It’s likely you never thought too much about the need to preserve your mental health amid a global pandemic until recently. However, now this concern has come to the forefront for many of us, as we all grapple with the various ways the novel coronavirus has affected us. It’s natural to feel fear and anxiety about an unseen enemy that has already claimed the lives of more than 2 million people worldwide and has no known cure. While worries may be weighing heavily on your mind right now, there are some strategies for avoiding depression related to COVID-19.
1. Recognize and Eliminate Negative Thought Patterns
Negativity is one of the most common responses to a crisis of this magnitude. Evolution has wired your brain to remember and focus more on bad experiences than good ones. This negativity bias is still active in your brain today and can make you feel more worried and stressed in times like these. When you find yourself having trouble concentrating or sleeping because of intrusive negative thoughts, recognize when you are dwelling on troublesome feelings. Try a technique such as meditating or journaling to develop a more positive mindset.
2. Realize Everyone Handles Stress Differently
All of us are unique. When facing unprecedented circumstances, not everyone has the same reaction. If you already had mental health challenges such as depression or anxiety disorder before the coronavirus outbreak, you might find your symptoms becoming markedly worse, causing you to resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms. Find a more positive outlet for your stress, such as exercise and practicing self-care.
3. Don’t Overlook Your Need for Routine
Another way to avoid COVID-19 depression is to create a new routine. Even if you’re observing self-quarantine and are limiting your trips outside your home to essential errands only, you can develop daily habits such as having designated times to wake up, do chores, eat meals and work out. Giving your schedule some structure will allow you to feel more in control.
4. Take Time to Work Through Difficult Emotions
Within the past month, all of us have experienced significant upheaval in our lives. We’ve had to adjust to new ways of doing things seemingly overnight, from the closure of schools and businesses to the spike in unemployment numbers and the corresponding economic turndown. It’s perfectly normal to feel uncertain and anxious about your safety, while being sad or angry about the things you’ve lost. If stress and grief start to intrude on your daily activities, have someone available you can reach out to. Recognize when you need to take a break from bad news and disheartening headlines.
5. Know the Facts About Coronavirus
This outbreak is undeniably stressful, but understanding the risk to yourself and people you care about can help you feel better. Take time to research and learn accurate information about the spread of COVID-19. When you can share this knowledge with other people, you can provide a valuable service and halt the spread of uninformed rumors. By following the CDC’s guidelines for keeping yourself and your loved ones healthy until researchers develop a coronavirus vaccine, you can be more prepared during this catastrophe.
If you’re looking for a place to learn new life skills while seeking treatment for a dual diagnosis, contact us at Spearhead Lodge today. Even in these challenging times, we are still here to serve your needs.