By: Sekinah Brodie
The current health crisis that we’re facing globally has been everything but predictable. Life as we’ve known it has been completely flipped upside down. Millions of people are losing jobs, coping with sickness and the loss of loved ones, and generally trying to stay sane until things blow over. I’ve personally never been quarantined this way before and as an introvert I can say there are definitely some pros and cons.
One of my main concerns as we traverse through the uncertainty of COVID-19 is how I will preserve my mental well being and specifically cope with depression. If you’re struggling with the same journey I’ll take this time to share a few methods I use to cope with depression during quarantine.
Disconnect from Social Media/News Updates
Social media can be an incredibly helpful and rewarding tool for business and personal connections as well as the devil’s playground. We’ve all seen both sides of the platform and as of late, the vibrations have been more bad than good. Within the past month or so you would be hard pressed to go a day without being bombarded with unsettling news about the fate of society when it comes to the virus.
Constantly reading bad news can be incredibly damaging to your spiritual and mental health. If you find yourself bored and spending too much time on social media I would suggest taking some time away and replacing that time with another activity. Oversaturing your mind with constant updates will start to become overwhelming so try to take a day or two out the week and disconnect.
Don’t Sleep The Day Away
Anybody who suffers from depression can attest to how difficult just getting out of bed is some days. Over 17 million Americans have found themselves unemployed within the past month and everyone is handling these circumstances differently. If you’re dealing with several different layers of adversity it’s so crucial to do small things to protect your mind.
If you don’t currently have a daily routine, try to still get up every day, get dressed, and if possible step outside for fresh air. Laying in bed all day or sleeping the day away will only make you feel worse. Even if getting out of bed is the only thing you accomplish all day, it’s an accomplishment all the same.
Find A Bright Spot In Every Day
As you get older and have more life experiences you gain a strong appreciation for the small things. It could be that first sip of coffee, or a tight hug from your partner, or your dog jumping on you when you walk in the door. In times when the world seems dark, it’s important to try to find the bright spots.
My bright spot is spending time with my niece who is two years old going on twenty and watching her personality blossom. The weekly Zoom meetings with my coworkers where we do more joking around than actually meeting. Trying out new recipes only to give up on them and end up eating snacks. Finding appreciation in the small things will help you gain a better perspective on the bigger picture of everything happening. Instead of considering ourselves stuck at home or bored, we now have more time to appreciate life.
Check In With Friends and Family
This coping mechanism may be the most beneficial for me during this tough time. When you’re suffering from a depressive episode it’s natural to push people away and withdraw from the ones you love. While that may be tempting I encourage you to try a different approach in the upcoming weeks and months.
Being that so many of our loved ones are also facing obstacles during this time taking the time to check in on people can be so valuable. You never know what people may be going through and who may be suffering in silence. A simple “how are you doing” could change someone’s entire day. I’m making it a point to reach out to someone I love every day and I encourage you to do the same. You will be happy you did.