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How do you learn to love yourself when you're depressed?

31 Answers
Last Updated: 04/21/2020 at 3:10am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Courtney Cline, MS in Psychology and MS in criminal Justice

Counselor

I have 15 years exeperience in working with clients suffering from depression and substance abuse. I have worked with children and adults and believe in a holistic view.

Top Rated Answers
Anonymous
June 4th, 2015 2:23am
I think that sometimes it takes practice. A lot of practice. It often seems that when we are depressed, we spend a significant amount of time putting ourselves down. And, as we do that, it becomes habit. So, to "unlearn" that habit, I think it's important to make positive statements about ourselves regularly. Maybe put post-it notes up or whatever to remind ourselves. And, with time, those positive self-statements will hopefully become more natural and less forced and, eventually, we love ourselves (even if we are struggling with depression :) ).
TheLizzyMonster
April 30th, 2015 4:19am
That's a tough question. I have read some suggestions that tell you to look in the mirror and say only positive things about yourself at least once a day. Physical connection can sometimes help so if you have a significant other or friends who like to give hugs I would encourage that. Physical connection sometimes gives people the feeling of safety and warmth. Try doing things that make you feel like you made a difference. They can be big things, but I want to encourage small goals like "I took the trash out" or "I made cookies today" or "I went on a walk today" or it could even be as small as "I got out of bed today". I know it may seem silly, but the small accomplishments add up. And we have to remember that, sure, big goals may have big rewards, but they also take longer and require a lot of motivation to complete that just isn't there when you're depressed. We have to slowly ease ourselves back into doing things and I find that if I can begin to normalize my life the love for myself will naturally come back with it.
FlowerInDisguise19
July 23rd, 2015 11:50pm
Let's do a very simple exercise. Take a deep breath. Close your eyes. Raise your right hand. Bring it up to your shoulder length. Take it behind. PAT YOUR BACK This was you congratulating yourself for being the person that you are. This was you congratulating yourself for having made it till here. This was you congratulating yourself for not buckling under pressure till now.
FizzyReid
May 8th, 2015 5:08pm
I've been asked this question a lot. I'm slowly learning how to do this myself. So far I've learned you have to come to senses with the fact most of the sadness and hate you feel towards yourself is things you were taught by people who wanted you to feel this way. It's kinda like soul searching, find yourself embrace your flaws and your insecurities. Always remember your flaws don't define you.
BluSparkles
June 30th, 2015 1:16am
Seek the support of others, and focus on the things they say and the love they give you, also focus on giving love to others.
Macie101
August 25th, 2015 2:14pm
I personally just always think positive and always try to believe in myself. Along with always telling myself I am beautiful and I belong on this earth.
OptimisticOmega
November 17th, 2015 2:31pm
Learning to love yourself can be really difficult. I believe that the first step to learn to love yourself is to accept who you are. Look at yourself, and realize that this is you. Learn to accept yourself before you learn to love yourself. :)
Anonymous
December 14th, 2015 4:33pm
look at all your flaws now say you love them repeat that over and over because you are you and no one can replace you. no matter what anyone says you are perfect in your own way and the world needs you
shiningTree96
May 31st, 2016 11:49am
Depression is just a state of mind , we are humans bound to experience emotions from happiness going to downright sad . Depression is not meant to bring me down but it's teaching me to appreciate life and find motivation even in the smallest of activities. I learnt to be happy in other people's happiness too.
Itsacrazylifewelive
July 20th, 2015 5:35pm
Well I would say start small and look at the little details of your face and admire it. Maybe it's your dimples, maybe it's your smile, whatever it is, love it! Love stems from the small things.
Anonymous - Expert in Depression
July 28th, 2015 4:14am
[| Philosophy wall - stick a piece of paper on your wall and write a new quote every day [| Philosophy Wall II - Stick another piece of paper and each day write on it 1 new thing you are grateful for [| Philosophy Wall III - Stick another piece of paper on the wall and each day write 1 thing you love about yourself - tell yourself this even if you don’t believe it, eventually you will be comfortable with these positive traits and learn to accept them. [| Labels - remove negative labels and replace it with positive ones, you will subconsciously conform to labels, so even if you don’t believe it at first, fake it and pretend.
Anonymous
June 21st, 2016 5:08pm
Last year I was out of work and going through depression...spending everyday in bed and waking up at odd times because I had nothing to be accountable for. At some point I saw an article online about making a "Happiness Jar". I decided to make this jar and use it from November 2015 until December 2016, attempting to write a positive thought or occurrence in my life for every day (or as many days as possible). At the end of the year in December 2016 I will empty the jar and read all of the positive things that happened to me in my life throughout that time! But the catch is - there is no catch. YOU are in control of your Happiness Jar. At any time you can take out 1 or 2 or 5 or all of your Happiness notes and read them to yourself to know that YES there ARE positive and good things in your life. Whenever you feel down you can reach into the jar, read what you wrote to yourself, and love yourself for making the effort to remember that, and all, of the happy thoughts and occurrences in your life!
