Self-care is the first thing to go when your sense of self-worth goes down. Here’s a few tips to make things a little bit easier on yourself.
- Cleansing Cloths. When I “don’t have time” or just can’t bring myself to shower, I use disposable wipes as a sort of washcloth bath. It’s not as messy or time consuming and I don’t get that strange feeling actual washcloth baths bring. The ones I use the most are facial cleansing wipes—the kind used for removing makeup—because they’re gentle enough to not irritate my skin (mine is pretty sensitive), and they have a cleansing element. Baby wipes will only remove the dirt—think of them as water, and facial wipes as soap and water—and acne treatment wipes should only be used on obvious areas—face, back, upper chest. (The only ones safe to use on your more private areas are the baby wipes, though.)
- Mouthwash. If you can’t make yourself brush your teeth, mouthwash will at least kill the bacteria. It’s a lot faster and a lot less work. If you can’t make yourself do that, try those little Listerine swatches. They’ll at least make your breath a bit fresher, and take care of some—not all—of the bacteria. Mints are okay (they have sugar in them), and gum’s just alright—and only if you chew the mint kind. Apples are good for helping to clean the plaque off—they’re no substitute for a good brushing, but their texture on your teeth will help.
- Food. Try to keep readily accessible food nearby. I like lunchmeats—roast beef, salami, smoked salmon (more expensive than the rest), pepperoni, turkey, etc. Fresh fruit also works—if you don’t buy your own food, try asking your parents. If you can, try explaining that having ready-to-eat food on hand will help you to actually eat properly. If you can’t, try spoonfuls of peanut butter if you run out of lunchmeat or something. Nut mixes are also pretty good, and they come in lots of different variations and flavors. If you like avocados, it’s pretty easy to just cut them open and eat them with salt—but they’re also on the expensive side of things.
- Sleeping. Lie down and sleep every time you feel tired. This is especially applicable when it’s nighttime, especially when it’s really late and why did I stay up. Just lie down, preferably on your back—the natural curve of your skull will support your head and neck a bit more, so you won’t wake up with an arm that’s fallen asleep because you used it as a pillow—plus you’ll be able to get back up again fairly quickly. It’s okay if you get up two minutes later because you thought of something! Just try to lie down every time you feel sleepy—you’re resting your eyes and your body. You go!
I originally posted this on tumblr because a lot of people there struggle with things like depression. When you do not value yourself, you don’t think you’re worth taking care of–worse, you still know your value, but you feel so dumb and helpless that basic self-care doesn’t even cross your mind.
This is not something I’d recommend to doing all the time, but it can be a nice holdover. For instance, if I am too busy to shower, it’s pretty easy to use the wipes. Works well, smell’s gone, I don’t hate myself for not taking care of myself, it didn’t take a lot of time and it didn’t make a mess.
Take care of yourself!