Many people have experienced depression for the first time during the loneliness and uncertainty of the pandemic. Others who already lived with depression have found it even more challenging to deal with because of pandemic life.
No matter where you are in this group, you know it is important to cope with your depression. You may be uncertain, however, as to how to make that happen.
Here are some helpful strategies.
If you have not already taken advantage of teletherapy, or online therapy, you may not be aware of how helpful it is.
While some therapists are seeing clients in person again, many are still offering online appointments. Online therapy has been found to be as effective as in-person therapy. It also offers you more flexibility and comfort allowing you to be in your own space for your therapy session.
When you are depressed, it can be really hard to have the motivation to reach out to others. You may just want to stay home and be alone. You might feel you do not have anyone to connect with.
Being in touch with others or being around them, though, offers many benefits. It can boost feel-good hormones such as oxytocin and serotonin.
Start out by texting or messaging a friend. Phone calls and video chats are great and the ideal way to have a connection is in person when it is safe to do so.
Online groups can also be a good source of support. You can find people going through similar experiences as you who are often willing to provide encouragement.
You can even consider people watching at the park or strolling through your neighbourhood to see who is walking their dogs. Small actions such as these get you out of your house and draw you back toward others, even if you do not talk with them.
Physical exercise is given as a strategy to deal with many issues, including depression. Because our bodies and minds are so closely interlinked, exercise has a mood-boosting effect.
You do not have to be a runner or triathlete, either. Walks are a good way to get started.
While the pandemic may keep you out of gyms, outdoor exercise is a great option, especially with summer nearing.
The pandemic upended many people’s daily routines. Humans depend on structure and predictability to feel grounded and focused. When we lose this, we can become aimless and have a hard time concentrating. It does not take long before this leads to depression. And if you were already depressed, loss of routine can worsen it.
Making and keeping a daily routine can go a long way toward helping you. Even if you are not going to work, you can set a time to get up, have breakfast, exercise, and run errands. This type of structure and routine can feel reassuring, especially when so many things feel uncertain.
Getting out of your comfy clothes and into regular clothes is also important. You will feel more motivated.
Expand Your World
Depression can turn you inward and close you off from the world. While depression can also lessen your motivation and interest, consider trying something new.
It does not have to be complicated or expensive. It might be learning about a new topic through documentaries or books. Perhaps it is perfecting a simple recipe or planting easy-to-grow flowers near your front door.
Little things like this can help add meaning and freshness to your life.