lovingPenguin
January 31st, 2017 11:10pm
1. Look back at the great things you have done and tough times endured. 2. Look forward, realising you have the strength and willpower to be trying to help yourself right now - so you are worth helping and that comes from within.
JayBird2395
March 12th, 2018 7:36am
It helps to learn to love yourself in the little things. Celebrate that you went for a walk. Make a list of the small things about yourself that you love. Ask people you love to tell you something positive about you and write it down. The little things build up.
mykenziemarie03
April 21st, 2020 3:10am
It is hard, I’ll tell you that. Depression can make us feel hopeless, worthless, and guilty for things that won’t matter in the grand scheme of things. However, a big thing I remember is that you deserve as much love and support as someone who does not have depression. Depression is a serious problem and requires a support system to get better; and the biggest support system should be yourself. Coping with depression is the first step to loving yourself. Accept that you have depression! It does not define you. You are still as worthy of love as everyone else. It is hard to see yourself without the depression, and I understand that. What helps me is I write sticky notes (may sound ridiculous) about things I like about myself and stick them on my mirror. I understand it can be a daunting task to identify things you like about yourself when depressed, but start small. Maybe you’re good at drawing! Maybe you love your music taste! (Of course it’s subjective, but it’s something). Move up next. Maybe there’s a certain aspect of your personality that you enjoy. Caring, trustworthy? It’s true that you are brave just for posting this question and coming to 7cups alone; there’s your first trait. It takes a long time to love yourself; I’m still getting there. But with hard work you’ll get there. :)
kokako
April 18th, 2015 10:28am
Drawing on something that my clinical psychologist has helped me with in dealing with my depression, she has wise words; "You need to learn to love yourself before you can love other people." Her practical advice, which I have followed, is to keep a (very private) daily journal in which I record all of my daily activities which give me reasons for loving myself/feeling good about myself.
eternalHero77
May 3rd, 2015 7:04pm
I have suggestions that could be helpful but way too long to long to explain. However some may be gaining self esteem is one way to help oneself.
SpiritWolfie
November 3rd, 2015 9:25pm
Care as much about yourself as you do for others. , Ask your self "What do I like about myself",....
HopefulJet61
November 9th, 2015 2:50am
Always think to yourself this is only temporary! You will have another happy day and you have to fight for yourself just make a list of all the beautiful things about you!
Anonymous
December 14th, 2015 12:21pm
Don't let people bring you down get up dress up and be yourself in time you will eventually learn to love yourself and things can only get better
beautifulLight666
January 11th, 2016 7:12pm
when you start excepting your path, and start working on your problems, issues, you will start seeing changes
Anonymous
January 19th, 2016 11:12pm
When you're depressed you feel nothingness. This means you need to start flowing emotions through your head. Think about the bad and the good. Embrace both with proudness and love.
Anonymous
March 15th, 2016 6:26pm
Focus on the good things and throw the bad things on the bin.Happy thoughts will get you through the emotional stress,just throw bad ones in a bin an time will heal
HopieRemi
July 5th, 2016 8:06am
It is going to a hassle to learn to love yourself while you are depressed but it is not impossible. You're going to have to remind yourself the thoughts you're thinking are not you but the depression. You have to try to love yourself despite the thoughts. Also, you need to be willing to consider all options, including therapy.
Anonymous
August 1st, 2016 7:30am
You have to focus on you and what makes you happy. You can't worry about others and how they feel. You can't worry about others. Bottom line.
Anonymous
September 20th, 2016 9:41am
Loving yourself is all about learning your own limitations and your own skills and doing what makes you feel better. Everyday
MovingForward23
November 1st, 2016 1:16pm
It's not easy! But what has helped me the most recently is saying "if your best friend told you she was feeling this way, what would you say?" Why should any of us treat ourselves differently than we would a loved one!
ohgreta
April 24th, 2017 9:01pm
Take tiny steps. The first step is to even realise when bad thoughts about yourself creep up... a lot of the time, we think negative thoughts without even noticing them. I really like a meditation technique called "noting", where you simply try to observe your thoughts and label them, without judging. For me personally, this really helped me become more aware of all the negative chatter that was going on in my head. After a while, I learned to give less weight to those negative thoughts, because I realised that's all they were: thoughts. Not truths. I'm still working on this every single day, but noting and labelling has helped me immensely in being more kind to myself.
Anonymous
April 24th, 2018 7:03pm
When I am depressed, I express affection toward myself through pampering. I try to make myself feel attractive, or I give myself a special treat.
Anonymous
June 4th, 2018 6:40pm
That requires time and effort, but it can be done. Start with baby steps... Look in a mirror and say one thing you like about yourself. It could be your personality or how good that top looks on you. Then progress into 2 things you like. Then 3, and so on. Sooner or later, it will build confidence and you'll feel happier about yourself. Depression does not define who you are.