Dr. Richard O'Connor
(860) 364-9300

The Basics of Good Self-Care

I've had several clients who posted this list in a prominent place in their homes, to help counter what their depression tells them to do.  One young woman's boyfriend, when he saw the item "distance yourself from destructive people," asked if that meant him.  When she thought about it, she said it did apply to him, and was enabled to tell him how he hurt her.


  • Exercise moderately but regularly
  • Eat healthy but delicious meals
  • Regularize your sleep cycle
  • Practice good personal hygiene
  • Get help for painful conditions
  • Don't drink to excess or abuse drugs
  • Spend some time every day in play
  • Develop recreational outlets that encourage creativity
  • Avoid unstructured time
  • Make commitments
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Limit exposure to mass media
  • Distance yourself from destructive situations or people
  • Cultivate your sense of humor
  • Allow yourself to feel pride in your accomplishments
  • Listen to compliments and expressions of affection
  • Avoid depressed self-absorption
  • Build and use a support system
  • Pay more attention to small pleasures and sensations
  • Challenge yourself
August 27, 2012

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8 comments on “The Basics of Good Self-Care”

  1. Thank you for this site. I have been looking for someone to lay out the issue and some of the things that may help with the depression and most online sites I find make it complicated. The information you've provided is excellent and I personally look forward to putting them into practice. My depression is so severe I have had three suicide attempts and it interferes with my writing and painting, especially the painting. I have goals, the mood swings make it hard to rise to the occasion where I might be able to fulfill them. Most days I cannot respond to people talking to me, because it seems so pointless. I cannot even think strait. I cannot tell you how far away it has pushed people and anymore I have become quiet about it, withdrawn. I know enough to understand a suicide attempt would make it worse and is a darker hole to climb out of. What I really want, is to simply be even, to not feel unable to cope, to not feel so horrible about myself.

    So thank you for all this information.


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  4. Thanks for your website. I feel like I have been drowning in my thoughts. This year i had many triggers, my coping mechanism was to help others. I was burnt but just kept on going. So deeply embedded in my head, I spend days indoors ..My mind plagued with death, of myself or others and in my mind i am constantly planning how I will cope.
    I find myself in limbo, no suicidal thoughts, just developed a phobia of living and a phobia of dying. I embark on tasks which enable my procrastination to never end. A perfectionist who knows everything and produces nothing.
    My ability to acquire new skills amazes me from food to craft, illustrations. Developed a phobia of picking up the phone, avoiding the question "how are you?" Don't want to explain my withdrawal from everyone but my family. Depression is contagious and I am doing my very best to contain it.

Undoing Depression

Dr. Richard O'Connor maintains an office in Sharon, Connecticut. Call 860-364-9300 or email rchrdoconnor@gmail.com to arrange an initial consultation.