Feeling overwhelmed and hopeless is natural during a global pandemic. However, during these uncertain and distressing times, the changes that COVID-19 brought can be overwhelming to both adults and children alike.
Specific actions and protocols, such as isolation and social distancing, are implemented by the government to lessen the spread of the virus. While these actions are needed, they can make many people feel lonely and isolated. In addition, the onslaught of bad news, economic uncertainty, as well as the grief of losing a loved one can result in harm to our mental health.
Learning how to cope with depression, as well as increasing anxiety and stress, in a healthy way is beneficial for you and your loved ones.
Take Care of Your Body
There are many ways to deal with strong emotions and mental health issues during the global pandemic. However, the best way to start is within yourself.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Prioritize having enough sleep and rest since it’s crucial for your well-being. Create a schedule for when you go to sleep and what time you wake up. Try to stick to your schedule, even if you’re staying at home.
However, when your depression affects your sleep, consider limiting your caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol intake. Moreover, find any relaxing activity to do before bed, such as journaling, reading, or listening to relaxing music.
When you’re depressed, exercising may be the last thing you want to do. However, it is one of the most effective ways of boosting your mood. Regularly exercising is as effective as taking antidepressant medications. Even if you’re in a stay-at-home order or quarantine, there are multiple ways you can fit exercise into your daily routine.
When stressed, most of us like to eat our comfort food, which is often packed with unhealthy sugar, fats, and refined carbs. However, these unhealthy foods, along with caffeine and alcohol, can impact our moods.
Choose a well-balanced diet and try to avoid junk foods and refined sugar. Also, limit your caffeine and alcohol intake, especially before bed. Focus on fresh and healthier foods whenever possible. Note of what foods are mood-enhancing nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids.
Take Care of Your Mind
Reducing stress triggers is among the most important things to do when dealing with depression. The following will help you do that.
Keep Your Regular Routine
Creating and maintaining a daily routine is vital to your mental wellness. Try to stick with your sleep schedule, be consistent with your mealtime, set a time to exercise, and a timeframe when you work because it can help you manage your stress. Moreover, don’t forget to set aside time for activities you enjoy.
Adhering to your schedule and routine can make you feel more in control and help you cope better during these stressful and traumatic times.
Limit Exposure to Media Outlets
Hearing about the negative news and constant struggle against the Covid-19 pandemic can heighten your fear about the disease. Therefore, limit your exposure to this type of news from all types of media. In addition, stay away from social media that exposes you to false information and fake rumors.
However, it doesn’t mean you should not keep up with the latest news. Just remember to use the recommended national and local news stations. Furthermore, look for reliable sources, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
A distraction goes a long way, especially when getting away from a cycle of negative thoughts that feeds you depression and anxiety. Find different hobbies and activities that you enjoy while staying at your home. Explore a new project, try a new recipe, or clean your room just as you promised before.
Staying busy by doing something positive to manage your anxiety or depression is a healthy coping strategy.
Seek Help When You Need It
Despite your best efforts, there will be times when you still feel persistently sad, anxious, and depressed. There are instances when you’re unable to sleep, plagued by physical complaints, unable to do any chores, and consistently irritable and hopeless. When this happens, you don’t need to be alone.
If you experience worsening mental health symptoms, ask for help, even if it’s hard to talk about your feelings. You can call or contact your close friend, family, or loved one through various social media platforms. In addition, you can also contact a spiritual leader, minister, or someone in your faith community. But, most importantly, you can talk to your doctor or mental health professional.
You can seek professional help via various means, including an employee assistance program or contacting your primary care provider. Furthermore, professionals can prescribe you SSRIs and SNRI medications. To know more about them, BuzzRx shares difference between an SSRI vs SNRI medicine.
The Bottom Line
The outbreak of a global pandemic has brought many changes in our lives. It altered our daily routines, brought financial pressure, the stress of uncertainty, and social isolation. As a result, we experience fear, stress, sadness, and loneliness, leading to worsening mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression.
The mental strain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is not a joke. However, knowing how to handle your emotions and healthily manage your mental wellness can help you cope with the ongoing changes in your life.