The practice of “social distancing” has been mandated by our government, which means we are isolated in quarantine, away from our friends, colleagues and extended family members. Even if you are an introvert and don’t love social situations, studies show that too much isolation can be detrimental to our mental health.
For those who already suffer from anxiety or depression, or who have suffered a past trauma, social distancing has a way of bringing painful experiences back to surface. Normally, those people would lean on social support from their family and friends, or from their counselors and therapists. However, with social distancing in place, their mental health may be in more danger than ever—with isolation comes loneliness.
Isolation is physical separation from others, while loneliness is the emotional feeling of being alone. Loneliness is associated with bad quality of sleep, lower immune system, and high blood pressure. Studies show depression is more frequent among those who are lonely.
Not only that, the fact that we don’t know when we will get past the isolation period only makes matter worse. Being unable to control the situation contributes to feelings of anxiety, which can lead to deeper feelings of depression and hopelessness.
There are, however, ways you can protect your mind from going to dark places during this dark time. Here are 6 things you can do to help alleviate your mood during this time:
1. Exercise. Daily movement, even a walk, can alleviate your mood almost immediately.
2. Acknowledge what is happening around you. Don’t deny, but acknowledge it’s there and that it’s stressful.
3. Keep in contact with friends and family. FaceTime, Zoom, text, and call your loved ones to keep in contact.
4. Read less news. Too much news intake can breed anxiety, as headlines often sound scary and seemingly disastrous.
5. Change expectations. Don’t create unrealistic goals. Set realistic expectations that you can meet, or have back-up plans so you aren’t devastated if “Plan A” doesn’t happen.
6. Help someone else. Studies show that when you help another person, you get rewarded with a little burst of dopamine in your brain.
These are just a few tactics you can incorporate into your daily routine to keep your mood elevated and prevent yourself from spiraling out of control. However, if you find yourself having suicidal thoughts, reach out to a mental health professional who can guide you through this time.
Feeling depressed during COVID-19? You are not alone. Call our office for a free consultation. Our clinic is still open and accepting patients on a limited basis. We are following all safety protocols, including staggering appointments to limit patient-to-patient interactions, and carefully sanitizing all treatment rooms between patient visits.
Contact Renew Ketamine
Renew Ketamine is Chicagoland’s leading provider of ketamine infusions for depression and pain. Contact us today for a free consultation and find out if you or a loved one is a candidate for ketamine infusion therapy.