5 Ways To Ride Out Feeling Depressed & Isolated During The Stay-At-Home Order

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5 Ways To Ride Out Feeling Depressed & Isolated During The Stay-At-Home Order
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So many people are feeling depressed during the stay-at-home order. Life is so different now. How can you deal with depression when everything is this tough?

The things we used to take for granted — restaurants, massages, hanging out with friends, taking road trips, even going to the doctor — are missing from our lives right now, leaving what feels like nothing.

You may feel empty, lonely, and bored, among other things. And you may be struggling with figuring out how to get out of a depression when you don't know if everything will be OK.

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

It's common to feel depressed right now. For many, feeling depressed before the coronavirus was a daily reality, but for those of you who haven’t struggled with it before, it can be especially hard to manage now.

Here are 5 ways to ride out feeling depressed and isolated during the stay-at-home coronavirus lockdown.`

1. Focus on what you do have.

Are you spending much of your day thinking about all of the things you usually have in your life? Work, friends, intimacy, dating, the gym, Starbucks?

All of those things have been important parts of your life you may have been taking for granted. Their absence can be devastating.

Would it be possible for you, instead, to focus on what you do have?

I was talking to a friend of mine whose husband died last year and is quarantining alone. I mentioned that my boyfriend and I aren’t as physical these days.

She said, "Don’t take each other for granted. I haven’t even been touched in three weeks." That gave me pause, and I went and hugged my boyfriend.

The lesson is to appreciate what you do have. Can you take stock of what you have?

Do you have a roof over your head, a job, friends to keep in touch with, free time to watch some TV that you haven’t been able to watch?

Do you have a pet who will give you love, the ability to get outside into the woods, more family time than you've had for years?

All of those things are important to take stock of. Sooner or later (hopefully sooner), our lives will go back to (somewhat) normal and you might not ever again have the life that you have now.

So, take a moment to take stock of what you have right now. It might help you feel less depressed in a big way.

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

2. Have hope.

One of the hallmarks of depression is hopelessness. It’s hard to not feel hopeless these days. You're dealing with a new normal that you've never had to deal with before, with no easy end in sight.

It’s hard to believe you could ever be happy again.

I am here to tell you, however, that this will end. The life you're living right now — socially isolated, wearing masks, staying six feet away from each other, not traveling and being generally afraid — won’t last forever.

Yes, it might take a while for your life to go back to the way it was before, but it will go back. And when that happens, you'll be able to go on. You'll date, go to Starbucks, and fight with your family at Thanksgiving, and soon you'll forget that this was even part of our reality in 2020.

So, have hope. Right now will not be your life forever.

3. Get some vitamin D.

When people visit the doctor about feeling depressed, one of the first things they'll do is test for vitamin D levels. Low levels of vitamin D are found in many people who are feeling depressed. For many, a supplement can make all the difference in how you feel.

Another way to get vitamin D is to get out into the sunshine. Because your outside time has been limited, you may have low vitamin-D levels that are causing some (or all) of your depression.

If you can’t get outside, there are natural light lamps for sale that do an excellent job imitating the beneficial aspects of the sun. They are inexpensive and you can put one on your breakfast table and get a vitamin-D dose right then and there.

So, if you are feeling depressed, get yourself some more vitamin D however you can, and see if it helps!

4. Distract yourself.

Unfortunately, when you're depressed, one of your worst enemies is your own brain. When you're feeling depressed, more often than not your brain gets caught in a cycle of negative thoughts.

You think about how horrible your life is, what a loser you are, how your parents neglected you, and how you have no friends. These kinds of thoughts go around and around in your brain, sinking you down deeper into depression.

One of the best tools against depression is to distract that brain of yours. Watching a movie or binging on TV, reading a book, talking to a friend, listening to music, being physical with your partner... All of these things will stop you from doing the negative circle dance and give you a break.

And even if the break is just for a short time, it will be a break. Just like taking a break when you're climbing a mountain, that mental break will help you manage your depression before it sucks you dry.

5. Get some help.

One of the most important parts of managing depression is to know when you need to get help.

If you were depressed before all of this started and you find yourself sinking deeper into it, it might be time to call your doctor. Doctors are doing video consultations, so perhaps you should call yours and tell them what is going on.

If feeling depressed is new for you, try to do some of the items above and see if they help. If you find that you aren’t getting better, contacting your doctor would be a good idea. They might be able to give you additional support to get you through these times.

Depression can take its toll if it is left unmanaged. Don’t let your depression take over your life. Make sure that you get some help if you need some.

Feeling depressed during the stay-at-home order is something that is way more prevalent than anyone of us would like.

Fortunately, there are ways to manage it. Take stock of what you have, know and believe that this crisis will end, get some Vitamin D, and keep that mind of yours busy.

Most importantly, if you find that your depression is getting worse or that you can’t get out of bed because you are full of hopelessness and despair, call your doctor. Get some help. This is very, very important.

Feeling depressed during the stay-at-home order is not abnormal. Be soft on yourself. Manage it. We can all get through this. Together, and apart.

RELATED: 6 Ways To Cope With Anticipatory Grief During The Coronavirus Pandemic

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Mitzi Bockmann is an NYC-based, certified life and love coach. Let her help you find, and keep, love in this crazy world in which we live. Email her today and get started!

This article was originally published at Let Your Dreams Begin. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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