With all the craziness going on in the world and then the fact most of us are social distancing ourselves our mental health can definitely be affected during this time. The uncertainty of our world and all the regular normal everyday things being taken away from us can definitely take a toll on our state of mind. Not being able to go out and eat with friends, watch a movie with friends, go to large events… pretty much avoid people…. all of these definitely mess with you and can cause spikes in depression and insecurity and definite mental health instability. If you are quarantined with others the social interaction can definitely help battle the depression a lot easier than if you are by yourself. If you are by yourself a lot however, I compiled a list and strategies to help combat depression and try and keep your in a healthy state of mind during this time of social distancing. In fact anyone can use these any time to help combat depression!
– Journaling is huge during this time. In all honesty journaling is a super important thing to do all the time to help with mental healthy clarity and processing through your thoughts and emotions. Instead of bottling them up, write them all down, even if the thoughts might not all seem to flow on the paper you are getting them out. You’re acknowledging your feelings, your thoughts, your emotions. It is not good to wallow in those feelings or allow them to take over our day, but at the same time closing them off and just letting them simmer is also not healthy. So take time each day to write down what you’re thinking and going through. Maybe make it a set time mid to later afternoon as part of your day has gone by already and you’ve had some time to think. Also on the other side of the spectrum is gratefulness! Practicing gratitude and finding the silver linings in each day really helps clear your mind and puts things into perspective for you. Consciously try every day to find at least three things you’re grateful for, that then becomes a habit and you keep finding things and in the end gratitude becomes second nature to you. Keep a gratitude journal as well! Make that little list each day of the things you’re grateful for. Write a few in the morning as something you are hopeful and grateful for to start the day off right and then write down a few in the evening that happened during your day that were pockets of positivity for you. Even when we are stuck inside there are still little blessings that happen each day, we just have to be on the look out for them!
– Routine is so key in keeping us sane, in making sure we don’t just sit around and feel useless and defeated. Set out a daily plan and routine for yourself, even if you aren’t going out there are still so many things you can do at home…. You can read, you can write, you can workout, you can clean, cook…. the list goes on and on of all the things you can get done! Staying busy is so important to keep everything seeming as normal as possible. My routine for example that I’m trying to do on the daily is morning devotional with my bible and coffee, breakfast followed by a home workout. I then try and get out and walk for a bit with my dog or a hill workout with my dad. I then spend the rest of the afternoon writing and or reading and will indulge in Netflix in the evening. Keeping myself busy like this helps my motivation as well as my mood. I feel like I’m still doing so much even though I am not really leaving the house! So lay out a routine for yourself and try to stick to it as best as you can!
– Do things you love to do! Listen to music, indulge in self-care, cook, create art… allow yourself to take the time to indulge in those moments and really enjoy yourself. Do that certain activity that really puts that smile on your face and brightens your mood that extra bit. I love getting a good workout in and getting my blood moving so I make sure I do a bit of that each day. It’s a treat and blessing to be able to still do that! You can definitely buy bands and weights at target or other stores or even off line to make working out at home easier and fun! If you can get outside during this time as well do it! Go for walks to get your blood moving, if you can’t go walking spend time in your yard soaking up the sun, and/or just breathing in the fresh air. Open up your windows too to get the fresh air moving through your house. Get rid of that stagnant air if you can. Keep everything fresh and clean as best as you possibly can. Talking about clean and fresh, take some time to deep clean your house! Especially during this time it would probably help you feel a bit better knowing you are combatting germs and keeping your surroundings cleaner. BUT… set attainable goals with cleaning. Take each of them one at a time, Tackling everything at once can leave you overwhelmed and even cause you to freak out more. If you break down chores and goals though and work up to the bigger picture the jobs seem more achievable/doable and don’t overwhelm you.
-Take time to pray or meditate…. Starting each morning after doing this leaves your brain and mind more positive and calm. Just release the stress and craziness and find that safe spot where you can be one with your thoughts and process them. This past week has seemed so surreal, like a bad dream to me… I however, at the beginning of all this craziness sat down and prayed/talked to God. I released my worry and gave this whole situation to God… It is not in my hands, it is not in my power to change all this. If I just continue to freak out and get sucked in to everything my mental health would be so terrible, I’d be a nervous walking wreck and my immune system would definitely be affected. So I am letting go and letting God. That doesn’t mean I don’t feel a twinge of fear here and there, but I more so feel peace about all of this. There is a bigger picture, a bigger plan to all of this. We just have to take it all a day at a time and trust in that higher power….. Letting go of that weight and knowing my part in this is to just be aware and keep loving people as much as I can was huge for my mental health stability… huge.
– During all this make sure you are eating well too… Healthy food and drink play huge roles in your mental health! During all your down time you can cook so many yummy meals! Don’t discount what you put into your body. Too much sugar, fast carbs, and fast food can definitely play with how you are feeling and depression. Stay hydrated too, lots of liquids in your body help flush out toxins and germs easier and more refreshed and clearer minded.
– One of the last things I wanted to share was doing the opposite…. what do I mean by that? Well I know we all hear those negative voices inside our heads…. those voices that try to take us down, or make us question ourselves and things around us. Those voices that cause us fear and anxiety and depression. Do the opposite…. fight back at the voices and words and do the exact opposite of what they are saying. Flip the switch and don’t believe a word those voices are saying. Consciously stand up for yourself. I actually wrote a bit about this in my previous article about making your mind a nice place to live. You should go to my home page and read it as well!
All of these are just some of the ways to combat depression and keep your mental health stable during this odd time we are all going through. Try some of them, heck try them all and see which ones really help you out! I hope some of them do! And as always if you’re feeling super lonely and not completely yourself during this time do not be afraid to reach out. I am always down to chat and do whatever I can to help you feel more secure and happy again! All the best to all of you… Take a deep breath and know we will all be okay! We are all going to get through this together. xoxo
I found this article helpful for this blog post so I’m sharing the link for you all as well!