Loving Yourself When You Have Depression

February 11, 2020 Jennifer Smith

Many of us who are diagnosed with depression struggle with loving ourselves. We might feel the sting of stigma, whether it's from others, from within us, or from a combination of both. As individuals with depression, some of us deal with negative thoughts, which can make it difficult to foster feelings of love towards ourselves. How can we overcome these challenges and learn to love ourselves?

Ways to Love Yourself When You're Depressed

Set Boundaries and Learn to Say No

Loving yourself starts with respecting yourself. Do not let others cross your boundaries. Set them and then stick with them. I believe my depression was definitely made worse when I had loosely set boundaries or no boundaries set at all. I allowed people to do and say hurtful things to me. These words and actions then became my internal dialogue, which, in turn, fueled negative thoughts and contributed to my depression. Once I learned how to set boundaries and was strong enough to hold to them, I began to love myself more and see improvement in my depression.

Keep a Positivity Journal 

In order to counteract the negative thoughts you have, write all the positive things about yourself down. Record these thoughts in a journal. When you're struggling with loving yourself, you can refer to this "positivity journal." I know I have a hard time remembering anything positive about myself on my low, depression days, so keeping a journal filled with loving thoughts about myself has been encouraging and helpful for me. Sometimes I even leave notecards around the house so these loving statements are readily visible. It may seem cheesy, but it honestly helps me.

Do Nice Things for Yourself

Give yourself permission to rest without feeling guilty. Our bodies are fighting an illness, and we need to acknowledge that. Those of us with depression often struggle with finding energy and motivation to bathe or shower; so, splurge and buy yourself some nice body care items. I did that, and it has made a difference. Take small steps toward doing activities you used to enjoy. Show yourself some love by purchasing a book by an author you like or get that new video game that has caught your eye. Whatever it is you think you might be able to enjoy, do that thing. 

Discover Who You Are

You are diagnosed with depression; I am diagnosed with depression. Yet, we are not depression. I know some days it feels like we are. The black cloud is heavy, and it hangs over everything. Still, I want you to find that one speck of light. I assure you it's there. You're still here, and I'm still here. We can start there.

One thing we certainly are is warriors. See yourself for the courageous and strong person that you are. In spite of the struggle, we are still shining brightly in this darkness. I'm proud of myself and I'm proud of you all. You have every reason to love yourself as you continue facing depression each day.

To see how I put together a self-love basket, please watch this video.

How do you love yourself through depression? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

APA Reference
Smith, J. (2020, February 11). Loving Yourself When You Have Depression, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 16 from

Author: Jennifer Smith

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December, 6 2022 at 4:26 am

I do nothing. As I tried everything and nothing worked. .
I cant use the tips here either.
I can't set boundaries cause I don't know how.
I can't make a positivity journal cause there is NOT A SINGLE positive thing about me.
I don't can that myself nice as nothing matters for me anymore.
Also I discovered even before depression what I am: A worthless pathetic incompetent failure

April, 16 2024 at 1:38 pm

Hey De,
When living with severe depression, it is so difficult to see any positivity about ourselves or the world we live in. I have been in very similar shoes as you. However, nothing will change until we initiate a change, even if it means taking our cognitative distortions and untwisting them. Healing/recovery takes a lot of time and practice - it is a lifelong journey. Unfortunately, there's no magic wand out there to make everything better about ourselves and the world (if only...).
One thing that keeps me going is taking life ONE DAY AT A TIME. I wear a bracelet with those exact words to remind me when I start down a dark road. One day at a time... because that is all I can expect of myself, and it's all that others can expect of me. I know it sounds cliche, but you genuinely are not alone or alone in how you feel.
Also, check out the resources and assistance at…

February, 13 2020 at 5:38 pm

I fight it everyday even when my 30 year old son is being good i still flipp out over nothing an seems like I can never get finished with anything I need for myself house falling apart car falling apart an I have anxiety also yard in a mess I am 56 an disabled my self an have a hard time just doing regular house work if I do more it takes me 2 days to get over it like extra stuff around the house an every time someone comes to help me my son runs they off I can't try to fix anything around here if he is home an if I try an fix stuff around the house when he is gone he filps out an always mad because nothing if fixed an has knocked holes in the walls that had been fixed if I go anywhere he will put simple things of mine in the yard are like my coffee pot on the porch he has always had problems but it has gotten worse since he is 30 now an over 6 foot an his dad past away 2014 later

February, 15 2020 at 9:45 am

Hello, Julia, I'm glad you reached out here. I am sorry you are going through all of this. I encourage you to contact a health care professional who can help both you and your son. It sounds like both of you are dealing with some very overwhelming circumstances. I am thankful that you commented and hope that you will get in touch with a therapist or doctor as soon as possible.

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