The coronavirus crisis is affecting all aspects of our life. Lockdown restrictions that keep us indoors, away from our loved ones and regular daily activities, have had an impact on the mental health of many people.
This extended period of isolation is particularly difficult for those suffering from depression. It can be tough to deal with the additional stress and feelings of anxiety that being alone and confined to a single space can trigger. It is important not to let yourself get consumed by the uncertainty and negative news that is probably making it harder for you to disengage.
Here are a few coping mechanisms you could try, when dealing with increased anxiety and stress levels or low moods.
1. Maintain As Normal A Routine As Possible
While it is true that there are limitations to where you can go and who you can visit during the lockdown, try as much as possible to incorporate regular daily activities in your routine. Start your day at the same time, follow an exercise plan, stick to your work schedule, and follow your daily household routine. It is easy to get lazy and be more lethargic when spending more time at home, but the idler you are, the stronger your negative thoughts will get. By keeping yourself busy, engaged, and following a good routine, you can keep those negative thoughts at bay.
2. Connect with your friends and family
While you are spending extended periods at home, it is important to maintain contact with the people that are important to you. Set up regular video calls with family and remember to call your friends. Speaking to someone regularly and having a face-to-face conversation, although virtual, will help you to focus on positive emotions.
3. Learn a new skill or focus on a hobby
If there is one thing we’ve all got more of during the lockdown, it is time. Use this time productively to learn something new. If there is something that you’ve always wanted to do but were too busy for, now is the time to focus on it. It can be a simple online class, painting, or baking cookies. Channel your energy into developing a new skill will keep you motivated and positive. Here is a great list of hobbies that you can learn at home during the lockdown, ranging from stitching to online yoga classes.
4. Stay organized
Set aside time every day to clean your house and tidy your work area. Make sure you create clear boundaries between work zones and home zones. Working in a well-organised space will help you to stay focused and better manage your time. Avoid working from the couch or bed, as it will only blur the lines between your personal and professional time, causing you to drag your work time way beyond what is required. Check out these easy tips for keeping your house organized and clutter-free.
5. Stay fit
Try to squeeze in an outdoor exercise like a run or a jog to get some fresh air as well as mood-boosting Vitamin D to free your mind from any negative thoughts. If you wish to stay indoors, don’t skip out on your workout routine. Try a new at-home workout video or create a fitness competition group on an app with your friends to motivate yourself. Check out this useful list of at-home exercise ideas.
6. Eat Healthily
Make sure to include a good mix of nutritious food in your daily diet. Clean eating will keep your body healthy and energised. Try to control your alcohol intake – large quantities of alcohol can further aggravate negative thoughts.
Take a breather from the news. Switch off from social media. Make sure you regularly take a break from the non-stop onslaught of negative news which does nothing but add to further your anxiety levels.
If You Are Struggling With Depression During Lockdown, Reach Out To A Mental Care Professional
If you find yourself dwelling over negative thoughts or experiencing persistent stress and anxiety, reach out to a mental health professional. Psymplicity’s caring and experienced psychiatrists specialise in the assessment and treatment of depression. Take our depression test to see if you could benefit from professional support, or view our Online Therapy and Psychiatry services.