Depression is a difficult ordeal as it is — and it can be extra overwhelming now that we are in the midst of a pandemic. Even those who are not diagnosed with depression or other mental health conditions feel the stress and anxiety brought about by the current situation. So, how much more for those who have been dealing with depression?
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, people had been advised to stay home. Some cities and towns all over the world were placed on localized community quarantines. It has also become a norm to hear and read news and updates regarding the disease.
If COVID-19 has been taking a toll on your emotional and mental health, you’re not alone. About half of Americans report that the pandemic has affected their mental health. It’s not surprising that this is also the case for the rest of the world.
It is common for people nowadays to feel stressed due to isolation. Add to that feeling worried about their health and safety, as well as that of their loved ones. Some people also go through financial challenges as their jobs and businesses take a hit.
For people suffering from depression, these feelings of worry and hopelessness may be amplified twice over. The difficulty cannot be sugar-coated, but as the end to this pandemic is yet unclear, there is no other way around it but to learn how to cope.
Indeed, there is no one-size-fits-all and easy fix to recover from depression, and COVID-19 isn’t helping. It can be tough to get yourself motivated to take that important first step toward recovery. However, you actually can actually control your feelings and mood. There are some strategies that you can try and follow to lessen the degree of COVID-19’s effect on your well-being. Here are some.
- Get rid of the negativity filter.
While the current situation leaves us with little to no reason to be cheerful, it is necessary that you don’t view things as worse than they really are. It is common for people with depression to look at situations through a filter of negativity. As much as possible, get rid of that negativity filter to allow yourself to look at things more objectively.
- Distract yourself from what stresses you out.
This may work for everyone, depressed or not. When you start feeling stressed, hopeless, and helpless due to isolation or other challenges, try your best to distract yourself. One way to do this is to learn something new, such as graphic design, baking cupcakes, or drawing. You can also try out a new hobby, such as planting or playing an instrument. You can also distract yourself by doing something as simple as stretching and exercising.
- Turn to simple sources of fun.
It’s not always easy for people with depression to suddenly shift from sadness to happiness. However, you can try to break the cycle by finding simple sources of enjoyment. You can start by listening to upbeat music or watching funny vlogs on YouTube. Check out funny sitcoms and movies, too.
- Limit your social media time and news consumption.
Social media has provided us a way to connect to other people, especially now that most of us are confined to our homes. However, it can also be a source of stressful news. Try to limit your social media time to a few hours a day and make sure that you only digest information from reliable sources.
- Practice relaxation exercises.
Incorporating relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and meditation into your daily routine can do a number on your physical and mental well-being. Spare a few minutes every day to perform any or a combination of these exercises to give yourself a break. These exercises are perfect nowadays as they are best done at home.
- Utilize a reminder system.
When you’re stuck at home, it becomes easier to stray from the things you really need to focus on. As a result, you might end up focusing on things that you shouldn’t be dwelling on in the first place. It will help to utilize a reminder system to keep yourself focused on the things that truly matter.
By following these simple tips, going through these challenging times can be easier. These can also help you stay more productive and maintain a positive outlook.