Prior to the news of COVID-19, many people couldn’t have imagined that almost a year of social distancing and quarantine would’ve become the new normal. Due to a sudden unfolding of events, quite a few individuals have been tasked with the job of adjusting to a different way of living. This can be especially hard for those who are accustomed to being social and going out. However, there is an old saying of turning lemons into lemonade.
A mere shift in perspective can help you to view this pandemic as an opportunity – an opportunity for you to learn more about yourself and make improvements. For example, instead of dreading the idea of being lonely, you can discover new and innovative ways to connect with people. In taking this approach, this pandemic becomes less of an inconvenience and more of a catalyst to a new and improved you!
Loneliness, anxiety, depression, and lethargy are all common sentiments many people have attested to experiencing throughout the current pandemic. To say it has been quite a difficult transition could be an understatement for some. Nonetheless, there are ways in which we can all cope and thrive in such a circumstance. The following are some tips to help you manage depression and anxiety during the pandemic.
Get Some Air
As we’ve been suggested to wear face masks to reduce the spread of the virus, it’s still important to get fresh air. Many people are staying inside during this time in addition to wearing their face masks while out. So, the body is not getting as much oxygen as it would need to function at its optimum level. Low levels of oxygen or hypoxia can result in the following: rapid breathing, fast heart rate, confusion, cough, changes in skin color, chest pain, headache, dizziness, high blood pressure, etc. Try to get as much fresh air as you can. Go for a nice walk or hike. Sitting outside in the sun helps to improve your immune system as well, increasing your levels of vitamin D.
Work on Your Business
If you happen to have more free time, then take advantage of it. Use this time to work on improving your business. Depression and anxiety may not always be due to the feelings of isolation but a concern for one’s finances. Find ways in which you can either improve the security, infrastructure, staff, customer satisfaction, and expansion of your business. In light of the internet, we are lucky to be able to communicate with others all over the world. So, you may feel inclined to network during this time and build your consumer base. Simply engaging in a routine can help you to keep your mind busy and productive.
Take Up a Hobby
In addition to keeping your mind busy and being productive, you can use this extra time to take up a hobby. What is something you always thought of doing or at least trying? This can be cooking, sewing, reading, volunteering, playing an instrument, graphic designing, gardening, exercising, etc. The key is to find something you enjoy doing. For some individuals, this activity may be a creative endeavor or learning a trade. That way, you’ll come out of the pandemic with a variety of new found skills and/or gifts!
Connect with Family and Friends Frequently
Make sure you keep in communication with all of your loved ones. There are apps like Skype, FaceTime, and GoogleDuo that allow you to see all of your friends and family with the click of a button. Mobile games also optimize you to have fun with your friends and family, playing a variety of games like 8 Ball Pool, Draw N Guess, racing, and more. Socialization doesn’t need to end because of social distancing. You can also get support by connecting with online support groups via different social media platforms. These different platforms usually have groups with individuals who share the same feelings as you.
Surround Yourself with Life
Surround yourself with life. Animals can be very therapeutic as they make excellent companions and socialize with us in their own unique way. Or, you can surround yourself with a variety of beautiful, vibrant plants. These plants will liven up any room in your house and also provide the benefit of extra oxygen. In terms of Psychology, green can make one feel optimistic, calm, clean, safe, and relaxed.
Being alone doesn’t have to mean being lonely. You can find empowerment within the silence if you choose to do so. A great way to do this is through meditation. Now that you have extra time, you may want to try mindfulness meditation. In mindfulness meditation, you become more in control of your thoughts and emotions. The outcome is that you will learn to react less and respond more. The following is a simple mindfulness meditation exercise you can do at any time.
- Find a comfortable and quiet place to sit down where you won’t be disturbed.
- Close your eyes gently and relax all the muscles in your body.
- Take a deep breath in, focusing on the air filling your lungs.
- Exhale, focusing on the air leaving your lungs.
- If thoughts arise, don’t judge them. Observe them objectively.
- Let these thoughts go by returning your attention back to your breathing.
- Do this for a total of 15-30 minutes.
Practicing gratitude helps alleviate hopelessness, anxiety, and depression. Sometimes, people need a reminder of how much they’ve overcome to know that they can get through the pandemic successfully as well. In other words, by looking at the glass as half full instead of half empty, people are more likely to approach life with this optimism. Get into the habit of speaking aloud all of those things and people you are grateful to have in your life. How does it make you feel to have these people in your life? Focus on this feeling of gratitude and you’ll find you become much more resilient in the face of adversity and sudden change.
Limit Your News Watch Time
The subconscious mind is like a sponge, absorbing all it sees and hears. Whether you consciously recollect what you perceive or not, those images never leave your subconscious mind. In addition, these experiences often shape one’s feelings and thoughts about something or someone. Watching a lot of news regarding tragedies or unfortunate events may likely contribute to feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, paranoia, depression, and more.
In life, there are some events that are just out of our control. However, what can be controlled is how we respond to these events. In conclusion, thriving amidst the current pandemic is very possible even if you’re experiencing depression and/or anxiety. And, you can help reduce any tension or dis-ease by incorporating some of these tips for managing depression and anxiety during the pandemic.