How to Combat Depression When You Support Networks Isn’t Around
By Dr Becky Spelman
Depression is a disease that’s rooted in loneliness. It’s one of the biggest hurdles you must overcome on your way to recovery. The tendency to isolate yourself from the world only tends to reinforce your condition. Of course, there are times when you do need emotional distancing from others, but with a prolonged lack of social interaction and support of you friends and family, it can be all the more challenging to come back to a place of wellbeing.
There’s no doubt the current climate has made things even harder if you’re already struggling with depression. Not only can it add extra weight, but it can also undo some of your progress by taking away intimacy and physical touch. Hopefully, you may be lucky enough to live in a household where you can still draw on support. But if not, you’ll need to adapt to your current situation to ensure you can make it through this period of lockdown.
The best course of action you can take to combat depression is to connect with those in your support network by Skype, Zoom or by whatever others means you can. It’s still relatively easy to create meaningful social interactions with the technology we have at our disposal – even regular voice calls can be a huge help. However, if this option isn’t available, you’ll need an alternative way to keep yourself grounded.
The first thought you need to address is that you’re completely hopeless. You’re not. Really, you’re not. It’s a state of mind that you’ve adopted due to a set of circumstances, which can be re-written with your conscious effort. You have far more influence on your own wellbeing than you’re willing to give yourself credit for. Instead of rooting yourself in the self-limiting belief that you’re powerless to change your circumstances, acknowledge what you can do for yourself.
Given the abundance of time you have at your disposal, it can be easy to slip into a mode of treading water. Each day bleeds into the last. You become stagnant, and days start to lose their meaning. You can combat this by creating a structured routine. By adding this element of control back into your life, you’re affirming to yourself that you are the one on control. However, it’s not something that will alleviate your symptoms overnight. It’s simply the first step. But it’s a foundation that you can build on to create more lasting changes. Your routine can become the guidepost for your wellbeing.
However, it will do little good to have a routine and nothing to fill your hours. It would be a great benefit if you could find a long-term activity to explore – preferably something creative. If you can play – or have access to – a musical instrument, this would be ideal. But really anything that will keep you coming back day after day is what will help you maintain your routine over the long run – as long as there is some sort of emotional investment.
Look at engaging in any practice that will increase your sense of wellbeing. If you haven’t already, it would be a huge benefit to look into self-care exercises such as breathwork, mindfulness meditation and yoga. The more you can dissociate with your current and align your thought with something positive, the more you’ll find it easy to manage during quarantine.
About the author:
Dr Becky Spelman is a leading UK Psychologist who’s had great success helping her clients manage and overcome a multitude of mental illnesses.
***If you’re struggling with the depression because of the COVID-19 outbreak and think you might benefit from speaking to someone, we offer a FREE 15-MINUTE CONSULTATION with one of our specialists to help you find the best way to move forward. You can book yours here
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