How to Cope with Pandemic Depression and Stay Healthy

Is it possible that you or someone you know is suffering from pandemic depression? Do you ever wonder if you’re the only one dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and how you can get things under control? What you’re experiencing isn’t as unusual as you might believe[1].

Depression has been three times higher during this epidemic than it was previously, according to a recent study published in JAMA Network Open.

In addition, the researchers discovered that lower-income groups had a higher risk of depression than higher-income ones.

This adds to the stress of individuals who are already concerned about or unsatisfied with their jobs, creating a vicious cycle when we’re all striving to make ends meet.

The Slippery Slope That Is Depression

Maybe it began with you feeling a little more weary than normal. Maybe you started to lose interest in things you used to appreciate at some time. Maybe you’re having difficulties sleeping or, on the other hand, you’ve started sleeping more than usual.

Depression can appear in a variety of ways[2]. During this pandemic, people may have varied reactions. While some people may feel overwhelmed and nervous, others may believe they’re managing things well only to discover they can’t focus on simple chores.

When you’re suffering from pandemic depression, you’ll notice a variety of physical, emotional, and mental changes. One of the most important things you can do is pay attention to these developments and be prepared to act.

Related: COVID Anxiety and Stress: How to Handle It

What’s the Best Way to Deal With It?

Regardless of the daily pressures, we face in our personal and professional lives, we must remember that humans have needs that must be met in order to operate. This implies you need to figure out what you need to do in order to thrive, not just survive, in this pandemic[3].

Abraham Maslow’s theory of human motivation and the pyramid of needs based on his work may be familiar to you. “Self-actualization,” or needs that help us reach our greatest potential through personal growth, was a part of Maslow’s hypothesis.

Self-actualization has been characterized as discovery, love, and purpose in more recent research by psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman.

Examining your life through the lens of these requirements and confirming that you can still meet them is a smart way to adapt to the new normal.

A significant portion of the despair that people may experience as a result of this epidemic stems from a refusal to acknowledge that our needs have changed.

Changes must be made since the prior method of meeting our requirements no longer works in our current environment. Our demands for inquiry, love, and purpose are still pressing, but we must address them in ways that account for our current limits.

Related: Natural Ways To Boost Mental Energy And Dopamine

Here are some ideas for how we might effectively address and achieve our requirements:

Exploration

We have a desire to learn, investigate, and comprehend the world. Exploration in this sense is motivated by the joy of discovery and curiosity about the novel, the challenging, and the unknown, rather than by dread and anxiety (as in watching regular news updates on the pandemic).

While you may be limited to staying largely at home due to COVID-19 requirements in your state[4], you have access to a vast amount of knowledge through the internet.

Virtual experiences are one such area where you can safely enjoy yourself even if you’re confined to your house.

Although not a novel concept, virtual tourism has exploded in popularity during the current pandemic as a result of people who want to travel but are attempting to avoid getting the virus.

You may also join up for interactive virtual experiences to visit hidden gems, take virtual classes on a variety of themes and hobbies—from cooking to arts and crafts—and even shop while on a virtual tour.

From the comfort of your own home, you can interact with tour guides, teachers, and even other virtual explorers.

Another option is to engage in some physical activity. Physical activities have been found in studies to aid in the prevention of depression.

Depending on your preferences, you can enroll in online cardio, strength training, or yoga classes.

If you want to exercise outside and have access to places where you can maintain social distance, green spaces are a good option.

Urban parks, natural reserves, and wilderness areas are examples of these types of places. Spending time in such areas has been found to have a good influence on mental health.

Related: Depression Warning Signs That Could Save Your Life

Love

Love can be used to express the second part of self-actualization. Of course, the first step is to express your love for yourself.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by pandemic depression or believe you need professional help, one self-care action you can take is to look into online counseling and telepsychology.

During the pandemic, online therapy is claimed to have exploded[5], implying that doctors and administrators are now better at providing care to patients. Check with your employer to see if this is something they can give or support.

The next step is to show love to others. This entails making a positive difference in other people’s lives. You can show your love for your current connections.

Surprise your significant other with an out-of-the-blue date night, or throw virtual parties for your pals to deepen friendships.

You can even volunteer to be a virtual friend for elderly strangers who are lonely. You can communicate love in a variety of ways, whether it’s by enhancing existing relationships or forging new ones.

Related: Self-Care Tips for a Healthier, Happier You

Purpose

The development, refinement, and pursuit of your sense of meaning and purpose is another important part of self-actualization.

In the face of the pandemic, it’s even more critical to actively pursue a sense that you’re contributing to something bigger than yourself, a personal mission of service that provides you with pleasure and contentment.

It’s great if some people find their sense of purpose in caring for their family and friends. You may opt to reach out to struggling coworkers, bridging the gap between your personal and professional lives and making closer friendships in the process.

You may even use your connections to assist people who have lost their careers in finding new ones.

Alternatively, you may focus on strengthening your local community by writing about your pleasant at-home exploits and urging others to stay at home during the epidemic.

Whatever you perform, you should examine how much it contributes to your feeling of purpose on a regular basis. Examine your actions to see if you can improve your sense of self-awareness.

Related: Energy-Boosting Foods to Keep You Sharp Throughout the Day

Conclusion

Dealing with pandemic depression necessitates a candid assessment of your activities and relationships. Make sure your curiosity, love, and purpose needs are addressed on a regular basis.

Taking action now, rather than later, will aid in the improvement and maintenance of your mental health through these trying times.

Reference:

  1. Statista: Pandemic Causes Spike in Anxiety & Depression

2. American Psychological Association: Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Depression

3. Disaster Avoidance Experts: Adapt and Plan for the New Abnormal of the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic

4. The New York Times: Coronavirus Restrictions and Mask Mandates for All 50 States

5. Time.com: Online Therapy, Booming During the Coronavirus Pandemic, May Be Here to Stay

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