Social distancing because of COVID-19 is forcing us all indoors and to limit physical contact to those who share our home. Sounds easy, right? Unfortunately, while it might seem simple on the surface, the social drive that compels us to spend time with others is not so easy to suppress. So, how are you coping with the latest COVID-19 lockdown measures?
Social Distancing and Its Effect on Depression
While we wait for a cure, social distancing is our best defense against the novel coronavirus, but it comes at a high cost to emotions and relationships. The new measures have thrown our lives into disarray with destroyed routines, ruined holiday plans, and uncertain employment. As a result, you may be feeling a rising tide of emotions, including:
You may be feeling stressed about your health, your employment, or both. You may feel a loss of control and worry about your family’s health. A constant stream of news about the situation serves to exacerbate your condition.
You may be feeling frustrated and angry about being a forced shut-in. You may be directing your anger towards those who created the regulations, or you are ignoring them.
Anxiety, anger, loneliness, and boredom can combine into a cocktail of mounting depression. Stress can put a strain on your body and lead to fatigue. It soon becomes difficult to face the day and the people around you, and you may struggle to find good reasons to get out of bed. You soon notice a persistently low mood that you can’t shake.
Develop A Plan to Protect Your Body and Mind
You will need a plan to cope with the trying times ahead. Here are four ways you can light the beacon of hope during dark times.
- Find Some Balance
Creating an optimal work-life balance is even more critical now than it ever has been, especially if you are working from home. Monitor your digital consumption, and don’t get sucked into reading sensationalist headlines. Stick to reliable sources but continue to watch your favorite shows and relax with the music you love. Start a journal, take up art, and spend time on the porch for the sunshine and fresh air.
- Keep in Touch
Not being able to physically visit our loved ones who may live just a few blocks away can be mentally trying, but you can keep in touch by using digital technology. Set up a video call and be open and genuine with your sharing. Technology allows us to set up video conferencing, so it’s entirely possible to host a virtual dinner party or enjoy a social get together with your besties.
- Develop a Routine
When life feels chaotic, quickly finding new structures and routines will calm the storm and return you to a point where you feel back in control. Keep up with your regular habits, such as eating, drinking, and personal hygiene. Also, make sure you get to bed at your usual time, as getting adequate sleep will help keep your mind sharp.
- Help Where You Can
Helping others can facilitate the healing process. The human mind craves social connections, and you can help a lot by checking in with people you know who may be vulnerable right now. Helping others can boost your self-esteem, make you feel like a meaningful part of the community, and curb your desire to retreat into yourself.
Keep Up With your Self-Care
A self-care regimen will ensure you have the mental and physical endurance to make it through the next few months. Monitor your eating choices, daily activity, and sleep habits, and manage your stress levels to stay balanced.
Use Online Therapy When Social Distancing Gets Too Much
You may not be able to visit in person, but therapy is still available via phone calls, teleconferencing, and video chats. Technology has made one-on-one therapy sessions conveniently accessible so you can receive the same compassionate interaction you are used to. The important thing is to know that when social distancing is getting you down, you can get the help you need to lift you back up.
Discover more about virtual counseling options by reading more here: Online Therapy