Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Therapy Thursday: Take a Shower

pocket therapist front cover small.jpg

I have decided to dedicate a post on Thursday to therapy, and offer you the many tips I have learned on the couch. They will be a good reminder for me, as well, of something small I can concentrate on. Many of them are published in my book, “The Pocket Therapist: An Emotional Survival Kit.

This directive not only applies to those depressed and anxious persons whose therapists have told them that they smell … you know, like my therapist did a few years ago. But also to folks who need to trick their brain into believing that they feel great!


Taking care of yourself—starting with soaping up your skin and shampooing your hair—is usually a no-brainer when you’re feeling good. Not so when getting out of bed feels like completing an Ironman at age 85. But that first effort—of putting your left foot on your bedroom floor followed by the right foot—can thrust the momentum in the right direction, so that your brain starts to follow your body toward good health.

Thus, showering and scrubbing your armpits is one way of “faking it til you make it,” and it’s been my experience that after you fake serenity and sanity for a few 24 hours, your limbic system, the brain’s emotional center, begins to chill out a tad.

Until your next shower … which is … a day later?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Lee Hepp

    love and peace. Indifferent theoretical realism of unproven literal fact.Washing ignorance and hate clean. Plunder negativity and raise silent chants. Atma, Baruk-uh, shakti, Anandablessed be, peace be within all, prahna, allah, jesus, 2liA, Great Spirit> all one
    We thrive in gloves of joy.
    Empty palms release doves inflight.
    Lee Hepp(c) 2012

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Eileen

    Taking a shower or bubble bath and making myself look decent helps me feel better about myself. But I usually do it mid day due to my schedule. Cleansing my body and reflecting on my issues of the day in private is one of my favorite times of the day. It is not always pleasant and many times I have a good cry while in the shower but that for me is release allowing me to continue my day. Yes we all need that time in bed when we cannot seem to get going. When I am in that situation I try to remember that the clock is ticking and than I realize how much time I am wasting of my life. Than I get up and either exercise or journal.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Mary Anne


    Again, we are on the same page. Lately, just getting out of bed has been at noon for me. I had my anxiety med’s increased which had me doing nothing but sleeping and laying around. So I cut them back. The Dr. said I could break them in half take them when I thought I needed them. That is funny, when I think? Hell most of my thinking is so off, distorted he is relying on me for sound judgement, ha! Anyway, just getting to the bathtub and taking a bath has been a daily chore lately. Not having a car anymore after my accident I rarely go anywhere. No one comes over so I don’t have much of an incentive to even get dressed on some days. I know u are right, we have to do it for ourselves. Then there is the coloring of the gray hair that is coming in. It is easier to just pluck them out with tweezers but I would be bald. I have started giving myself ONE thing to get done or accomplished a day. So I don’t feel totally worthless. Yesterday I mopped, something with my bad back I am not supposed to do but there is no one else to do it for me. My back is killing me today as a result. The day before I did weed my gardens out front and put out some new things. Go to my FB acct and look at my Mardi Grad Gardening album. I was proud of myself for getting outside the house, getting some sun, actually getting something done! Today…is another day. Don’t see alot happening but if nothing else I have read my daily meditation, read your blog and reached out. Let’s hang in there together!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Mike

    I’ve had a depression diagnosis for years. Antidepressives-counseling-more intense spiritual focus, have done them all. I love to volunteer and enjoy service to others.
    My operating strategy is to just tough it out and keep myself busy. But despite it all, some days are just so crushingly hard.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Deb (OLD FLY GIRL)

    I can totally relate to this one! A shower ALWAYS gives you a new start! My problem is sometimes, in a lazy funk, not having that ‘will of iron’ to get me there! Is there a trick to that?? Seriously! LOL!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment kathy

    What a well said post! And I remember my mom feeling like it was just too much effort to shower. I am going to try to working on faking sanity and serenity!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment D Williamson

    Years ago it was an easy feat for me to get out of bed, now I force myself and a feather could easily knock me over and I would succumb to the laying in bed to escape each day. Where did that young person go?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment NiNi

    1st let me say thank you for this inspirational blog!
    As someone who is undiagnosed, even though I know I’m sick, I am grateful for you and Therese, and others for sharing.
    I will be seeing someone this Tuesday to finally help me to quiet the noise in my head. Again, thank you for your honesty!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Rose

    I thought I was the only one who feels it is an effort to take a shower. It seems a bath is less taxing for me. I do agree, that when I get clean and put make-up on and dress nice, I do feel a bit better. Darn depression.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment ChristineAnn

    Dear Mary Anne
    I completely felt everything you said. I am so glad that I’m not alone. I have kept it to myself and tried to hide it for so many years. I’m tired of the shame and ready to fight the stigma. Depression is a real illness. God bless you, and keep up the good work.

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