6 Things You Should Do If Quarantine Is Making You Feel Depressed

Photo: Anna Dudkova via Unsplash
6 Things You Should Do If Quarantine Is Making You Feel Depressed
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By Paige Haeffele

I’ll be honest and say what we’re all thinking — our current situation totally sucks.

I’m an introvert and even I am starting to feel the isolation getting to me. I think it’s important to check in with yourself and really examine how this strange time in history — a literal global pandemic — is affecting you both physically and emotionally.

Now isn’t the time to suppress your feelings. Yes, all of this sucks. Yes, we miss going out and seeing our friends. Yes, things just feel different — especially to those dealing with pre-existing anxiety (like me and millions of others).

If you need to go into your backyard and yell, do it. If crushing a hard workout is more your style, then yeah go for it. Or maybe crocheting is your best way to manage stress.

Whatever you need to do, don’t feel bad about doing it. During this pandemic time, it’s more important than ever to take care of ourselves, especially because many of our typical ways of life aren’t possible. 

RELATED: How To Use The 'TIPP' Method To Balance Mental Health When Experiencing Coronavirus Depression

So, here are some ways to take care of yourself when you feel your anxiety or depression coming on.

I learned these coping skills in therapy, and they really have helped me thrive as a person. No matter what, these are definitely applicable to anyone during the current environment.

1. Try not to have “nothing” days.

I try to avoid these all the time, but now they’re incredibly hard to skip out on. It’s important to feel like you did something every day in order to feel happy and productive. So make a list, mental note — whatever is more your style — of a couple of things you want to accomplish that day.

They truly don’t have to be huge, lofty goals, but remember that something is better than nothing. One serving of vegetables is better than none, and five minutes of meditation is better than zero.

Checking off even the smallest things from your list at the end of the day will bring you joy.

2. Check in with yourself.

This can be done through whatever method you find the most helpful. I personally have gotten into journaling lately and it’s been very helpful for me.

You could try talking to a friend about your day or even recording yourself speak about certain things if you don’t like writing. This is especially helpful, because it keeps a record of your life on the day to day basis, which could be pretty cool to have after this pandemic is over. 

RELATED: 6 Ways To Manage Depression & Feelings Of Hopelessness While Isolated In Quarantine

3. Go outside. 

Seriously, just go for a walk, run, or bike ride — or even sit on your porch. We’re all getting a lot less activity and fresh air being cooped up inside. You don’t need a dog or a friend, just grab your headphones and go, even if it’s just for ten minutes.

It will do wonders to clear your head and get you centered. Plus, it can count as something you accomplished in your day! 

4. Reach out to your loved ones.

Seriously. Without human connection, we will go crazy.

Don’t think you’re annoying them or they’d rather be doing something else. We’re literally all quarantined — what else do they have to do?

I’m sure they’re feeling the same way we all are, so why not commiserate together? Literally no one knows what is going to happen, why not speculate? Or talk about what you did to have a “non-zero” day together.

5. Engage in your hobbies. 

This is super important. I’m not saying you shouldn’t watch stuff all day, because, for some people, that’s their biggest hobby and helps them feel accomplished during this pandemic. So if that’s what you love to do, do it! We’ve got plenty of time these days.

Now’s a great time to try something new too, especially because a lot of people are working from home or are out of work. Have you always wanted to make bread? Go for it! Or maybe you’ve always wanted to try singing.

We have a lot of free time on our hands, so try to keep busy as best you can. That doesn’t mean to beat yourself up if you don’t try everything you’ve ever wanted or mastered a skill at this time.

6. Practice self-compassion. 

This is a wild and vulnerable time for everyone, so don’t make this harder on yourself. It’s not the end of the world if you do have a “zero-day.” You aren’t a failure because your best friend is using this time to sew face masks for doctors with insufficient PPE.

Do what you can, and don’t compare yourself to anyone else. We’re all doing our best to get by, as always, and now is no different. Just because your quarantine doesn’t end in you having a six-pack, it doesn’t make you bad.

Treat yourself to things that comfort you, and don’t be ashamed of how you choose to handle the stress. 

Make sure to take things day by day, because this pandemic changes each day. If you have one or two rough or unproductive days, that doesn’t mean that the next one will be the same. You’re in charge of yourself and there are fewer people holding you accountable right now.

So, don’t let yourself down when you should be lifting yourself up. Stay safe, healthy, and socially distant, everyone! Each day inside is one day closer to the end of this. See you outside!

RELATED: 7 Expert Tips For Coping With Loneliness & Staying Connected During COVID-19 Isolation

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Paige Haeffele is a writer who focuses on health and wellness, mental health, and self-care. For more of her mental health content, visit her Twitter page.

This article was originally published at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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