Self-Care During Covid Restrictions

Can we continue to live through this Coronavirus restrictive world? Covid-19 has impacted many of us, including myself — causing enormous stress, newfound fears, depression, and anxiety. We know our current path will prove worthwhile, despite the fact, at the moment, it does not seem that way.

Many of us are dealing with the fear of contracting the virus, loneliness due to isolation and separation, anxiety associated with unpredictable changes in the economy, unemployment, dwindling personal finances, and the incessant mass media coverage amplifying fears with contradictory information. The concerns mentioned above are evermore catholic in communities with adult/youths who experience mood disorders. The majority of variations accompanying the present crisis are demonstrating negative effects on our ability to manage depression and the stabilizing factors in our lives that support our emotional health.

Variations include:

  • social isolation with limited in-person contact
  • a lack of purpose, routine, and structure
  • deviations in sleep cycles, dietary and exercise habits
  • financial stress and uncertainty
  • increasing anxiety, which already occurs in those who exhibit mood disorders

Individuals of innumerable levels, myself included, are wondering how to care for ourselves during covid restrictions while managing depression and successfully avoiding recurrence. Our lives may seem like they’ve changed, but in reality, they’ve only shifted. Before breaking Covid-19 protocols or completely breaking down, try following the self-care practices I established for myself to deal with symptoms of depression/anxiety during this continually changing landscape:

Accept — Those who willingly try to deal with the reality of the coronavirus pandemic and adjust to their new circumstances will have a greater chance of maintaining emotional stability.

Stay Busy — Predictable and consistent daily routines will help keep our body’s internal clock running smoothly, which is essential to our wellbeing. Having structure, meaning and purpose is crucial.

Connect — Never-ending hours/days of alone time are not healthy for anyone. Make a conservative effort to reach out to others by phone or video. Be creative! Plan activities like playing board games or cards with friends using Facetime/Zoom.

Find Coping Strategies — Hobbies, pets, music, and exercise all help in managing depression. Look to include something new like meditation or yoga.

Personal Care — Attend to your care. Shower, get dressed in clean clothes versus staying in your sweatpants all day. This honestly will have a positive effect on your mood.

Sleep — Maintain a consistent sleeping pattern. Staying up late and erratic sleeping patterns will only exacerbate depression symptoms. Avoid lengthy daytime naps as they interfere with nighttime sleep.

Feed Your Brain/Body — Our mind requires fuel to function. Eat regularly timed healthy meals each day rather than snacking throughout the day. Regular meals will balance your blood sugar, which in return has a positive impact on mood.

If you have an established mood disorder or are dealing with depression, remember to stay in regular touch with your mental health provider. Pay attention to triggers and symptoms causing depression:

  • anger or irritable mood swings
  • sadness or unhappiness
  • loss of interest in hobbies or activities
  • changes in your sleeping patterns
  • loss of appetite, or weight
  • problems concentrating;
  • thoughts of worthlessness or hopelessness
  • becoming socially isolated or refusing to connect with loved ones
  • thoughts of suicide

Being affected by or developing depression during Covid-19 by no means enables us to manage the triggers and stressors. Managing your depression will rely on your resilience. Following the strategies outlined will assist you in further developing coping mechanisms allowing you to bounce back from the mental, social, and economic threats of the Coronavirus pandemic. This is a starting point!

Please remember, you are not alone.

—Brian Nadon

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