Depression and COVID-19

stress of everyday life

These days, even those who formerly dreaded going to work are antsy to return, just to get out of their homes.

All of a sudden, a newfound appreciation is found for tasks that used to cause stress themselves. Running errands, going to work, and even waiting on long lines in airports for travel now seem not-so-bad, even intriguing.

The tasks that once brought on intense anxiety now seem like the cure for today’s home-bound depression.

But how can the dream of yesterday’s Uber rides to the curbside at the airport, to the excruciatingly long check-in lines at security (even in the TSA precheck line), to the slow boarding process, to the claustrophobic seating, the rough landings, the baggage claim, and then more Uber rides to final destinations and repeat- be the safe haven to today’s issues?

Seriously, every step of that process used to cause stress and anxiety!

Getting out of the house can’t be the simple solution to my current depression because prior to the quarantine, I still experienced depression, anxiety, and stress.

However, being stuck in this house and doing nothing is, in many ways, worse than the depression and stress I experienced before.

Simple daily tasks prior to COVID-19 were mundane, yet fulfilling. Even if your work was stressful and you checked the days off the calendar until your next vacation, you still slipped into bed at night feeling accomplished, knowing that a piece of the world was changed, perfected, or improved because of you.

Each day you were productive, and even on days where you accomplished less than what your to-do list said, you knew that even these days would lead to long term successes.

If only we could have appreciated our healthy, fully-scheduled lives. These busy days used to feel like the antithesis to serenity. Our former perspective regarding life’s chaotic bustle was that the lawn was greener on the other side. If only the world was quiet and we nothing we had to do, then, and only then would we be happy.

Although now we see, sometimes the other side doesn’t even have a lawn. It just has four walls that can’t be breached. We now see how bored and useless we feel when there is only free time.

Tranquility - man looking out to a lake

Of course, there are still underlying issues that need explored. How can we appreciate the stressors that we now crave, the ones that used to push us down into depression? In the midst of a long airport line traveling for business, how can we rejoice in every moment of the experience? How can that experience cause peace and not anxiety?

The answer is achieved in steps. When the COVID-19 pandemic ends (hopefully very, very soon), and everyone is back to their usual lives, this art needs to be practiced and improved with each experience.

The only way to accomplish this feat is through the necessary tools to work through other underlying core issues. Now that our regular lives are halted for some time, we see clearly that escaping for a month (or more) to work on combating anxiety and depression is not only doable, but beneficial.

At Tikvah Lake Recovery we have a dedicated team that assists our guests in developing the skills to reenter society, so they can wait in those airport lines, sit in traffic, deal with work and family issues, and still remain calm and appreciate that the lawn they have is just fine as it is.

We also offer a ten-day executive treatment program for those who can’t get away for an extended time.

About Adam Nesenoff

Adam Nesenoff has been working in recovery for over ten years.

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