Simple steps to understanding and counter depression during COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many changes to how we live daily life. Social distancing, wearing masks, quarantine, and isolation can overwhelm and cause feelings of insecurity, confusion, hopelessness, anxiety and, ultimately, depression.
Depression is defined as a common but serious mood disorder that negatively affects how a person feels, thinks, and handles daily activities such as sleeping, eating, and working.
For those people dealing with depression typically experience one or more of the following symptoms:
· Persistent sad or “empty” mood.
· Feelings of hopelessness, or pessimism.
· Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness.
· Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities.
· Decreased energy or fatigue.
· Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions.
· Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping.
· Appetite and/or weight changes.
· Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease with treatment
· Even thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts.
We all have days when we feel down, but when the periods of sadness persist and are severe enough to impact daily functioning, it may be time to assess your emotional health by checking in with a professional registered therapist, psychologist, or mental health counsellor for a complete confidential mental health screening assessment.
A therapist can not only treat you but give you self-care strategies that can help you take charge of your life and improve your mental and physical health.
A few guiding principles that can help all of us cope effectively during these tough times is to focus on what we can control.
· Keep routines as much as possible. Maintaining structure and routine is critical because it reinforces order and predictability, and is something over which we have control.
· Stay connected. Identify friends and family that you can check in with regularly. Video teleconferencing, phone calls, and other social media platforms can be a great way to connect family and friends.
· Be informed, but take breaks from listening to the news. Constant news about COVID-19 from all types of media can heighten fears about the disease. If the news cycle impacts mood and increases stress levels, it may be time to limit exposure.
· Engage in self-care. Participate in regular physical activity to reduce stress and improve mood. Eat healthy, nutritious foods and drink plenty of water. Avoid tobacco, alcohol and drugs. Get at least seven hours of quality sleep each night.
· Protect personal and family health. Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, wear a mask in public, and practice social distancing from people outside the household.
What’s the difference between a few bad days or weeks and clinical depression that requires help? A consultation with a mental health professional is recommended when feelings or tendencies have lasted for more than two weeks. Don’t be afraid to reach out.
Getting support for yourself and your family plays an essential role in coping with depression.
If you believe you might have depression or currently struggling with depression and anxiety, then you came to the right place.
· Individuals and Couples Counselling.
· Intensive Therapy.
· Adolescents Therapy.
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