Why You Should Bathe Every Day if You're Depressed
This may seem like something extremely simple, but I promise you that it will help you with your mental health for a variety of reasons. For years now, I’ve been showering every day for a variety of reasons, but to explain why it’s become such a staple in my life, I have to explain where I came from.
Seven years ago, I was hitting my rock bottom in my drug and alcohol addiction. I lost everything because of my addiction. I hated the world, but I hated myself even more. Because of this, I stopped taking care of myself. One of the main reasons I stopped taking care of my hygiene was because of mirrors.
Right now, you might be asking yourself, “Wait…mirrors?”. Yes. Mirrors.
I was so disgusted with myself and who I had become, I started living in darkness never even turning the lights on in my dirty little apartment because I didn’t want to have to see myself in the mirror. This is another reason why I stopped showering and taking care of myself as well. Aside form just not caring about myself, I didn’t like the process of going into the bathroom and getting ready. Even brushing my teeth involved standing in front of the mirror and having to see myself. My oral hygiene got so bad, I actually lost two teeth from tooth decay (luckily they’re towards the back so you can’t see them.)
Recovering From Depression
When we finally get sick and tired of living the way we’re living, we want to do something, but we don’t know what. There are a million things we can do to begin working on our mental health and depression, but because of the excess of choices, it can become overwhelming. The amount of choices we have can give us paralysis, which leads to us doing nothing at all, so we never get out of our own depression.
Something I learned a long time ago is that you don’t have to do everything, you just have to do something (I think I mentioned this in my last blog as well because that’s how much I believe in it, and I’ll keep saying it until the day I die). Something simple that I could do each and every day was begin taking care of myself, and it started with a shower.
One of the problems with depression is that we don’t like ourselves, but we need to start treating ourselves like a friend. I know it can feel like the most difficult task in the world some days to just get out of bed and shower, but it’s something small and simple that we can do. The mindset that I would try get into each day was to just focus on this one thing I could do for myself to treat myself with some respect.
I’d block out the excess of everything I could do for my mental health that day and would just hyper-focus on getting my ass up out of bed and getting into the shower. Even with the still never-ending amount of negative self-talk I had going on in my head, the one kind thing I could do for myself was to clean myself.
The other beautiful part about showering each day is that for some of us, it’s some of the only alone time we get. When I was first getting sober and working on my depression, I lived in a house with 18 other guys at a sober living, so alone time was scarce. A shower was the perfect place for me to just be alone, and this gave me time to meditate as well.
A habit hack I’ll teach you right now is that if you want to create a new habit, pair it with something else you’re already doing. A lot of people think they don’t have time to meditate, and I was definitely one of those people even though I knew how beneficial it was. So, what I started doing was meditating in the shower. During this alone time, I could do various meditations.
Mindfulness meditation is my preferred form of meditation, and it’s all about paying attention to what’s happening in that moment. A simple mindfulness meditation is simply focusing on your breath. The one I like to do in the shower is a sort of body scan. This is something you can learn the basics about from any meditation app, and then you can start doing it on your own in the shower (or, you can use a your phone speaker or a blue tooth speaker to play a body scan meditation while you shower). A body scan meditation allows you to focus on what the water feels like as it hits the top of your head and flows down the rest of your body.
Many of us ask, “How do I get out of my head?”, and meditation is the best way to do that because you’re training your mind to focus on what you want it to focus on.
So, if nothing else, develop some type of self-care routine that you can do every day. I know some women don’t shower every day for hair reasons I may never understand, but you can still do something. Whether it’s brushing your teeth, moisturizing, clipping your nails or something else. Show yourself this one act of kindness each day, and I promise you that you will begin feeling better as you begin reflecting on your day and knowing that you did at least one thing to take care of your mental health.
If you’re struggling with depression or anxiety and need more help, don’t be afraid to give therapy a try. I personally use BetterHelp online therapy, and this is an affiliate link to sign up for affordable online therapy, which also helps support The Rewired Soul.
You can also sign up for life coaching sessions with Chris, so get your free discovery session by clicking here.