Depression and Surviving the Unknown With Covid-19 Pandemic

The Great Depression and Stock Market Crash of 1929, the World Wars, and the Cuban Crisis all had “the unknown” in common. Depression and surviving the “unknown” is what we are all experiencing currently. How do we know we will be “OK” in the end? 

Even though we are hearing great possibilities of new drugs for Covid-19, no one knows how well they will be effective, if at all.

Who will get Covid-19? How is it truly transmitted from one person to another? Some people are wearing masks as recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Yet others are choosing not to do this for their own reasons.

 

Negative Effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic

The most prominent effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic are: 

  • Loss of employment from layoffs
  • Significant decrease in financial security from being laid off
  • Health is negatively affected by current stressors.
  • Homelessness due to lack of funds
  • The potential loss of family members or friends from Covid-19
  • The stress of dealing with the “unknown” and if you and your family and friends will be OK

 

How to Maintain Emotional and Physical Health Right Now

Maintaining good health doesn’t just happen on its own. In order to avoid depression and survive the unknown, you have to manage your mood and physical being. Here are some things to do: 

  • Be cognizant of being around unhealthy people. For example, don’t get together with friends who might be ill or have been exposed to others without taking precautions (ie: wearing a mask, social distancing, etc). Don’t be afraid to ask those around you if they have been around other people recently. Especially if they were not social distancing and using a mask. True friends will understand and respect your concerns.
  • Get plenty of rest. If you have trouble sleeping, talk with your doctor for options to manage this. Also, there are some great apps out there, such as www.therappingsolution.com. I’ve been using this to sleep like a baby at night. It also helps with anxiety and other issues really well. Another app I use is breethe.com. And if you look up ”anti-anxiety apps” you can find more apps as well.
  • Connect with friends and family on various chat sites. For example, Zoom, Skype, Facetime, etc. The industry is coming out with games to play with two or more people online. Give it a try!
  • Do projects that interest you or you enjoy doing. Some people really like cleaning their homes. Sadly, that is so “not me”, but I certainly admire those who enjoy cleaning. There are adult coloring books that are out there and can help you relax. Have you ever tried painting? Art is something that comes from inside us and can’t be wrong or bad. Create something you enjoy!           This can be a good time to read those books you never found the time to enjoy.
  • If you are unfortunately out of work, it’s a good time to do some job search on a thorough basis by checking out various companies online to see what they’re like. Make sure your resume is in good shape. If not, then this is a great time to bring it up to speed.
  • Physical exercise is very important for physical, mental, and emotional health. Get outside (don’t forget your mask) and walk, ride a bike, skate, or go for a run. Be sure to pick an exercise you enjoy. It’s truly great for your mind and body.  I know some like exercising more than others. If exercise is not your “ thing” pick the best of your options. But exercise, even if it is for a brief time.

 

Recognizing the Signs of Depression

  • Look for signs of possible depression: sleeping too much, not able to sleep well, increased use of drugs or alcohol, withdrawal from friends or family, loss of appetite or eating too much, and ongoing irritable mood are just some of the symptoms to watch for.
  • Don’t be surprised if you find yourself more “crabby” and impatient. That could be a sign of depression. However, sometimes we just get in a bad mood. That’s not depression. Depression stays with us, regardless of what we do. If that’s the case, consult your doctor.

 

Remember, “This Too Shall Pass”

People who have dealt with depression and surviving the unknown in the past can relate more easily to this phrase. It doesn’t make it any easier to deal with difficult times, but the reality is that it won’t always be this way. Sooner or later (hopefully sooner) there will be a vaccine that works and people will go back to a more normal life again.

Therefore, try to make the best of a difficult situation. Stay on top of things that make you feel better and productive. Reach out to others, even if they are not reaching out to you. Remember, we all have our own ways of coping. Sometimes that’s withdrawing from others because it is the “easiest” to do. But it is not healthy and can negatively affect your mood even more.

 

For Further Reading:

You can visit my blog lifeandrelationships101.com for more articles on dealing with the unknown, and surviving difficult times at https://lifeandrelationships101.com/blog/coping-with-difficult-times/.

About Susan Saint-Welch

Susan Saint-Welch LMFT has counseled couples and individuals for many years on issues such as dating, marriage, family drama, coping with difficult times, improving self-image and living the life you love. She provides psychotherapy for clients in California and Dating, Couples and Life Coaching for clients outside California through secure video conferencing. She has published numerous articles regarding these issues on her website, on YourTango.com and on MSN.com.

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