A Guide to Depression During COVID-19
Author: Ian Phillips
The most important part of this is: It’s okay to feel these ways. We’re in an unprecedented time that is scary.
There is a lot going on in the world at this time. With the pandemic, many people are being asked or told to stay in their homes. This typically means that people need to stay home unless their work is designated as essential (hospital staff, grocery store staff, and bank staff to name a few), and that any trips taken are important. This is a rare event that no-one was fully prepared for and so this can be difficult for many people. Here are some signs for depression and how you can work through them during this time.
Lack of Interest
Lack of interest can be difficult to recognize at this time since you can’t go and do a lot of the activities you normally would right now, such as going out with friends, to the library, or to the gym. For those types of activities, think about how you would feel doing it at the end of the stay at home order. Then think beyond just being happy to be outside of the house again; are you still interested in that activity? This can be a good way to understand if you’re losing interest in those activities. For others that have interest in activities within the home, such as reading a book, playing video games, or solving a puzzle, it’s easier to recognize. If you’re not wanting to do an activity that you’re usually interested in, it can be a sign that you’re losing interest in those activities. What can you do about this lack of interest?
- Change it up: For those activities at home, create something new to do. If you typically don’t do puzzles, find a puzzle and start working on it. For the activities with friends, plan a new thing to do with friends after this is all over. It gives you something special to look forward to and helps get through this unprecedented
- How can you do “this” at home? Being stuck inside can be hard when your activities are usually somewhere else. Think about how you can do those activities at home. For example, if you typically go to the gym, there are a lot of new at home workout regiments now, use those to get back into working out and the
There’s a lot going on right now and it’s scary. Being stuck inside for multiple days can also be tough to deal with. Saddened mood is practically expected at this time. We’re learning of the effects that a global pandemic is having on people and our entire lives have been completely changed for now. Being sad can be hard to get out of right now, but here’s some tips to possibly help!
- Play a game you can escape into. Video games can provide a chance to escape this scary world. Story focused games can get you invested into the characters’ stories, such as the Kingdom Hearts series. Expansive game worlds can provide escape as well, such as Breath of the
- Find something you enjoy. Taking your mind off of this can be hard, but it’s possible. Doing something you enjoy can really help with that. Whether that’s taking a walk (just be safe about it), playing video games, reading a book, or video conferencing with friends and family. Having something you can focus on is helpful.
Fatigue or Loss of Energy
You would think being stuck at home would give you a bunch of energy, right? Maybe not. Your routine was likely taken away because of this, so until a new routine is established you might be feeling less energetic than usual. Extroverts may particularly struggle during this time, as being close to other people is how they get energized. It’s likely easier for introverts, but it still can be difficult since people are social beings. What can you do about this loss of energy?
- Create a new routine: Early on, the World Health Organization (WHO) was recommending keeping your same routine. That can be hard when you can’t Creating a new routine can help get your body in line and be less fatigued.
- Connect online. Connecting with people can give you energy. While it’s not as good as face to face, online communication can be really helpful with connecting with
This moment in time is scary and it’s okay to be sad, confused, scared, and losing interest. The biggest tip I can give right now, is find what you enjoy and do it. Find something that you can escape into.
It’ll be okay if you’re not your original self immediately after all this is over. This is traumatic and it will possibly impact people for years from now. Give yourself and your friends time to process what all happened.
We have done more articles providing tips around this pandemic, you can find them here.
If you feel that you need more help reach out to your doctor for local resources or visit our global mental health resources page.