How to Avoid Depression during Covid-19 Pandemic
The uncertainty of wondering when life will return to normal post-lockdown can take its toll on our mental health.
Many people are experiencing anxiety, depression, loneliness and higher stress levels amid the Covid-19 pandemic. With much unknown about the months ahead, it's natural to feel worried.
Keiron Sparrowhawk, founder of MyCognition - a training app that helps to improve mental health - has shared his tips on staying positive whatever your current situation.
If you're working from home: This might be ideal for some but can make many others feel isolated, especially when it's on a long-term basis. This is particularly pertinent for people who are "deep thinkers" or "creative types" and require face-to-face human contact to express their thoughts and feelings. Make sure you exercise, eat well, keep hydrated, and sleep.
Bosses should maintain routine communications across and between staff members, with regular updates, agreed targets, and sufficient team support in place.
If you've been made redundant or are on furlough: People like to believe they have a purpose and being in work gives many of us that purpose. Losing that through redundancy is like grief; we have a sudden gap in our lives. We feel "less" about ourselves as a result. Redundancy also means "uncertainty" and loss of control, all of which adds to anxiety.
To overcome these emotions, tell yourself - 'the job was made redundant... not me. I still have skills and abilities and experience that will get me my next job'. Keep to a good regime. Make sure you get exercise, eat well, hydrate and sleep and most importantly be socially active. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
If you're feeling overwhelmed: When you've got a lot to do, it can feel overwhelming so create a 'to do' list, breaking down tasks. Once you've completed one and ticked it off, you'll feel so much better. Make sure you take regular breaks and get up and move around. Keep hydrated with fresh water.
If you're feeling anxious or lonely: Executive function is your ability to plan, self-regulate emotions and be creative. It helps you to consider contingencies, so you have peace of mind.
However, lockdown can make you feel anxious, and this impacts executive function. To combat this, build strong relationships with people who care about you. Create a strong social network by planning events online. Remember, you're not alone so try not to isolate yourself, there is always someone to speak to.
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