Social distancing, or really physical distancing, has been very hard on many of us. As human beings we are social animals and we are not meant to be a lone for an extended period of time. Staying inside and not be able be in the outside world has made many of us feel down. Isolating from the world and from others, which is what we have had to do for the past few weeks, can cause depression in a person. However, I am here to tell you that you can beat quarantine depression. I compiled this list of ways to stay mentally fit based on my own experiences as well as tips and advice from a registered mental health therapist.
Create and maintain a healthy routine/schedule
Mental health professional Cristina S. says that the best thing you could do to combat anxiety and avoid falling into depression is to create and most importantly maintain a healthy daily schedule so you stay productive and not get overwhelmed. Plan out when you’re going to work on school, when you’re going to work on your job, etc. and plan it strategically. Try to refrain from slacking off and being lazy all the time even though when staying at home doing so can be very tempting! But it’s best to stay busy. Cristina suggests still getting dressed in the morning instead of staying in pajamas all day to get yourself into the work mode. I suggest making sure your routine is realistic, fits your goals, and that you also leave time for relaxing and having fun!
Get some fresh air
Thankfully we can still go outside of your home in our front or back yard, and I suggest doing so as much as possible. Sunshine is good for the soul, and it increases the levels of serotonin and endorphins in your brain. Serotonin calms your brain and your anxiety while endorphins boost happiness. Spending time outside when it’s a beautiful days uplifting and is sure to improve anyone’s mood.
Elle Woods once said, “Exercise builds endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don’t shoot their husbands”. Exercise is very important for maintaining your brain’s “happy” chemical balance, and for your husband’s safety, according to Elle Woods. I have heard from a mental health professional that exercise is just as beneficial to one’s mental health as are medications for anxiety and depression. So get out there and exercise; it will really give you more energy and the ability to feel so much happier!
I feel so much better after pampering myself. Pampering yourself is so relaxing and gives you a boost of happiness and confidence as you are spending time on you. Taking care of you is part of self-love which essential to having inner peace. I have been using Lush skin care products to take care of my skin, and using these products is such a de-stresser for me. There are many ways to pamper yourself-taking a bubble bath, giving yourself a facial, giving yourself an at-home manicure, giving yourself a makeover, doing your hair, cleaning and decorating your room, ect. Pampering yourself is very healthy and so much fun as well! It is a sure way to combat quarantine depression.
Stay Connected With Others
We’re calling it social distancing, but it is really only physical distancing. We are lucky to live in the day and age where we can FaceTime our friends and family as well as speak with them on the phone. Zoom is also fun to use to talk with many people at the same time. So stay in touch with your friends and family as much as you can. Social interaction is so important for your happiness and growth as is having a good support system.
Don’t Watch Too Much News
Try not to get too caught up in watching the news all the time, cause it can really get depressing! Staying away from so much negativity like the news is essential to your inner peace. It’s so important to stay positive during this difficult and unusual time in order to avoid falling into depression.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
I struggle so much at this; I love junk food! However, my best friend told me that she feels so much better after eating carrots than after eating Doritos (even though Doritos may be delicious). You are what you eat; eating healthy foods really does improve your mental health.
Mindfulness means only focusing on what you are doing in the current movement without thinking about the future or dwelling on the past. Staying in the present moment is key to happiness and avoiding falling into depression. Many physical activities such as yoga require you to only pay attention to the activity which can really help improve one’s ability to be mindful. Meditation is also very beneficial. Practicing mindfulness has been proven to have a positive impact on one’s mental well-being.
There have been many times during this quarantine where I have felt lonely and isolated. However, practicing these healthy habits has helped me a lot. I am someone who has struggled with clinical depression in the past, but taking these steps to bettering myself has really helped lift my depression during the quarantine, and I’m sure it can for you as well.