Having depression and/or anxiety is the equivalent of going through life on extra hard mode. Suddenly you have no energy, you want to sleep all the time, and it’s challenging to do even the most basic things. Treatment can take some time to be effective, so here are some life hacks to make life with depression a little easier.
Tips to get out of the bed in the morning
- One of the hardest parts of the day can be getting yourself out of bed in the morning. One way to motivate yourself is to set a whole bunch of really annoying alarms at five minute intervals. Place your phone or alarm clock all the way across the room from you. This will force you to get out of bed to turn them off. If you also start making coffee or tea when you get up, you’ll have something to motivate you to stay up.
- Bedtime calculator: sleepyti.me is a website where you input when you want to get up and it will tell you what time you need to go to bed in order to get enough sleep. Waking up in the middle of a sleep cycle can leave you feeling groggy and unrested. By waking up in between cycles, you will feel more rested, which makes getting out of bed easier.
Food life hacks
- Paper plates are going to be your best friend. If you use paper plates, then you won’t need to worry about having the energy to wash your dishes. It also prevents the build up of dishes in the sink and limits kitchen clutter.
- One challenge of depression is remembering to eat and finding the energy to put together a healthy meal. One solution is to meal prep or buy frozen food. Keep easy to reheat options in the freezer that you can bust out when cooking is too daunting.
Ways to care for yourself when it’s hard
- Staying hydrated: Get a water bottle with markings on the side that tells you how many ounces are in it. Fill it up at the beginning of the day and drink 8oz of water at the top of every hour. By hydrating a little bit at a time throughout the day, you can help yourself avoid procrastinating on it.
- Dry shampoo and makeup or face cleansing wipes are going to be your best friend. If you don’t have the energy for a shower, these will give you a quick way to clean up without the energy drain.
Tips to avoid brain fog
- Brain fog is when everything feels blurry. It makes it hard to keep track of time and to make decisions. The best way to prevent brain fog is to get treatment for the underlying causes. One way to make living with brain fog easier is to take pictures as you go through your day. Pet does something cute? Take a picture! Put together a cute outfit? Take a picture! Having a record of your day can help you feel like you’re living, not just existing. It can also be helpful if you dissociate or lose time.
- Avoid watching reality and competition shows. A lot of competition shows have the same set up for every episode, so if you’re binge watching, that makes it harder to keep track of time. Instead, try watching something with a plot that runs through the whole series. By following a plot, you can better keep track of time and it will help you feel less stagnant.
Please remember that these are life hacks to make life with depression easier, not cures for depression. For more tips, check out part 1 of the Self Care series. If you want to explore treatment, check out the Guided Resources Tool.