Easy Self Care Ideas for Anxiety & Depression
In this article, you’ll learn the best, low maintenance self care ideas for anxiety & depression. These self care routine ideas will help you to take better care of yourself even with low energy and the daily balance of good mental health. These self care tips can help you build a better routine to help with anxiety and depression.
Anxiety and depression require creativity when you’re looking at self care. When you’re in the grips of a flare up, it’s hard to think of things that make you feel good when… Well, nothing sounds or feels good.
There’s a lot more effort and work-arounds that you need to have prepped for these times. Along with the disruption to your normal day-to-day, the way that your self-care routine looks during these times will need to go back to basics.
A lot of self-care ideas and tips out there leaves a lot of people left out because they’re just not feasible or can’t be done.
One of the biggest hurdles many of us face today is the internal struggle brought on by anxiety and depression. Some have faced these illnesses throughout our lives, while others may develop them over time. When a flare up happens, low energy is a major symptom. And this low energy makes self care more of a hassle than it has to be.
Let’s dive into what those basics are and what they look like!
Modified Sleep Routine
Both anxiety and depression come with exhaustion in some form. It’s so important during these really difficult times to just prepare yourself for dedicating more of your day to just recuperating.
Even when you’re not in the grips of a flare up, sleep is such a cure-all for a lot of ailments, thoughts, and physical symptoms. It’s during this time that our bodies and minds to go into repair mode.
For a modified sleep routine, this could include going to bed earlier or even just lying in bed before your “normal” bed time.
It’s also important to note that it’s really easy to go on auto-pilot and just scroll through your phone until 2:00am. Resist that urge and just unplug it!
Studies show time and time again that screen time needs to wrap up at least an hour before you’re ready to go to bed.
If you’re feeling restless or just can’t get your mind to stop racing, sometimes just having a printed book (any book) can help you focus. Even if you’re not necessarily reading and comprehending it, having that one thing to focus that extra energy on can help aid in getting you to sleep.
Another good habit is to sit up in bed and enjoy an evening cup of herbal tea. The scents and the warmth from the mug just help melt away tension.
I am a big fan of chamomile lavender tea since it smells amazing and isn’t too bitter right before bed. It helps me to narrow my focus towards one thing rather than branching and spider-webbing out.
If there’s one thing that helps during a bout of heightened anxiety and depression, it’s a regimented sleep routine. There are so many things we can’t and aren’t able to do during this time, but sleep is something we can all focus on.
Plan by your Energy
When you’re in the grips of anxiety and depression, it seems that your normal day to-do’s are just piling up or you’re just exhausting yourself by trying to do everything. Allow yourself to take a step back and look at what’s important in your day. If you only have energy to make the bed, it’s okay. Just make the bed and don’t worry about other chores in the moment.
There’s always this push to “stay normal,” don’t let yourself appear that anything’s wrong, but sometimes your energy is better used by just focusing on what you’re capable of in the moment.
Planning by your energy can be a bit tricky at first, but if you keep it simple, it’s easy to learn. In the morning, just pick one thing that you want to accomplish for the day.
Keep it realistic, don’t set yourself up, just allow yourself to have one thing to do. It could be as simple as go to work or make dinner.
The key is to let yourself have these victories, so you can have emotional evidence that you’re not “useless” or “hopeless” or whatever else your mind is telling you in the grips of anxiety and depression.
Feeling good is hard to come by during these moments but allowing yourself to feel that accomplishment is a great way to start and build on each day.
The basics of self care for anxiety and depression is that you feel good about yourself, and when you prove yourself wrong by accomplishing the task you set out for… Boy, that’s the main goal, right?
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Taking it back to the basics of the basics is the best we can do for ourselves during this time. Mindfulness is just another basic we can do to keep ourselves taken care of.
Especially during a bout of deep depression, we can sit there and just spin everything wrong in our life in every which way. Slowly replacing those thoughts to more mindful, “in-the-moment” thoughts takes practice but it can really keep you afloat during these hard times.
