When you’re living with depression, it can feel like you’re walking through waist-high mud every single day. If you’re living on your own, depression can drag you away from usual routines and cause unhealthy habits.

Recovering takes more than one day or even one year—it requires small steps and little victories that you must celebrate at the end of each day. These little things you can do every day to manage your depression are essential for clearing the path to the big picture—personal success and happiness.

Eat Healthily and Drink Water

Everyone needs to eat, even when you feel that you’re too depressed to do it. You’re not an exception to the laws of nature, and everyone deserves something as simple as food and water. Some days may be worse than others, but feeding yourself anything is better than starving.

You don’t always need to cook a full meal. Depression can steer you away from eating because you feel shame for not wanting to cook—but that isn’t anything to feel guilty about. Stock up on frozen meals or ramen for the hard days. 

When you don’t feed yourself, you’re not providing yourself with enough nutrients to feel better tomorrow. It’s a trap that your depressed mind wants to trap you in.

Find Ways to Make Life Easier

A depressive episode can happen when you feel the slightest bit of doubt during a normal task. It’s not a bad idea—and it’s not cheating—to find helpful shortcuts or life hacks to make things easier, especially if you suffer from depression. Prepare meals ahead of time when you’re feeling capable so that you can eat them when your mood is low.

If your depression stems from or creates mobility problems, you may qualify for an accessible parking permit that can make driving places easier. Anything around the house that you can prepare ahead of time to make your daily routine easier will help you manage depression and executive dysfunction.

Take a Minute a Day to Say Nice Things About Yourself

Validating your good qualities is one of the hardest things to do if you have depression. A minute is not a long time, but it allows you to say descriptive words or quick sentences that are nice about yourself. It will be difficult at first and it may even seem as though you’re lying to yourself, but realize that this will often not be the case.

Even if you do think you’re lying to yourself, if you call out the qualities you want to see in yourself, it will help you grow. Once you come up with something—anything at all—write it down somewhere to look at later.

This short bit of time is one of the most important little things you can do every day to manage your depression. Not only will it give you a confidence boost, but it’ll also provide you with something to look at during a difficult depressive episode.