Dealing with Depression During Coronavirus
During a global pandemic, like the one we're in the middle of now, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. Isolation, anxiety, economic and/or job uncertainty and daily doses of bad news (thanks to the media) can be heavy to handle. You're not alone! I have some tips to help improve your mood and ease that covid depression.
Mental Health + Depression
Stress over jobs, money and health during the current crisis can trigger depression - even if you've never been diagnosed. Life can seem bleak or hopeless when suffering from depression. It interferes with your daily life; how you think, how you eat, and even how you treat yourself and others. It can be all-around draining, making it difficult to get through the day.
It's crucial for your mental well-being to find suitable ways to ease negative thoughts, boost your mood and cope with your symptoms of depression.
**If you are feeling suicidal, even in the slightest, get help. This is an overwhelming time we're in right now, but it is temporary. Call 1-800-273-TALK for 24/7 support.**
How Covid Plays a Role
Social media, radio, news stations, the bad news seems to be everywhere. Some regions are easing up on restrictions but the path to normalcy still seems to be a far stretch at this rate. Living in the age of coronavirus - a time of frustration and social distancing - can have a profound effect on your mood. And naturally so! We're human! We want to be close to loved ones. We want to sit next to a friend or colleague and have a normal, unmasked conversation.
The feelings of isolation and despair fuel depression. Be aware of this! Also know that these feelings can be deepened if you have relationship problems within the home. Throw in other life changes such as death of a loved one, job loss, financial struggles or relationship troubles, and stress levels soar.
So what do you do? Turning to unhealthy ways of coping such as drugs, alcohol or junk food may provide brief satisfaction, but will soon worsen your problems and likely create new ones. Use these strategies to point you in the right direction when you're feeling off-course.
1. Change Your Focus
You can do this! Yes, times are worrisome, but recognizing you're seeing things through a negative lens can help you redirect your focus more optimistically.
2. Distract Yourself
When you feel surrounded by negativity break away from it and do something that makes you happy. Surround yourself with people or animals who put you in a better mental state.
3. Discover Sources of Joy
Listen to upbeat music, maybe even dance a little. Find a funny movie or YouTube video to get a good laugh in. Spend time getting fresh air like a stroll through a park. Even playing with kids or pets - that one's a win-win.
4. Limit Consumption of News
Stay informed but don't let it consume your day.
5. Find a Routine + Keep It
Avoid sleeping too much or too little. Make time for personal care. Aim for a lifestyle of structure.
6. Be Grateful
Even on your worst days, there is something to be thankful for.
7. Find Ways to Engage With Others
If you can't meet in person find ways to interact and see/hear people in your life you care about. (e.g., video chat, FaceTime, phone call)
8. Enough Small Talk
Take the risk and open up. The deeper the conversation the more you'll benefit!
9. You're Not Broken
...and no one needs to have a solution to "fix" you. They just need to listen with no judgement or criticism, just listen.
10. Get Moving, Fuel Up and Reset
Exercise and diet go hand-in-hand for health and boosting your mood. Adopt daily habits with regular exercise and healthier food choices. Lastly, get enough quality sleep.This will help maintain emotional balance, energy and focus.
Write these down and even put some on post-it notes where you'll see them. It's easy to forget what we need, sometimes we just need a simple reminder.