The year 2020 went downhill. The outbreak of the new corona-virus is no joke. It something serious. Something terrifying. It has affected many areas of our daily life, including our mental health.
The outbreak has been lingering for some time already before quarantine started. But the sudden disruption of our routines and the "new normal" that we are still learning how to get used to, hit our mental state. In just a matter of weeks, our lives transformed.
If you feel overwhelmed by hopelessness and despair, you are not alone. The news, the stress of social isolation, the worry about jobs and economic uncertainty can trigger depression.
Depression or major depressive disorder is a common and serious medical illness that can affect your feelings and actions negatively. It can cause feelings of sadness, loss of interest in certain activities, and reduced ability to function at work. Listed below are some of the symptoms of depression.
How the Covid 19 pandemic affects depression
Living in the age of corona virus can have a serious effect on your mood, and your mental health. First, there is social isolation. We, as human beings, love hanging out with our family, friends, and loved ones. We enjoy eating out, traveling, and exploring. Being cut off from all these can trigger depression or make existing symptoms worse. It can make you feel like you are stuck and alone.
Then there is the fear of uncertainty. You are afraid to lose your job permanently, scared that you and your loved ones might get infected with the virus, worried about your delayed plans, financial, or relationship difficulties - these can all cause panic and anxiety. And anxiety can lead to depression.
How to Deal with Depression
This may sound hard but you do not have to rush it. Take it day by day of week by week. Only read the positive and good news that can help you be hopeful during this difficult time.
Laying in bed all day can sometimes help us relax and think about nothing. But doing the same thing every day will only give your mind the opportunity to think negatively. Create a list of activities you think you can engage in such as reading your preferred novels, watching movies or TV series, working out, and cooking. Get around to the chores you’ve put off, like cleaning your room and washing your clothes. Being in quarantine does not mean you can not to anyone. You can still call your family and friends from time to time. Do a catching up session with them through video calling. As Dr, Robert Leahy says, “Just because we are self-isolating doesn’t mean we need to truly isolate ourselves.”
Not going out every day for work or school somehow made us lost track of time and date. We lost our usual routines. Keeping a schedule down to the hour can help you accomplish something - from doing the chores to engaging in your hobbies. Making a schedule can keep your mind occupied and it can help you to look forward to things.
How to really connect with others?
With the Corona virus outbreak still ongoing, meeting in Zoom and video calling has become the new normal. Whether you are talking to your family, friends, or some people you are not really close with, here are some things you should take note to deepen the bond between you.
There is nothing wrong about sharing what you are going through. Open up about the feelings you are experiencing. Do not think of it as a burden to the other person. Rather, they will feel flattered that you trust them enough to confide in them.
Being heard by someone is a relief. If someone tells you about what he is going through, do not panic and think of the right things to say. Just listen to them without judging or criticizing. You surely want them to do the same for you.
Remember, it is okay and totally normal to feel anxious. But do not get stuck with it. Process the experience, keep active and connected with the people you love, and build strength. Depression may be a real and serious illness, but help is available. With proper diagnosis and treatment, many people with depression will overcome it. And so will we.
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