Depression Acting Up? 5 Ways To Be Kind to Yourself


Maybe the most difficult things about depression are being kind to yourself, cutting yourself some slack, having self-compassion, forgiving yourself for being symptomatic, or having patience.

It takes a willful effort to show ourselves kindness when we are sitting around like a lump or crabbing at people in the office.

Kindness Quote #1

"Always do your best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret." ~ Don Miguel Ruiz

When depressed, our best effort can feel pitiful. If symptoms are intense, we may make no effort at all. However, if the best anyone can do on a given day is breathe, that is enough.

Being irritable at work but still getting things done is enough, if it’s the best you can offer. Showering and taking the dog for a walk are sometimes monumental efforts. Success is doing the best you can, one day to the next.

Kindness Quote #2

"The only courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one moment to the next." ~ Mignon McLaughlin

Thinking about getting through tomorrow can be overwhelming on a good day. It causes a tsunami when you are depressed. Fortunately, none of us needs courage for tomorrow. We only need it now, in the present, as we go from one moment to the next. When you are overwhelmed, do your best to focus on the moment you are in.

Kindness Quote #3

"Wouldn't it be powerful if you fell in love with yourself so deeply that you would do just about anything if you knew it would make you happy?" ~ Alan Cohen

Being in love with yourself while depressed seems a contradiction in terms. Yet allowing yourself to dwell on activities that will make you happy can help you feel better. Anytime you conjure up positive images or entertain positive thoughts, you are telling yourself how you want to feel.

Even if you cannot currently experience happiness, try to actually do those things that make you smile. Your emotions and feelings are only one part of you, and you do not have to act the way they feel.

Kindness Quote #4

"I know what things are good: friendship and work and conversation. These I shall have." ~ Rupert Brooke

When the sea of symptoms is choppy, stick to the basics. You know that being around others, conversing, and being well-occupied are some basics of symptom management. Make a five-minute phone call to a friend or organize a drawer even if you do not realize the benefit right away.

Kindness Quote #5

"Make your plans to fit the circumstances." ~ Patton

If your symptoms are acting up, do not plan on bar-hopping into the early morning hours with your friends. Having someone over to watch a movie or share a glass of wine will be more manageable. Sometimes at our job we have to stretch ourselves past our limits, but when you have control over your activities, do not let other people determine what is good for you.


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