The Covid pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns have been challenging on so many fronts, and being cooped up at home, dealing with financial stress, and the general breakdown of life as we know it has affected our collective mental health. Many of us are dealing with depression, and I though it would be helpful to share some tips to help you through these troubled times
- Stay in a dark, quiet place
A bedroom with blackout blinds is ideal. If you’re depressed, you definitely want to create an environment that’s dim and inert, to match your mood. Lack of stimulus is really helpful, and being in dark, silent immobility will be especially helpful in supporting the excessive ruminating and isolation that is such an important part of maintaining that depressed mood! Spend as much time as you can in your bedroom, with the covers over your head, or better still, with earplugs. Bonus points for curling up in the fetal position.
2. Avoid contact with family or friends
Being in touch with people means you have to expend energy, and you definitely want to conserve it for pulling those covers over your head. Conversation can be really disruptive to the ruminating and isolation we were talking about, and takes time away from those spinning, dejected thoughts. And reaching out to friends and family means you’ll need to examine your feelings and talk about them in the open, and that’s just so much work! Far more efficient to keep it all bottled inside. Besides, your loved ones are just pretending to be concerned, and helping others in need doesn’t feel good at all. Make sure you resist their attempts to care about you.
3. Don’t bother going outside, particularly in nature
First of all, sunshine will increase your vitamin D, which might do things like prevent osteoporosis and help your immune system. You really don’t need those things anyway, so why bother? Being out in nature might give you too much oxygen saturation and boost energy, and, again, you don’t want to be inconvenienced by too much energy. Remember, being still and isolated and quiet as possible are the way to go! Besides, you might be stimulated by everything around you, or encounter a Golden Retriever puppy, and that level of unbound enthusiasm and cuteness would be an unnecessary assault on your depression.
4. Make sure you completely inhibit movement and exercise
First of all, who has time for exercise? There’s just too much to do during lockdown! Besides, any cardiovascular activity will raise your heart rate and improve blood circulation, and you really want to avoid anything that may give you too much energy, or boost your mood. Yoga requires too much breath work, stretching might make you too loose and flexible, and walking forces you into that unnatural upright position. And finally, exercise can releases endorphins which can trigger positive feelings, and that would definitely threaten the integrity of your depression.
5. Maintain a high-carb, high-fat diet
So-called “healthy” eating is so overrated. I mean, eating foods chock full of omega-3s and vitamin B might improve red blood cell formation and and reduce inflammatory response, both of which might get you brain functioning too well. You want to keep your mind as suppressed as possible as this will help you maintain your depression. Far better to subsist on a combination of Cool Ranch Doritos and Peanut M&Ms. This will keep your blood sugar racing up and down, and give your body something interesting to do. And of course, caffeinated soda right before bed is fantastic; it will keep you focused while you’re battling your nightly insomnia.
I can tell you from experience that these 5 steps cover all your needs if you are experiencing depression during this pandemic! I hope you find them helpful!!