Sheltering in place with depression can be a difficult ordeal. Stuck at home can really increase the symptoms of depression. Feeling all alone in the world, sad, and irritable. You have been pulled away from the activities that help you and keep you afloat, the people who support you, and the job that gives you purpose.
Here are some things to do and think about if you are slipping. First don’t beat yourself up. Most everyone is having some difficulty with the shelter in place orders. So you are not alone. Reach out to others and talk about your feelings. From 6 foot away? Yes! Wave at neighbors. Call and text with family and friends. Have a video conferencing party. If working at home reach out to coworkers.
Try to avoid the traps that will pull you down. Overeating. Sleeping too much or not at enough because you don’t have to go to work. Watching too much TV of any kind, especially the coronavirus news coverage. Drinking alcohol to excess. Not bathing or dressing will make you feel less than. Give your devises a rest, you need rest from them too.
You need your exercise to increase those happy brain chemicals. If you are able to exercise outside-do. Walk in your yard, walk in place inside and swing your arms (power walk), dance. Cardio exercise is the best. Check out workouts on YouTube.
Stay in touch with your therapist. Continue with your therapy through video conferencing or phone. If you have been doing good and have left therapy there is no shame in grapping a few sessions again during this trying time. Don’t forget to take your medications. If you become suicidal, call your therapist, a suicide hotline or 911. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255.
Keep busy! It is okay to distract yourself from uncomfortable thoughts and feelings. Therapists are always telling to get in touch with this stuff, but this isn’t the time. Daily life normally gives you some breaks; with sheltering in place you will need to do that for yourself. Clean out the closets, rearrange your furniture, bake cupcakes, what ever it takes.
Don’t forget your friends in the fight of depression. Write in your journal – write about what you are feeling and thinking. Write letters to your future self from quarantine. Read inspirational books. Listen to up-lifting podcasts. Open have those curtains and let thein the natural light. You now have time to enjoy your creative pursuits. Make plans for when you are free again.