand.
- Have a message prepared to send to your people for when tough times hit
It can be hard to reach out for help when you’re struggling. Even a simple text can feel overwhelming and daunting. Having a text template created for when you’re struggling can help ease the stress that can come with asking for help.
You can make this in your notes app or even set it as a shortcut in your phone. In the text you can include specific ways the friend can be helpful to you (check in on me, drop off food, drive me to therapy appointment, etc). The people in your life want to help - providing them with your exact wants can help them jump in when needed.
- Change scenery and change your clothes!
I know, it’s easy to lay in bed all day. Try switching from your bed to the couch every day. Change your clothes, even if it's from one pair of pajamas to the next. I like to have pajama sets so I feel put together to some extent - even if it's still pajamas!
These 5 tips have helped me through seasons of depression and I hope they do the same for you!
Rachel is the founder of Mend Lip Balm and lives in Fort Worth, TX. As a mental health advocate, she finds a lot of joy in educating those around her about resources available to them. In her free time she loves to read, attend her adult swim league practices, and go to concerts.