Depression is taking a toll on many people during this period of lockdown and social distancing of COVID19.
Depression is much more than just sadness experienced as a part of life. Depression is a mood disorder that involves a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest in activities.
The main symptom is a sad despairing mood lasting for protracted periods.
Other common symptoms of depression are feeling useless, hopeless, irritable, agitated, pessimistic. So too is trouble concentrating, crying easily, having low self-esteem, or thoughts of suicide. There is also social withdrawal from family, friends, community.
These symptoms are accompanied by physical changes in appetite, weight, feeling fatigued, and sleep problems.
Undiagnosed or untreated depression has serious consequences.
Treatment options include antidepressant medication, psychotherapy, electroconvulsive therapy, and self-care therapy.
In addition to seeking out medical help for depression, self-care is a must-do. Therapeutic self-care is a critical lifeline in any treatment plan for managing depression.
Self-care is a unique challenge when you are grappling with depression.
The following self-care tips can be used individually or in combination. The goal is to deal therapeutically with a depressive episode.
- Let go of any guilt stop berating yourself it is not helpful.
- Eliminate negative self-talk step away from negative messages.
- Your words have the power to impact physical health. Speak words of wellbeing to yourself.
- Cast out whatever makes you feel ashamed or flawed. Disconnect yourself from people that impact you negatively.
- Set aside a time every day to do that which pleases you. Even though having a pleasurable time is the last thing on your mind.
- You can relax with a warm cup of tea or take a walk outdoors.
- Mindfulness lifts your spirit when you are feeling weighed down.
- Create a healthy nurturing space. A bright sunny room healthy environment revitalizes the mind.
- Your Self-care does not have to be an elaborate event. Take small steps forward each day toward the best self-care.
- Sound sleep matters. It has a therapeutic impact on mood disorders and helps reduce symptoms of depression.
- Physical activity is essential it provides mental health benefits. It fuels brain activity patterns that make you feel calmer and improves feelings of low energy due to depression.
- Poor nutrition intensifies exhaustion, impacts cognition, and mood. Therefore, try to eat healthily and engage in a regular eating schedule. Despite your feelings of depression, or not wanting to eat nor prepare a meal.
Acknowledge your symptoms, be mindful to connect with your inner strength. Draw on your learned skills and strengths to deal with the changes that depression brings.