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Not being able to maintain personal hygiene is a reality for many people suffering from depression. When it’s hard to simply get out of bed, taking a shower or brushing teeth can seem like an impossible task. It is important to remember that you are not lazy or gross; you are just struggling right now.
Try your best to take even small steps to maintain personal hygiene. These small steps can help you feel better physically and more accomplished mentally. The following hygiene hacks can help.
- Use dry shampoo: dry shampoo can help remove the extra oil in your hair. Hold it 4-6 in away from hair and spray directly at the roots. Then, using your fingertips, massage the product into the roots and scalp so it’s evenly distributed.
- Try a sink bath or use baby wipes: for a sink bath, use a wash cloth and some soap in the sink and use it to wash the “dirtier” areas (such as armpits, etc.). You can even try washing your hair under the faucet if the sink is deep enough. Baby wipes are another alternative you can use even while still in bed.
- Take a bath instead of a shower, or purchase a shower chair: if the thought of standing in the shower for a long time deters you from taking a shower, consider taking a bath or buying a shower chair. You could also make the bath a relaxing, therapeutic experience, with bath bombs and essential oils.
There are a number of ways to keep breath fresh and your mouth relatively clean when you haven’t been able to brush your teeth. These include:
- Using mouthwash
- Chewing minty gum: look for sugar-free gum sweetened with xylitol, a naturally-occurring sweetener that reduces cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth. Examples include: 5 Sugar-free gum, Ice Breakers Ice Cubes Sugar-free Chewing, and Orbit Sugar-free gum
- Using disposable toothbrushes: Wisps, disposable toothbrushes, are difficult to find in stores but can be found here. They don’t require water and are great for when it is difficult to get out of bed.
- If you haven’t brushed your hair in a long time and it is very knotted, try deep conditioning it. This involves applying the conditioner, covering the hair with a shower cap, and wrapping it in a warm towel for 20-40 min. Then, rinse out the deep conditioner with cold water. This can help you more easily untangle the knotted hair.