How to Handle Depression During Times of Stay at Home Orders
Thousands of Americans are confined to their homes for what seems to be a few months of isolation in order to combat the spread of COVID-19. This has led to some concerns regarding the mental health of those confined to their homes, and we’re beginning to see a bit of pushback to the orders from certain groups. Parties have still been held, and even social gatherings that aren’t permitted in the orders are occurring despite the warnings.
For those isolated to their homes, it can be a bit maddening to not be allowed to leave (especially if you’re stuck home with the kiddos, right?). If you’re suffering from depression, you might be especially impacted by these orders, but we’re going to show you how to handle your depression while you’re stuck at home.
None of the following is medical advice, but rather suggestions on how to help manage symptoms. Keep reading to learn our tips and tricks for handling depression during stay at home orders.
Routine Is Essential
The most important tip we can offer to anyone, not just those suffering from depression, is to maintain your routine. Obviously, it will require some modifications, since you’ll be confined to your home. Nonetheless, keeping a routine is crucial to maintaining your mental health and not slipping into further depression.
If you got up at 6 am before the orders, continue to do so. Do all the same things you would do in the morning, and try to start your work at the same time you would if you were heading into the office. This will help keep a sense of normalcy in the brain, and not worsen the potential trauma from the situation.
If you took lunch at noon, do the same at home. Get up and move around! Staying at home doesn’t have to mean you’re stuck in a time warp where the days blend into one another. You can also write down a daily schedule or checklist of things you want to get done, so you’ll have a guide to follow.
Get Yourself Moving
It's well-known that exercise has a significant impact on both physical and mental health. Keeping your body moving will help you avoid fatigue, which can make your brain less able to handle feelings of depression. Even if you just get up and walk around your apartment or home every hour, it’s better than sitting or lying down for the entire day.
If your state has closed down public parks, you can always use your yard! If you don’t have a yard, some states still permit walking, so check your guidelines to see if you can jog or walk around your neighborhood.
The point here is to not become stagnant. A stagnant mind and body can only lead to worse things, and we want to come out of this pandemic happy and healthy.
Stay In Contact
We live in an age of truly limitless communication, so there’s no reason that stay at home orders should prevent you from being in contact with those you love. Whether it’s a simple phone call, text message, or video chat, there are plenty of ways to stay in touch and talk to someone when you’re feeling down.
Staying in touch with your friends and family can help you stay sane during stay at home orders. Seeing a friendly face, hearing your loved ones’ voices, or just having a meaningful conversation can mean the world to both of you. It helps maintain a sense of normalcy and reminds you that you’re not as alone as you think.
Keep Your Mind Busy
An idle mind isn’t exactly beneficial for someone with depression. You start overthinking things, imagining scenarios that haven’t happened, and generally letting yourself become consumed by bad thoughts. The solution? Keeping that mind busy with something constructive.
A creative activity certainly won’t cure your depression, but it can help you channel some of your feelings in a healthy way and keep your brain occupied. It’s helpful to work through feelings via the medium of music, art, or other projects, as it allows you to view those feelings in a way you can understand.
Sometimes, words just don’t cut it. The complexity of a song, the layers of an artistic piece, or the simple beauty of a perfectly-captured photograph can speak volumes, and say all of the things you couldn’t with words.
Don’t Let Panic Get The Best Of You
It’s no secret that sensationalism is the heart of most major news networks. Things are hyped up, misinterpreted, and negativity is the focus in most cases; all in the name of ratings. The best way to handle this is to not let panic get the best of you.
The fact is, thousands of people have recovered from the virus, and we’re seeing an amazing rallying of people across the globe to combat the pandemic with resources, money, and their time.
Sacrifices are being made by healthcare professionals, first responders, and more, in an effort to stem the tide of the virus and shorten its duration in our society. Let’s focus on that a little more. Humans are amazing creatures, and we’re seeing some of the best of humanity during this time.