The pandemic created the need for isolation and subsequently led to a multitude of problems where mental health and depression has become a major issue in our society. As social creatures, the need to self-isolate is against the very nature of human beings. Not being able to interact with people daily has a tremendous effect on our emotional well-being.
The repercussions of COVID-19 and its effects on mental health have impacted the lives of millions. A survey carried out by researchers at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida showed that 80% of the participants had “significant depressive symptoms”. The survey involved 1,008 people aged 18-35 in the United States of America. The survey concluded that 65% of the participants reported increased feelings of loneliness since the beginning of the pandemic. Certain symptoms of depression such as increased alcohol intake and the use of drugs were also common among the participants who reported they were feeling lonely.
It’s important to note that these negative thinking patterns might not necessarily be a sign of depression but rather they are symptoms and an indication that you need to pay attention to your mental health. Since the pandemic seems to persist, and many countries still haven’t been able to let people come out of isolation completely, learning how to take care of your mental health is vital. The hope of vaccination is on the horizon; there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel. And while we patiently wait for the world to heal, let’s take practical steps in improving our mental health. Here are a few tips that will help you improve your mental health during isolation:
Instead of concentrating on negative thinking patterns, such as how long this pandemic will last, or how long will you have to stay inside, shift your mind into thinking about the solutions that have come forward to stop this virus from spreading. Our minds are a powerful tool that we can have full control over. You can train your brain to think about all the good things that are coming out of this period in time of history. For instance, the development of the vaccine, the research, the countries that have beat it, and all the innovations that will build our future for the better.
Stay proactive and productive. In times like this, it’s easy for the days to just go by while you feel like absolutely nothing is happening. Creating a schedule for your day not only gives you a sense of control over your life and day but also will keep your mind occupied to prevent ruminating on negative thinking patterns. It will help you stay in the present moment. Staying busy is a lifesaver for some who struggle with mental health.
The power of technology has made it possible for humans to stay connected with each other at any time of the day. Don’t get in the habit of not talking to people. Reach out and invite people into your life. Humans are social creatures; it’s the innate part of our nature. Loneliness can be a choice for a host of reasons. However, it is never beneficial for our survival.
Interacting with friends and family on social media, a simple phone call or a text message can dramatically improve your mood. You are part of society and your existence matters.
Feeling symptoms of depression during isolation is a completely valid reaction, given that isolation isn’t human nature. However, there are things that we can do intentionally to improve our lives. Bad times just like good times don’t last forever. There is hope. Contact an expert if you ever need help.