The COVID-19 pandemic lockdown situation has taken a toll on almost every situation and aspect of life. In our COVID-19 world, mental health is no longer an individual problem. We’re all in the same boat, struggling with the same sense of fear, isolation, and uncertainty. It’s an issue for the collective to address.Over 200 countries are affected, and the number of new cases and deaths in many places are still growing exponentially. All the while, a second crisis, in the form of an economic recession, is underway. Many people have lost their jobs and are struggling for food because of the unavailability of money. This public health crisis didn’t just impair the health systems. It significantly affected the mental health and well-being of people globally. All the stresses of locking up in the house, tragic loss of loved ones, combined with the lack of access to outdoor activities are quite taxing. In a nationwide research study done in China, more than 35 percent of the subjects were found to be having psychological issues due to the pandemic. This article aims to provide you the essential tips to overcome depression during this pandemic and make you mentally stable.
First Things First-What is depression?
Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think, and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home.
Depression symptoms can vary from mild to severe and can include:
- Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
- Changes in appetite — weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Loss of energy or increased fatigue
- Increase in purposeless physical activity (e.g., hand-wringing or pacing) or slowed movements and speech (actions observable by others)
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
- Thoughts of death or suicide
Symptoms must last at least two weeks for a diagnosis of depression. Many persons all around the world are suffering from depression and it is prevailing. This is alarming when combined with the COVID-19 crisis. It can lead to a variety of emotional disturbances and severely decreasing a person’s ability to perform routine tasks.
What can be done of the depression due to COVID-19 crisis?
Healthguv is here to help you. You surely will find these following tips greatly advantageous to deal with depression.
Change Your Mindset
You might think of it as being in a prison, and worry about being in a closed compartment. Is there really any need to think from this perspective? Certainly not. You should rather think of yourself lucky enough to get ample time to do those activities and tasks you were unable to do because of the daily hectic routine before the pandemic. Yes! You now can do whatever you want to. Focus and be mentally free. Before your feet hit the floor in the morning, think of something that you're grateful for. Making this a focus for yourself, and teaching your kids to do the same, can have a significant impact on your emotional health. The heaviness of our current situation can quickly weigh us down, and if we begin our day with doom and gloom, then we have set the negative feeling pendulum into full swing. Depression, anxiety and stress can keep you from feeling in control of your life. When there is no structure it could cause anxiety. One way to counteract those feelings is by making a regular schedule and sticking with it. When you organize and structure your life you know what to expect. Make sure you have a family routine. Remember, kids are used to routine and structure in schools. Many thrive on having consistency in their lives, which consequently helps them feel in control, something kids need now more than ever. Having a plan can help you stay centered, and keep you focused on the tasks at hand.
Connect with Your Loved Ones in New Ways
Although meeting your family and friends is quite difficult, keeping in mind the risk of contact and the spread of the coronavirus, you don’t necessarily need to completely isolate yourself and feel alone. While nothing can beat the warm and welcoming face-to-face meet-up, becoming online on various social media platforms and chatting over video calls can really help. Contact your old friends, schedule online meetings with them.
Make New Hobbies
Daily hobbies of a person play a big role in mental well-being and happiness of a person. Hobbies are those activities that you love to do in your leisure time to relax. These hobbies can be of different kinds such as painting, reading, writing, fishing, etc. Whatever you want to learn, just make a new hobby. It will help you relax and soothe your mind.
The most popular hobbies during COVID-19 outbreak
- Watching TV Shows and Movies
- Working Out
- Arts and Crafts
- Board Games
- Video Games
- Audiobooks and Podcasts
- Learning a Language
- Learning an Instrument
Several research studies have now proven that the benefits of exercise for the depressed person are just amazing. Exercise is a behavioral intervention that alleviates depression symptoms quiet well. Although scientists are still unaware of the detail mechanisms underlying the antidepressant effects of exercise, yet exercise is efficacious in coping with depression in addition to fitness gains. You should do daily exercises. We’re not saying to go hard on yourself, just perform mind-relaxing exercises such as yoga, body stretching, and treadmill running, etc.
Eat Healthy Foods
Many people are fans of fast food reasturants and junk foods such as burgers, pasta, pizzas, etc. These might often turn to appetizing foods in times of stress, but these are regarded as unhealthy because they adversely affect the mental health and mood. You should instead focus on healthy and nutritious foods such as fruits, vegetables, and wholesome eatables whenever possible. These are shown to improve the mood by increasing and boosting mind-relaxing hormones such as serotonin. During this stressful time, it’s important to watch what you eat. That's because what you put into your body will affect how you think and feel. Eating well is associated with lower levels of anxiety and stress.
Schedule Yourself for Daily Tasks
When you’re quite depressed and having a bad mood, you certainly can forget the small activities that help you lift your mood and improve the mental state. Keep reminders of the tips and make a proper schedule on any mobile app. In this way, your phone can easily remind you of the tasks. You can also make sticky notes and hang them on the walls around your home.
The Bottom Line
Depression is a serious medical condition that can significantly have an unpropitious effect on your life and can lead to suicidal thoughts. Public health pandemics, such as COVID-19, make it very much difficult for the people to live a normal life and impose even cumbersome challenges for those who already suffer from depression. Don’t worry, depression is treatable with medications but prevention is better than a cure.