Struggling to look after myself

Hi everyone,

Anyone struggling to look after themselves? By this I mean having a shower most days and getting dressed in the morning. I ask because I am struggling with this a lot and I'm unsure what to do. Any suggestions?

I'm also searching for a job, which is proving impossible in Spain as I don't speak the language. I'm struggling a lot and I am unsure what to do. Any suggestions?


20 Replies

  • Hi there Catharsis,

    Welcome to Action on Depression

    Sounds like you have depression although I am not a doctor but may well be worth a visit to be checked over.

    Take care


  • Thanks Chloe, I am not new to the forum and have posted before. I have schizophrenia and I know I have depression too. I just wondered if there were any answers to my problem. Is there anything anyone does to have a shower most days and get dressed in the mornings? I am struggling with this at the moment.

    Thanks again,


  • I struggle with this too. Sometimes just getting in the shower can seem like such a huge task that I want to pull the sheets over my head and disappear. I break it up in to small tasks and reward myself with something small so for example if I can get through a shower I can spend 10 minutes in my dressing gown playing on my phone before I dry my hair and if I can get that done I can chill out with a cup of tea before I get dressed. It makes it seem much more achievable when it's in smaller chunks. For the days when I really can't human I use Batiste dry shampoo so I have less steps to get through. I hope this helps you.

  • Thanks SoNotSophie, I think this helps a lot. I will try it out and see how I go. I feel really down at the moment because my boyfriend is getting frustrated with me and I don't know what to do. He would like me to be more active and it's difficult for me. Thanks for your advice, I will try to break it down into smaller tasks :-)

  • Sometimes there are just days where nothing is possible and I think you need to explain that to your boyfriend and ask him to be as supportive as possible because his frustration will just push you further inside yourself. But tell him that on the days when it doesn't feel so daunting you will make a little extra effort to do something more active, maybe the two of you could go for a walk or cook dinner together, even just sit outside with a drink and have a conversation. Ask him to be your support in this and make it a two way thing. I have done the same with my other half and it's made such a difference since I've been open and honest about my feelings, people that haven't experienced what we have may find it harder to relate so it helps to explain everything openly and honestly.

  • Thank you SoNotSophie, I will have a chat with him. Really appreciate your advice :-)

  • No worries we have to look out for each other and it helps to share our own experiences. Good luck!

  • Hi Catharsis just wanted to check in with you to see how it's going? Are you finding the little steps routine is working for you? And did you speak to your boyfriend about things?

  • Hi SoNotSophie, unfortunately I still am not functioning how I would like to. I am still struggling with looking after myself. I had a brief chat with my boyfriend and he thinks there is a problem. He was very nice about it though. I'm still unsure what to do, but I suppose we all have bad days. For example, right now I need to wash my hair, but I have a mental block and I can't do it. But I will try the steps you mentioned earlier and see how I do. Thanks for checking.


  • Really glad that you talked to you boyfriend, that's a positive step. Just keep breaking things down in to small tasks and give yourself positive reinforcement once they're achieved. Have you looked at therapy? I'm starting cbt next week, but anxious as not sure how it will go or whether it will help but I've got to try. Keep doing good things, will check in again soon 😊

  • Thanks SoNotSophie, you have really helped me a lot! I had a course of mindfulness therapy when I lived in the UK, which is different to CBT. Maybe I should look at CBT too, but that might be difficult to find in Spain as I don't speak the language. I'm going to try and have a shower this evening. Hopefully I will be able to do it. I really wish you luck with the CBT. I'm sure it will be fine, just take it one step at a time and you'll be fine.

    Thanks for your support,


  • Hi I do that too and it does help. I also put structure in my day and deadlines and that helps as well.

  • I see, thank you coughalot2, yes I will try it and see how I do. It is really difficult sometimes. I have a mental block and I simply can't do it. It's very frustrating.

  • When all else fails I bypass my mind with it's negative thoughts, look at my feet and tell them firmly to move. Sounds silly but it does work.

  • Will give it a go and see how I do. Thank you :-)

  • Yes all the time

  • Thanks coughalot2, what do you do to cope?

  • Hi I don't know if this will help. When the smallest task feels overwhelming. I learned this tip off a disabled friend. She found it overwhelming to think about getting ready etc. So she literally would break it down in to steps. Like one would be putting the towel out. Two would be taking socks off. Actions she counted out in her head. It might take her 14 to 21 steps but it felt less overwhelming if she thought about one at a time. And if she needed a break she would take one for a few minutes. Etc. Other than that you can break it down to the 3% rule. Do 3 percent of it. Then if u feel like it do 3% more. U will achieve more than if u tried to do it all. U might only get to shampoo hair and not wash body or condition. But it's more than u achieved sitting there thinking about it and dreading it. The third thing u can try is what I do literally talk yourself through actions so your mind is distracted. So if I'm stressing or running thoughts. I dread doing the pots for example. I literally talk through my actions in my head like I need to wash pots. So I will be like" I need to wash this fork. Clean this side. dip in the water, bubbles rinsed off. That plate wipe it that side etc. It's very boring bit it distracts my thoughts from racing. The thoughts try to take over negatively. Buy u must use a stop technique literally say stop in head or i have a visial spice girls stop right now song in my head it breaks negative thought and go back into describing actions mode. U can do this if u keep practicing. U do it till u will notice u feel calmer. Other than that put music u like on when doing something. Trust me it's hard while doing pots I feel overwhelmed and get its all crap though. Then thoughts of I should just die. It's an automatic negative thought that my mind then panic and feeling low kicks on to. Hope u can use some of these ideas. Other than that u can use shampoo and conditioner 2 in one. Or use dry shampoo in a pinch to get u through. U might be feeling overwhelmed by language barrier and not getting a job. The only things u can control are the things around u like personal hygiene. If u have no support locally. Is it possible to return home or do u live there now? If u r depressed there must be locals who speak your language who have moved there that u can prob ably engage wit in lcoal events.. Also seeking support through Spanish charities or accessing uk charities for support might help like night sanctuary in the UK. There will be charities local to u set up for ex pats for example if u r British or groups for where you are from. It's all about asking for help. Speak to those u can locally in your language or Google local groups events etc. Voluntary work can be great for learning the language making friends even just an afternoon a week. Until u find a job. Good luck keep us updated

  • Try living life to the fullest for cbt free help

  • Thank you Reflectionit, for your kind words. Yes I will try my best to follow your advice here as it's very good. I am still struggling to find a job, which is frustrating. I'm currently lying on the sofa after a morning of searching for jobs. I'm a bit dejected to be honest. I was a writer but I would now like to be an editor. I have had editorial experience in the past, but so far I still can't find anything. I'm now looking at internships, but I already did loads of them, so I should be able to find a job by now. I can't describe how low I feel. My hygiene is incredibly low and I'm still not looking after myself. I know I should look after myself first and then get a job, but I think I would do better if I found a job first, which would force me to look after myself.

    I'm looking for work from home positions for US or UK companies, but there are not many opportunities.

    I hope you are well and thanks for the advice.


You may also like...