If, for whatever reason, you've ever struggled with basic self-care tasks—read cleaning your space,
showering, washing dishes,etc.—this TEDx Talk might help. The talk features KC Davis, who is a licensed professional therapist, author, speaker, and founder of Struggle Care. The TEDx YouTube page describes her work as follows:
KC Davis began her therapy journey at 16 when she entered treatment for drug addiction. Today, she teaches a compassionate and practical approach to self & home care for those
dealing with mental health, physical illness, and hard seasons of life. Her methodology
has attracted 1M+ followers on social media in less than a year. Her Amazon bestselling book, "How to Keep House While Drowning," has sold 40,000+ copies. KC lives in Houston with her husband and two daughters.
Her TEDx Talk is titled, "How to do laundry when you're depressed." The TEDx YouTube page
provides an accurate overview:
When you're burned out, taking care of yourself (or your family) can feel nearly impossible. Therapist KC Davis gets it, and she's got a message for anyone struggling with daily tasks: you're not lazy. Care tasks, she says, are neither good nor bad — they're morally neutral. Davis offers creative shortcuts and workarounds for everything from using wet wipes when you can't manage a shower to sealing dirty dishes in a giant zip-loc until you feel up to washing them. Because regardless of your mental health struggles, you are a person worthy of a functional space.
I know it may sound a little bit like psychobabble, but I've watched the whole thing a couple of times. It's worth your time, in my opinion, if you've ever struggled with care tasks – as your textbook depressed Gen Z-er, I'm certainly guilty of this. Here are some quotes I transcribed from the talk that I found helpful – and I hope you do, too!
Could making daily tasks easier improve mental health quicker? In the two years that I've
been posting and writing about the intersection of mental health and care tasks, I've come
up with a philosophy that does just this. And it all starts with one simple idea: cooking,
cleaning, laundry—it doesn't make you a good person, or a bad person. Listen to me:
Care tasks are morally neutral.
It can feel like struggling with these tasks is a moral failure, like it's because we're lazy
or we're irresponsible, or we're immature. But having an organized closet doesn't make
you a success. And living out of a pile of laundry on the floor doesn't make you a failure.
The truth is, it's not about morality. It's about functionality. Does your home work for
you? What do I need to function for tomorrow morning?
When we liberate ourselves from the idea that we're a good person or a bad person with
care tasks, we can stop thinking about the right way to do things, about the way things
should be done. And instead, start thinking about what we can do, with our current
barriers, to improve our quality of life today. And this is the fun part – because you get to
customize a life that works for you.
Simply ask yourself, what am I trying to achieve and how can I achieve it in my way?
Good enough is perfect.
Everything worth doing is worth doing half-assed.
You have to give yourself permission to do a little. To do it with short cuts. To do it
while breaking all of the rules. And replace that inner voice that says "I'm failing" with
one that says I'm having a hard time right now, and people who are having a hard time
People will exhibit mind-blowing creativity when they are only taught to speak
compassionately to themselves. So what if mental health treatment started here? By
shifting the idea of care tasks as these external measurements of your worthiness, to just
being morally neutral tasks that you can customize to care for yourself. Because if it's
true that regardless of what you struggle with, you are worthy of a functional space, what
else might you be worthy of?