'If It's Too Hard To Shower Today, Grab The Baby Wipes' — Counselor Shares Advice For People Going Through Tough Times

KC Davis wants us all to treat ourselves with compassion, especially during hard times.

kc davis @tedtoks / TikTok

KC Davis, who is a licensed professional counselor and author of the book “How To Keep House While Drowning,” gave a TED Talk in January 2023, entitled “How To Do Laundry When You’re Depressed.” She offered sage guidance for completing basic care tasks when it’s hard to do anything, at all.

‘If it’s too hard to shower today, grab the baby wipes,’ Davis said, sharing advice for people going through tough times.

She continued, “It may not be the normal way to do it, but you deserve to be clean.” 


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Davis had tips for how to cook, clean, and maintain basic self-care for those struggling with depression, bereavement, job loss, or any other myriad of challenges that life might present.



“If it’s too hard to cook dinner, get paper plates, heat up something frozen. You’ll go back to cooking and washing another day, but the day is not today. And in the meantime, you deserve to eat,” she explained. “If you’re too depressed to do your dishes, get a two-gallon Ziploc bag and keep it in your bedroom, because if you put a dirty plate into a 2-gallon Ziploc bag and seal it, it will keep the bugs away. Because you deserve a sanitary environment even if you can’t get out of bed.” 


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Davis stated that self-care tasks are “morally neutral.”

Completing those tasks doesn't define a person as good or bad. Those tasks just are, and even when you can’t get them done, you are still worthy of care and love.

“When we liberate ourselves from the idea that we are a good person or a bad person with care tasks, we can stop thinking about the right way to do things, about the way that things should be done and instead, start thinking about what we can do with our current barriers to improve our quality of life today,” she stated. 

She explained that she works in the intersection of mental health and care tasks, and she’s uncovered a philosophy, “And it all starts with one simple idea. Cooking, cleaning, laundry, it doesn’t make you a good person or a bad person. Listen to me— care tasks are morally neutral.”


As a counselor who has experienced depression in her own life, Davis came to that realization in the form of a question she asked herself: “Cooking, cleaning, laundry — what if mental health care started here?”

She came to the conclusion that we, as humans, deserve to shift “the idea of care tasks as these external measurements of your worthiness, to just being morally neutral tasks that you can customize to care for yourself.”



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Seeing care tasks as morally neutral allows us to stop measuring our worth based on anyone else’s standards and find what works for us as individuals.

As Davis explained it, “We can stop thinking about the right way to do things, about the way that things should be done, and instead start thinking about what we can do with our current barriers to improve our quality of life today.”

She wholeheartedly believes that “this approach can work with any care task that you struggle with. Simply ask yourself, ‘What am I trying to achieve and how can I achieve it in my way?’”

Davis acknowledged that for people living in a world inundated with “perfect Pinterest aesthetic, that it can feel like struggling with these tasks is a moral failure. Like it’s because we’re lazy, or irresponsible, or immature.”

She distilled her topic into a simple statement: “The truth is, it’s not about morality. It’s about functionality. Does your home work for you?”


In her work and her personal life, Davis advocates for letting go of the ideal of perfection and letting ourselves work with what we’ve got at any given moment.

“You have to give yourself permission to do a little. To do it with shortcuts. To do it while breaking all of the rules,” she said. “And replace that inner voice that says, ‘I’m failing’ with one that says, ‘I’m having a hard time right now. And people who are having a hard time deserve compassion.’”

She advised, “Ask yourself, ‘What am I trying to achieve and how can I achieve it in my way?’ This is the fun part — you get to customize a life that works for you.”


Davis ended her talk by sharing words to live by, exclaiming, “My new motto is, ‘Good enough is perfect.’”

Allowing ourselves to just be "good enough" when it comes to navigating an increasingly challenging world is to give ourselves grace, to show ourselves the love and care we innately deserve.

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers celebrity gossip, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.