Depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems are difficult beasts to live with. Showering, brushing your teeth, and even getting out of bed can be immensely difficult if you’re having a bad time mentally. Your normal morning routine might become so burdensome and take so much energy that you skip it all together. While of course, it would be better to do everything fully and to the best extent you can, sometimes that just isn’t possible. When the ordinary task feels impossible, it’s easy to just skip taking care of yourself entirely. Luckily, there are several little swaps that you can do to replace some of those higher energy tasks until you feel better and can do what is best for you. Here are 5 of my favorite swaps to make when I’m having a bad mental health time, so that you can still take care of yourself, but using less energy.
Face wipes instead of face wash
Washing your face can be a huge energy drain, especially if your face washing regimen has multiple steps and is to be competed in front of a mirror. An easier way to get a clean face, even if it doesn’t feel as clean or smell as good as whatever face wash you use, is face wipes. You can find these in any grocery or drug store, and all you need to do is wipe your face off and toss it.
Chewing gum instead of brushing teeth
Chewing gum is never going to make your teeth as clean as brushing them. A piece of sugar free mint gum can, however, freshen your breath and make your mouth feel a lot cleaner than doing nothing at all.
Dry shampoo instead of washing hair
Spray on, leave in options instead of washing your hair can help your hair stay healthy even without the energy of fully washing it
Fluff clothes in the dryer instead of washing them
Throw in a dryer sheet to make them smell and feel a little fresher, even if doing a full load of laundry is beyond you right now
Using paper plates instead of washing plates
Doing the dishes can be very daunting. Using recyclable paper plates instead of a washable plate can save you some energy, especially since the alternative is leaving dirty dishes in the sink forever or not eating.
Anything can seem impossible when your mental health is struggling. If you have a task that you need to do and don’t feel up to doing, you can find a shortcut to achieve that goal by following this example! First, figure out what the task would accomplish. For example, brushing your teeth results in clean teeth. If that takes too much energy though, I can do other things that result in clean teeth, like chewing gum, or having a mint. Any task can become easier by taking it in steps, and small amounts of progress towards a goal are always preferable to no progress. I hope everyone has a great day, and I hope this helps anyone struggling!
About the Author:
Andrew Adams is a transgender college freshman at the University of Central Florida who is committed to LGBTQ advocacy at the local and national levels. Nationally, Andrew serves as a youth ambassador and advocacy volunteer for The Trevor Project, a youth social media ambassador for the Matthew Shepard Foundation, and a Volunteer and Intern Coordinator for Point of Pride. On the legislative side, Andrew lobbies for the Equality Act by visiting with his Congressional representatives and their staff.
Additionally, Andrew has spent years fighting to change his school district’s bathroom policy to be trans-inclusive, and the fight is still ongoing. Andrew is an International Baccalaureate student and a volunteer at the Mayo Clinic, and he hopes to go to medical school and become an adolescent psychiatrist specializing in transgender health. For fun, he practices Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, creates sculpture art and plays the piano.