This is a guest blog post by Belinda Njonguo.
Sarah woke up today, like most days lately feeling demotivated about a lot of things. She like many others has had her plans (conferences, projects, travels, wedding, hang outs) crushed by this pandemic (covid19) leaving her feeling so uninterested life and not finding strength to go about any of her activities as she would have wanted ,and finding constant reminders of what should have been if not of…
Do you find yourself in this Sarah’s shoes,constantly asking yourself what should have been if not of this pandemic which has robbed us of our savings, families, and friends and led some of us in to depression …?
“Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which a person can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work well and produce result, and is able to make a contribution to her or his society.”
Some common signs to know if you are dealing with some mental health issues precisely depression are …and noting that they are different with every person.
- Crying easily or for no reason.
- Feeling guilty or worthless.
- Feeling restless, irritated, and easily annoyed.
- Feeling sad, numb, or hopeless.
- Losing interest or pleasure in things you used to enjoy (including sex).
- Thinking about death or suicide.
- Changes in appetite (eating more than usual, or eating less than usual).
- Feeling extremely tired all the time.
- Having other aches and pains that don’t get better with treatment.
- Having trouble paying attention, recalling things, concentrating, and making decisions.
- Headaches, backaches, or digestive problems.
- Sleeping too much, or having trouble sleeping.
- Unintended weight loss or gain.
I have found the following tips to be particularly helpful to me during this period.
1-Take a break from news
Constant news about COVID-19 from all types of media can increase fears about the disease. Avoiding negative information and limiting social media that may expose you to rumors and false information. Also limit reading,hearing or watching it , but keep up to date on national and local recommendations. Look for reliable sources such as the World Health Organization.
2-Meditation and light exercise
Personally taking out time for myself has always been the highlight of my day, be it in the mornings or evenings doing breathing exercises of simple ins and outs. Not worrying helps me relax after a stressful day or even after an angry or frustrating encounter. I realized that this is very important for my mental health as I can’t control what happens but I can control how it affects me.
Meditating on positive things helps one to focus positive energy. Oh get some fresh air and sunlight once in a while…very refreshing.
3-Adopt/build a routine
These days’ time seems to be at a standstill where a minute seems like an hour, losing track of time makes you lose your sense on how to prioritize self-care. Building a routine or even programming your day’s helps you feel productive despite being in one place. Things like writing in your journal, reading a book, cleaning your space, morning stretches, and even searching about home self-care routines can ease your mind.
This is also the time for you to learn a new skill. Am currently learning graphic designing, improving my writing skills, learning make –up tricks and even reading business oriented books. What are those things you always wanted to learn but never had the time? Do them now.
4-Support healthy eating habits and stay drug-free
Flavorful and mouthwatering is everybody’s expectation when eating and junks have this to offer but they are poor quality foods. Studies have shown that people who ate a poor-quality diet such as junk [one that was high processed meat, chocolates, sweet desserts, fried food, refined cereals and high-fat dairy products] and an unhealthy intake of caffeine (or other drugs of abuse) are more likely to report symptoms of depression.
The good news is that people who ate a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and fish were less likely to be depressed.
5-Improve your playlist
As simply as it sounds a confident, empowering and energetic playlist gives a bright and cheerful person. Music has been used to treat people with mental health needs, noting that it doesn’t mean a cure, but it certainly helps.
Some positive effects of good music are; increase motivation, reduces muscle-tension, a safe form of emotional release. So what are you waiting for, add some up-beathappy songs and sing off.
6-Reach out to love ones
Talking with family, friends, colleague reduces the effect of loneliness. Though staying at home, we need to avoid social isolation. Find time each day to make reach out either by email, texts, Whatsapp, IG, Facebook or similar apps. If you’re working remotely from home, ask your co-workers how they’re doing and share coping tips. Enjoy online socializing and talking to those in your home.
Hoping mental health problems like depression will go away on their own can lead to worst symptoms. If you have concerns or if you experience worsening of mental health symptoms, ask for help when you need it, and be upfront about how you’re doing.
To get help you may want to:
- Call or use social media to contact a close friend or loved one — even though it may be hard to talk about your feelings.
- Contact a minister, spiritual leader or someone in your faith or someone you can talk to.
- Call your primary care provider or mental health professional to ask about appointment options to talk about your anxiety or depression and get advice and guidance.
If you’re feeling suicidal or thinking of hurting yourself, seek help. Contact your primary care provider or a mental health professional. Or call a friend.
How are you kicking depression away? drop us a tip in the comment section.
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