The pandemic has caused mental strain for many people across the world. And for those living with anxiety and depression, the impact is harsh.
Living through a stressful situation, such as financial insecurity, family upheaval, trauma, loss, or of course, the current COVID-19 pandemic can certainly be a trigger for worsening symptoms of depression and anxiety. For folks already managing their anxiety and/or depression, life stressors can tip the balance from healthy functioning to poor mental health.
We have listed some ways that you can handle yourself and your mental health during the COVID-19 crisis.
Get A Good Night’s Sleep
While prioritizing sleep isn’t always easy, it is crucial for well-being. If anxiety or depression is affecting your sleep, consider limiting your caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine intake, creating a bedtime routine, and finding a relaxing activity like reading, journaling, or listening to quiet music to slow your brain down before bed.
Keep A Routine
Sticking to a routine for sleep, mealtimes, exercise, and work can help manage stress. Studies tell us that when we keep to a schedule during traumatic or stressful times, we cope better.
Practice Gratefulness And Mindfulness
During challenging times, finding ways to be grateful can help cope. When we take note of the good things in our lives, it bumps up the feel-good hormones of serotonin and dopamine. Practicing mindfulness meditation has gained popularity as a way to deal with depression, anxiety, and stress. If you’re new to mindfulness, you can start practicing by taking a few minutes to find a quiet place, either sitting or lying down. Try to focus on your breathing and notice your inhales and exhales, allowing your thoughts and feelings to move away from you.
Seek Social Support
Although social distancing requires more time alone, Guttentag says getting support from others can help improve depression and anxiety symptoms. Staying connected with loved ones can be hard during the pandemic, but over time it can help you feel less lonely. In addition, many people find it helpful to work with a peer-support group, either in person or online. There are many community resources since depression and anxiety are both very common.