There is no doubt that COVID-19 has affected any areas of people’s lives. The most obvious is how people interact with each other. Within a few weeks, coronavirus has dramatically transformed the entire social landscape. With social distancing becoming the new norm, it can cause tremendous stresses personally, financially and psychologically. As a result, people are at a significant risk in developing mental illnesses such as depression. For those already dealing with depression, social distancing measures are deepening their illness to the point of hopelessness.

Struggle with depression due to coronavirus

No matter where on the spectrum you lie, having too much time alone to ruminate about your situation and the environment around you is not good for your mental health. Without meaningful contact with others and filling your schedule with healthy activities, you grow despondent and depression can manifest. If you already struggle with depression, the resources that you need to keep your condition under control are limited. It creates tremendous feelings of hopelessness and worry.

Despite the enormous obstacles that coronavirus presents, there are ways you can minimize the impacts of depression:

  • Keep a schedule that gives you structure throughout the day. While having “me time” is important, too much idle time can allow depressive thoughts to run riot. If possible, schedule your day down to the hour and fill it with healthy and positive activities. Make goals for yourself to reach for the day and week.
  • Use free time wisely. With COVID-19, you will have more free time on your hands. While you may feel trapped and cannot do anything, use that time to explore those things that make you happy. Make a list of activities that you want to do or enjoy doing. You can fill your free time by reading books or getting to that movie or series you have always wanted to watch. You can learn new dishes to cook and get to household chores such as cleaning and re-organizing. While you may not be able to connect with family and friends face-to-face, you can find ways to connect. Make a list of those closest to you and call them on a regular basis or engage in virtual “get-togethers” for socializing or playing online games. Set up a regular time to connect with others in this manner…and be consistent.

Take this time to retool your perspective. Give yourself permission to feel upset, lonely and anxious. Use this time to think about what you value the most and work towards achieving those goals. Just because coronavirus has limited our social interactions and where we can and cannot go, there are ways we can connect with ourselves and others in meaningful ways.

Get help with depression

Whether you are already struggling with depression or starting to feel its effects, do not be ashamed to get help. There are many treatment centers nationwide that have experienced staff you can talk to. If needed, these facilities have the accredited programs you need to face your depression and give you the tools you need to overcome this dreaded mental illness.