Even just starting off with a journaling practice can be a step in the right direction to keep yourself present. In this article, I go over all of the different types of journals and which one best suits your experience level and what you want out of your journal. You can find it here!
During my own struggles, I keep a separate blank notebook to put all of those ruminating thoughts into. When I’m finished writing it out, I crumble it up, and throw it away. It’s so important that just getting those repeating thoughts out and into reality can cut down on how much time we spend just re-thinking old situations over and over.
Simple, Healthy Meals
Last, but certainly not least, the best basic self care for anxiety and depression is having healthy meal options that are low energy and low maintenance. I can hear the trumpets now. This is a huge deal and can be so easily overlooked.
How many times have you caught yourself just eating bread and butter for dinner when you’re too exhausted to make dinner? (Ooo boy, I’m calling myself out here)
When you’re in the midst of anxiety and depression, eating is usually on auto-pilot. Hunger? Auto-pilot. A huge proponent of self care during these times is to focus on regulating your eating and make sure you’re eating the right meals.
If you live in an area with take-out, make yourself a list of healthy options at those places so you don’t have to keep eating food that’s not serving you, your body or your mind.
Easy meals are the name of the gain when you’re rationing your energy. I don’t personally like to deviate too much away from my normal eating habits so I pick out my meals in advanced.
My whole life changed when I got Amazon Pantry and started using it when I was struggling.
This was what helped me to really not worry about what’s in my cupboards and what I was going to eat. It gave me the piece of mind to know that all I had to do was walk out onto my porch and the food inside was easy and healthy. Definitely a must have.
Seriously, it’s such a game changer and it really took off the pressure to get up and get out when my energy was so low. Plus, I still was able to conserve my energy because most of the items I bought were low-prep work.
Essential oils and self care are one of the best pairs together and are weaved together so seamlessly.
Not only have essential oils been proven time and time again to promote health and wellness in a variety of ways, but it is one of the easiest ways to incorporate self care into your daily routine.
Even if you’re in the depths of a very draining day, you can seamlessly add all of the benefits of essential oils into your schedule without having to set it on your to-do list.
My favorite way to use essential oils are through a long running diffuser, I use this one almost every day.
Diffusers are so easy and a natural way to fill your home with scents that are working side by side with promoting your health and well-being.
When you’re looking for a truly low maintenance self care routine, setting up a diffuser with some of your favorite scents is one of the easiest places to start.
One of my daily blends that are always running in the background on the diffuser is the Fortify blend from Rocky Mountain Oils. This blend is an earthy scent that is as much balancing as it is energizing. Absolutely perfect for a day when you need the most support!
Just having this blend run throughout the day helps to clear out any mental blocks that I may have and help to give me a boost of motivation by encouraging me to relax and take a few breaths.
Anxiety & Depression Resources
If you’re struggling with managing your anxiety & depression, here are a few resources that helped me to work through my own struggles and develop a self care plan that fit into my lifestyle.
For reading, I found that focusing on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which is one of the best kinds of therapy that help with managing anxiety and depression. One of the most encompassing, easy to follow books for this is: Anxiety and Panic: How to reshape your anxious mind and brain by Harry Barry.
I also had a lot of great triumphs and achievements from my interactions with Talkspace, especially during difficult times where it’s tough to function.
If you’re struggling to work through it by yourself, Talkspace is available with plenty of support for your needs. You can work with a licensed therapist face to face or through their unlimited messaging. They give a lot of options and a lot of support when anxiety and depression gets tough.
Even if you only use their services once, the personalized advice is something that you can use time and time again.
Self Care Toolkit & Resources
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If you’re interested in learning more about self care or are wanting to know more ways to take care of yourself, check out the Self-Care tag. Everything you ever wanted to know about self care, how to begin and even how to implement it! Check it out here!
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