Love, Self

10 Ways To Take Care Of Yourself & Your Relationship When The Person You Love Is Diagnosed With Depression

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Self-Care Tips & Activities For Taking Care Of Yourself When Your Husband Or Wife Is Dealing With Depression

Self-care is an important part of life, but when your husband or wife is dealing with depression, it's easy to sacrifice your needs while you take care of your loved one. But this shouldn't be the case. Now, more than ever, you need to carve out time for self-care activities.

Learning how to practice self-care activities or finding self-care tips to help during this period is just as beneficial as taking care of your partner's needs, since you don't want to feel overwhelmed. Yes, your spouse is feeling depressed. This is stressful on any relationship.

When a depression diagnosis is unexpected, you might be wondering how something like this could have happened or what you should do next.

How will you manage this? You still have to take care of the house and make lunches for the kids. Not to mention your own work. This doesn’t leave a lot of room, so how can you take care of yourself on top of everything else that's going on?

You are probably thinking you can just forget about yourself. First of all, you need to know that you aren’t alone. More and more people are reporting that they are suffering from depression. Don’t try to hide this. Make sure to talk to your friends and family and seek out professional help.

There is hope, however. Many people have been able to manage their depression and live a happy life. You will be able to get through this. But it’s important that you take care of yourself so you don’t lose yourself in the process. That will only make you feel bitter and burnt out. You also won’t feel like showing love to your partner.

RELATED: 7 Ways Depressed People Love Differently

Here are 9 tips to help you start taking care of yourself now:

1. Set aside time for fun every day.

It can feel impossible trying to figure out how to focus on yourself when your spouse is dealing with depression. So giving yourself some "me-time" can help keep you from feeling burned out. Even if you don’t know what it will be, just set aside time for it. Write down fun on the calendar, even when you think you can’t possibly fit it in.

What are some fun things you've been wanting to do, that you never got around to?

Start with those today.

2. Practice being grateful.

When you wake up in the morning, think of 10 things you are grateful for instead of thinking about your list of things to do. Start the day by giving your mind a break and don't worry about how to focus on yourself; instead, practice mindfulness to get yourself in a good mood. You don’t have to work on your list first thing in the morning. You can also think of what you are grateful for before you go to bed.

Start with a warm bed to sleep in and a roof over your head.

3. Create a positive mindset.

Take a good look at your thought process. How positive is it? Do you tend to focus on the negative, or go over all the regrets you have about the past?

Are you constantly worried about the future? Do you spend a lot of time predicting that things won’t work out? Depression can make things feel hopeless, even if you're not the one who's depressed. Mental health can be greatly supported by keeping a healthy outlook on your situation.

If you said yes to any of these questions, then it’s time to change your mindset. Start by enjoying the present moment. Take a look at your surroundings and start to slow down. Don’t believe the lies that your mind tells you. Start by picking one positive affirmation to focus on today. One of my favorites is, "I am enough."

4. Go easy on yourself.

Most people tend to be the hardest on themselves. You are constantly beating yourself up. Comparing yourself to others is one of the worst things you can do. You will never feel good enough.

The next time you make a mistake, don’t beat yourself up. Learn what you can and move forward. Everybody makes mistakes, it’s called being a human being.

5. Start your day with mindfulness.

Start every day with 10-15 minutes of mindfulness. This will help you clear your mind and get ready for the day. You might always wake up worrying about what you have to do that day, and if you would have enough time to get it all done. After you begin your day in a mindful way, you'll know it’s all right if you don’t get everything done.

There is always tomorrow and the next day for that matter.

RELATED: How To Help Someone You Love Through Their Depression

6. Schedule time slots when you don’t work.

You don’t have to have every time slot on your calendar filled with work. This may make you feel more productive, but you aren’t giving yourself a break. This will definitely lead to burning out in the long run.

You can set one up in the morning, the middle of the day, and in the evening. You can start small if you’d like: 5-10 minutes. When you take this time you can’t work or even think about work.

Go for a walk or just sit and relax. This will help keep you from feeling alone or feeling depressed along with your spouse.

I started this a while ago, and it has changed my life. I no longer feel fatigued in the middle of the day, and I am actually more productive.

7. Get enough sleep.

Research has found that more sleep equates to happiness. When you don’t get enough sleep, you are more forgetful and irritable. This also affects your work and home life.

Set up a sleep schedule. Try to go to bed at a regular time and get up at a regular time. But try not to stress over the sleep schedule. There will be times that it doesn’t work out, and that is all right.

8. Spend time with friends and family.

These are the people that support you the most. The next time you are feeling stressed out, give one of them a call. Instead of talking about what is stressing you out, talk about what you like.

Let them know about the latest podcast you just heard, or about the friendly guy you were talking to in the grocery store line. If you can’t think of anything, then invite them out on a fun adventure. Like, going for a hike or watching a funny movie.

9. Get outside!

Take in the fresh air and sunshine. Get out into nature. The outdoors is great for your mental health, and exercise can help decrease signs of depression and ward off unhappiness.

Notice the environment you are in. If you see a pretty flower, stop and look at it. Take a picture, if you’d like.

Notice the detail of the bark on the trees, or how the squirrels run up and down them. If there is water around, stop and look at how the sun glistens on the water. You can also ride your bike if you’d like. Just get outside and stop thinking about work and family. This is a great time to embrace the present.

10. Take time for yourself every day.

And stop feeling guilty about it! Even if it’s 10 minutes, it will make a big difference. Stop spending time with negative people.

They will only drain your energy. When you start to take care of yourself, you will begin to see your attitude and mood change. You will start to feel better about yourself, and this will drastically help your marriage when your spouse is battling with depression.

Relationships are an important part of your life, and you want to help your spouse through a difficult time. But while you're helping them, remember this piece of marriage advice: Practice self-care as well, so that you can be a support to your partner and keep strong for yourself, as well.

RELATED: The Desperation Of Depression: Why We Must Show Compassion

Lianne Avila is a marriage and family therapist in San Mateo, CA, who helps those looking to create a life that is happier and more fulfilling. Subscribe to the newsletter on her website to learn more about her services and expertise.

This article was originally published at Lessons for Love. Reprinted with permission from the author.