Living through and fighting depression during a pandemic is getting more difficult day by day as there are so many uncertainties lurking from the dark. The people are not only getting affected economically but living with long isolation also makes them severely ill mentally.
Long isolation, anxiety, economic uncertainty, and daily updates of bad news caused by pandemics can make you mentally distressed. This happens not only with the citizens of the U.S. but also with billions of people around the world.
Stress caused by job loss, financial crunches, health hazards, and most of all, the death of loved ones not only can trigger severe depression for the first time, but it can also create multiple health issues for patients who are already diagnosed with depression.
Learn more about how to combat stress here.
Sometimes it’s tough to identify depression that is affecting our minds. But if we look closely at the symptoms, we may determine the issues and fight against them.
What is depression?
Depression is an emotional feeling for which people might experience sadness, lowness, upsetness, or lack of motivation in life. Depressive disorder normally impacts different human mental aspects such as moods, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
These are the symptoms of depression that you should look for:
● Lack of concentration
● Weight loss or gain
● Feeling hopelessness
● Lack of appetite
● Substance abuse
● Suicidal tendency
● Avoiding sexual interest
If you notice such symptoms in you or any of your family members, you may take help from a professional asap.
Don’t worry! Before consulting a professional you may also follow a few ways to fight depression and improve the overall sense of well-being.
5 Ways to fight depression during a pandemic
1. Fighting Depression During A Pandemic: Do Not Lose Hope
It might sound a bit unfamiliar, especially during such a crisis, but people should not lose hope if they feel depressed due to the current situation. You should fight the pandemic and its impact through a day-by-day approach.
If you consider your long isolation at home during lock down depressing, then treat it as a single day-to-day fight. Take care of the things that you have right now. Take care of your family and kids. Help them fight this critical time together.
If you are facing a financial impact due to the COVID – 19 outbreak, then also you should keep yourself motivated.
You may find it difficult to get hope during such times, but remember, nothing lasts permanently. One day everything will be alright, it is the circle of life. You just have to wait for that time with a strong mindset.
During the outbreak, multiple companies have shut down their operations for the time being. Due to that reason, many people faced unemployment.
This would be a temporary crisis and once the outbreak stops, there will be high demand for employees and lots of vacancies will be available. The economy might be down for a while, but it will rise again.
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2. Fighting Depression During A Pandemic: Stay connected
To fight depression it is important to get support on your own. It is quite difficult to maintain a healthy outlook for fighting depression. When you’re depressed, you might want to isolate yourself and lose interest in connecting with family members and friends.
Due to severe depression, you might feel exhausted or ashamed to talk with others. But you should stay connected to other people and perform social activities to get out of depression and stress.
You won’t be considered weak or helpless if you reach out to others for help. Your loved ones will care about you. Make new friends, they will help you to improve your mental health.
3. Fighting Depression During A Pandemic: Taking Care of Physical and Mental Health
You should get some fresh air and get in touch with nature. Due to the lockdown and social distancing, it is not possible to stay outdoors for long. But, if you have a backyard or lawn inside the perimeter of the house, you may spend some time over there in the morning.
Take a walk on your lunch break, have your coffee outside, and take your kids along with you. Having a good amount of fresh air and sun rays can keep your body healthy.
Increase the amount of natural light in your home and workplace. For that, you should open blinds and drapes and try to sit near the windows.
You may follow a regular time table like earlier days and schedule your sleep, work (from home), study, meal, and exercise timing. This will help you to maintain a normal life and reduce depression.
You should spend some quality time with your family and kids and engage in fun activities. Don’t skip meals. It may trigger irritability, and tiredness, try to eat something within 3 to 4 hours.
To reduce depression you may read books, watch a comedy/sci-fi/romantic movie, play an indoor game with kids, or just spend time with your PS4 console.
Exercising can help you to reduce stress, depression, and improve your mood. You don’t have to hit the gym floor to work out. But you may try a few workout techniques at home, such as walking, cycling, hiking, squats, weight training, swimming, martial arts, dancing and staying active and fit.
You may even try meditating and yoga to calm your mind. It will also help you to focus on your work and fight against depression.
If you have depression, you should avoid alcohol or drugs. These substances trigger the symptoms to the next level. So, you should stop drinking at once and find ways to avoid smoking weed, marijuana, and other drugs, if you are addicted to these things.
4. Fighting Depression During A Pandemic: Limiting Social Media Usage
During the lockdown, you might have lots and lots of free time to go online and browse through different social media platforms. Through social media and news channels, you may get enough information to become safe and secure your family.
But excessive browsing into social media can be harmful to your mental health. Currently, social media is flooded with a lot of positive and also many negative news headlines.
Constantly listening to such news can trigger panic attacks in you. As a result, you will become obsessed with your family’s health. This way stress and depression may enter your mind.
So, limit your exposure to the news and social media. For your kids, it is better that you should provide only positive and encouraging news to them, and avoid any negative and fake news which may misguide them about the current situation.
5. Fight Depression During A Pandemic: Take help from professionals and initiate treatment
Professional help should be needed if you feel that the symptoms of depression are getting beyond your control and affecting you consistently for more than two weeks.
Depression is a serious mental health condition, but it is treatable. The two most important components of treatment for depression are Psychotherapy and Medication. Many experts would suggest combining these two components for getting the best results to cure depression.
Psychotherapy can be beneficial for depression treatment, and your therapist may suggest Talk therapy options, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Family Therapy, and Interpersonal Therapy.
Apart from that, doctors may also use light therapy, electroconvulsive therapy, or transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Numerous patients are living a normal life after being treated through TMS Therapy for depression.
If you need medication to treat depression, then you must consult a professional therapist and follow his prescribed medications. With medications, therapists may suggest antidepressants to reduce the symptoms of depression.
They may prescribe one or more antidepressants to use in combination. So, you shouldn’t consume any medication without discussing it with your doctor.
About The Author
Ralph Macey, a professional writer since 2008 and medical health/patient care coordinator at savantcare.com since 2014, writes articles on all mental health-related subjects. He holds a degree and two professional certifications in his field and continues to upgrade his knowledge with additional classes and seminars. He has provided mental health consultations and private fitness instructions for free in his local community.