Depression is commonly used to describe persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness and low self-worth. Feeling sad can be a very common response to difficult life events such as what we have been experiencing with the Covid 19 virus. However, it can be concerning if the sadness persists and is starting to interfere with your everyday life. Becoming disinterested in connecting with friends, continued isolation even as the restrictions are lifted, sleep disturbances, changes in eating habits, frequent and unexpected bouts of crying, irritability, aggression, drug/alcohol use, loss in activities that previously provided pleasure/enjoyment may all be cause for concern.
Recommendations for dealing with depression
Consider abstinence from alcohol, caffeine and other mood-altering substances for a minimum of 90 days
Regular use of any mood-altering substance can aggravate feelings of depression as the brain swings from periods of intoxication to withdrawal. Abstinence allows your brain to come back to a state of balance which helps level out feelings.
Go for a 15-minute walk or do 15 minutes of relaxing exercise
Sometimes, the best way to stop anxious thoughts is to walk away from the situation. Taking some time to focus on your body and not your mind can help relieve your depression.
Question your thought pattern
Negative and distorted thinking can take root in your mind and blow things out of proportion and “make a mountain out of a mole hill” or it can minimize the unmanageability and “make a mole hill out of a mountain” so check out your thinking with others.
Write down your thoughts
Writing down what’s making you depressed gets it out of your head and can make it less daunting.
Do a daily or routine meditation
Meditation helps your train your brain to slow down and let go of anxious thoughts when they arise. If sitting still and meditating is challenging, try starting with guided meditation or yoga.
Keep your body and mind healthy
Exercising regularly, eating balanced meals, getting enough sleep, and staying connected to people who care about you are great ways to reduce depression symptoms.
Identify and learn to manage your triggers
You can identify triggers on your own or with a therapist. Sometimes they can be obvious, like caffeine, drinking alcohol, or smoking. Other times they can be less obvious. Long-term problems may be harder to figure out and its beneficial to get help from a professional. What are the people, places or things that are triggering your depression so you can then get to the root of the issue?
Still unsure of how to deal with your depression? Contact our office for a comprehensive assessment.