For most people, showering and other hygienicΒ practices are seen as a normal or even relaxing part of the daily routine. Those struggling with depression, however, often have difficulties with cleanliness, showering in particular.

When someone barely has enough willpower to get out of bed, it can be tedious and stressful to merely think about showering. By depression standards, the effort required is nearly impossible. But when a person goes without bathing for more than a day, it makes them feel even worse. It’s an ugly, dirty cycle, one that seems hopeless.

The important thing to realize is that is not. Being clean can actually help someone feel better, and being under hot running water has an almost therapeutic effect. Once people muster the strength to drag themselves into the tub, they might be surprised at the results.

Of course, the whole problem lies within getting started. Fortunately, there are simple ways to combat depression’s distaste for hygiene.

Bubble baths are a fun experience for anyone and add a touch of novelty. Rose petals, bath bombs, or candles placed around the room can help as well. Whatever cheers a person up should be taken into consideration. No matter how cheesy, if it works, there’s a reason to use it.

Those not fond of baths can still find ways to motivate themselves. A shower radio is a good incentive.

Like all battles, the fight against depression is long, and can’t be won every time. It’s essential to remember that small steps are still considered progress. Hygiene can and will be your ally, so it’s important to work with it, not against it.