COVID-19 is not only a threat to our physical health but also our mental health. The outbreak of the virus, combined with the subsequent economic crisis and social isolation, has left so many people feeling anxious, stressed, and depressed.
Protecting your physical health with good hygiene practices, social distancing, and self-isolation is essential, but it’s also important to take good care of your mental health. Here are four tips and precautions to combat depression associated with this pandemic.
Limit Time On Social Media
Social media can sometimes be an excellent way to stay connected with friends and family during this time of social distancing. Still, it can also be a breeding ground for anxiety and depression. Constant exposure to bad news, negative comments, and other people’s stress can quickly affect your mental health.
Limit your time on social media and take breaks from it when you feel overwhelmed. Unfollow accounts that make you feel stressed, and focus on connecting with friends and family members who make you feel good.
Get Outside and Stay Active
Getting outside for some fresh air and sunshine can do wonders for your mental health. Exercise is also a great way to boost your mood and relieve stress. Even if you can’t go to the gym or participate in your usual activities, there are plenty of ways to stay active. Go for a walk around your neighborhood, do some yard work, or try a new at-home workout routine.
You may not have much energy to exercise if you are currently ill. But if you can do it safely and comfortably, even just a little bit of moving around could help you feel better.
Support Each Other
Social distancing is not about isolating yourself from the world. It’s about socializing safely. Reach out to your neighbors, friends, and family, even if it’s just through a phone call or video chat. Staying connected with the people will help you feel less alone and more supported, which is the key to adapting to and coping with the stress of this pandemic.
If you know someone who is struggling, offer your support. Even just being present for them or lending a listening ear can make a world of difference.
Get Professional Help
Don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Talk to your doctor, therapist, or any mental health professional. There are also many helplines and online resources available if you need someone to talk to.
You may be grieving from the loss of a loved one or struggling with anxiety or depression—whatever your current situation, know that you are not alone and there is help available.