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Self Care Ideas for When You Don’t Feel Like Doing Anything

When you’re feeling depressed or anxious, the term “self care routine” can send shivers down your spine. Find a new hobby? Become a master meditator? Chop cucumbers to put on your eyes in a bubble bath? It can all feel overwhelming when you’re struggling to motivate yourself to get out of bed in the first place. 

988 Oklahoma is here to remind you that working on your mental health doesn’t need to be a chore. We’ve rounded up nine low-energy ways to practice self care when you don’t feel like caring for yourself. The next time you’re starting to feel overwhelmed or hopeless, keep these basic tactics in mind and take a mini-break for your mental health. 

If you’re struggling with your mental health or thinking of suicide, the 988 Mental Health Lifeline is available 24/7. Call or text 988 for free, confidential help.

Hop in a Power Shower

When we’re feeling depressed or down, it can be difficult to get out of bed, much less go through a hygiene routine. Keeping up a routine, however, is essential. Start small with a short, simple shower. It just might be the reset your mind and body are looking for, and you’ll feel exponentially better once you’re nice and clean. 

Watch a Funny TV Show or Movie

You’ve probably heard that laughter is the best medicine. It turns out there’s some truth in that. Laughter reduces stress levels and increases dopamine and serotonin. Funny movies or TV shows can be a positive distraction from negative feelings, so fire up your favorite streaming service with your comfort show or the newest comedy blockbuster. Just be sure to stay away from topics or programs that may trigger worse feelings. 

Get Some Fresh Air

Self care doesn’t have to involve a big, long hike or a long retreat to the woods (unless, of course, that’s something you want to do). Getting some fresh air and Vitamin D can be as simple as sitting on the back porch for a few minutes. Focus on what’s around you: the feeling of the breeze on your face, the sound of the birds chirping, the smell of fresh cut grass. If you’re feeling up to it, you can even try some deep breaths or journaling to ground yourself. 

Eat Some Comfort Food

Eating healthy is essential for our mental and physical health, but sometimes you just need a warm hug in a bowl. If cooking makes you feel good, cook up your favorite homemade dish. Otherwise, delivery from your favorite restaurant is just fine. Letting your tastebuds dance can provide the happiness your body needs when you don’t feel like dancing yourself.

Phone a Friend

These days, most people prefer to text over talk, but hearing an actual human voice is known to decrease stress. You can chat about everything or nothing at all. Either way, a simple connection can go a long way for both you and the person on the other side of the line. They may have even needed the check-in themselves.

Listen to Upbeat Music

From bass-heavy hip-hop songs to bouncy pop hits and everything in between, music has a way of speaking to us personally. Remix your self care routine with a playlist of positive, upbeat songs. Listening to lively music can boost your mood and give you a much-needed energy boost. Just like TV shows and movies, avoid songs that might worsen how you’re feeling.

Get Lost in a Book

Reading is a great way to positively distract those racing thoughts in your head. Whether it’s a classic you’ve read over and over or something new, let the pages be your guide to relaxation. Getting lost in the plot of a new book can be a great way to escape the real world for a while. 

Take Some Deep Breaths

No need to grab a yoga mat or queue up a guided meditation. Mindful breathing is as easy as inhaling deeply, exhaling slowly, and focusing on the sensation of your breath. Focusing on your breathing helps calm things down and help your mind relax when it’s feeling anxious or depressed. You can even do it from your bed while lying down. 

Talk to a Professional

One of the most compassionate things you can do for yourself is seek help when you need it. If you already have a relationship with a therapist or counselor, you can always reach out for help. If you don’t have someone to talk to or you need a free option, the 988 Mental Health Lifeline makes it simple and easy. You can call or even text from wherever you are, no appointment necessary. Crisis counselors are available to talk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, including holidays and weekends. 

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