While the world was busy fighting the pandemic it was engulfed in, there started a secret war – A fight with self. We lost a lot during the pandemic. We were able to recover from some losses but some were not recoverable. We lost our loved ones, our jobs, our lifestyle, and our physical and mental health deteriorated too. Though all of us became very alert about maintaining better physical health and became active in eating healthy and creating a healthy lifestyle, not many paid attention to the hidden epidemic that was crawling up our mental space.
We were closed in our homes for a very long time. Though the introverts thought it to be a boon for some time when it extended to such a long duration it started bothering them too. Being isolated for such a long time and not being able to meet people has taken a toll on the mental health of many people. The sense of belongingness has reduced causing people to think they are all alone in this world. With the joint family structures breaking into nuclear families this problem has further escalated.
Staying at home we tried to make the most of our time in the beginning but the enthusiasm kind of went down after a couple of months. There was a shoot in the non-productive hours which kept us behind on our goals. It eventually started creating a feeling of worthlessness. The inability to do things as planned reduced our enthusiasm day after day.
People have been confused and not being able to identify the emotions they are going through. Now when life is getting back to normal, they do not know whether they are happy about it or not.
To identify depression, here are a few symptoms that we should pay attention to:
- Even when things are open now, you don’t feel like going out and want to stay in the entire day.
- A constant feeling of loneliness exists and you do not have people to connect to neither do you want to connect to people.
- The feeling of depression and a constant sad mood has been prevailing for more that 2 weeks.
- Your entire sleep pattern has been disturbed and you do not get any sound sleep.
- The ability to work and concentrate is reduced.
- You have a disturbed decision making ability.
- Your appetite has changed and you notice a significant change in your body weight( either increased or decreased)
- You feel lathargic the entire day .You do not feel like getting up the bed or take any kind of initiative.
- There is a feeling of worthlessness and guilt of not being able to do anything
- You do not feel any interest in activities that previously gave you pleasure.
- At times you feel that life is not worth living.
If you feel that more than 50% of the symptoms listed above are applicable to you, then it is high time you start paying attention to your mental health and seek professional help.
How to deal with depression on your own?
If you feel you can turn your life around without professional help and that you can deal with your depression on your own, congratulations!! you have won half the war. To help you in your journey I have made a list of changes you can easily bring about in your life to beat depression and boost your mental health.
- It is extremely important for you to make your body physically active. Even when you do not feel like doing so you have to push yourself a little and activate your body. For atleast 30 minutes a day your heart beat should be running fast and your body should sweat.
- Eat fresh fruits and salads. Make it a part of atleast one of your meals . What you eat is what you become and even diet plays a huge role in overcoming depression.
- Understand that Self-Care is not selfish and practice it daily. Read more about Self-Care for depression
- Even if you stay at home all day , create a contructive routine for yourself. Have your day scheduled. Do not disrupt your routine. For example, have time scheduled for bathing in the morning, have your meals scheduled and also your chores and other works.
- Improve Your Sleep Patterns. Better sleep means the mind gets more time to heal itself. Our body and mind heals the best when we are asleep. So give yourself time to self heal through improving your sleep patterns.
- Take walks in nature. Go for a morning walk in a park , spend time with nature. If possible take a vacation and go someplace where you can be close to nature .
- Limit your screen time. When nothing seems to work out and we feel sad or depressed we have a tendency to spend out time in front of the TV or bingewatching some series or movies. It keeps our dopamine levels up and makes us feel a bit better. But as soon as we put the screens off it makes us feel worse about ourselves making the depression even worse than before.
- Try to spend some time with people . Be aware of energy vampires and choose wisely the people your spend your time with.
- Meditation is a very good option to create a bond with yourself, to understand what is going on in your mind and to decide in which direction you want to take your thoughts. Below I am adding the link to my favorite meditation musics.
A lot of other things can be done in order to deal with depression without third-party support, and in many cases, it is possible to overcome depression without medications and professional support. You need to be more aware of your situation and develop emotional intelligence. It will help you in all sections of your life.