Chances are, your mental health has taken a toll in the last month or so. COVID-19 has seen the world come to an economic standstill, and many people have been forced into both unemployment and isolation, and they feel depressed. What’s worse is that we’re uncertain about our timeline back to normality.
As a consequence of such drastic change, maladies like severe anxiety, depression and stress are rife. In fact, Healthline report that the number of people showing symptoms related to these mental health conditions are well above historical norms.
With all that’s expected of you in today’s modern and connected society, in today’s ‘fake news’ society, it can be difficult to let yourself accept things the way they are and be sad for a time.
We’re here to tell you that it’s okay to let yourself off the hook. Here’s why it’s okay to feel depressed during COVID-19.
It’s important to accept these times for what they are
There’s no doubt about it: times are hard. It’s hard to lose your civil liberties and stay locked indoors. It’s hard to remain inspired and creative when you’re stuck in a repetitive routine. It’s hard to feel energetic and excited when you can’t visit friends or spend time outside.
It is hard.
While we’re all aware of this hardship, some of us might be failing to accept these times for what they are. Many of us might be resisting or fighting against this unprecedented challenge and growing frustrated, arguing that ‘life isn’t fair’ and that ‘I deserve more’. This, unfortunately, is cause for concern.
Mental health issues arise from skewed perspective. When we feel out of control and victimised by our surroundings, we begin to feel apathetic about our ability to try, and we grow sorry for ourselves. This is no unusual feeling. This is a natural human instinct.
To help counter these negative thoughts and remain grounded during this difficult time, we encourage you to let yourself off the hook with this one. We encourage you to embrace your ability to relax a little and spend time doing the things that are important to you, but that perhaps you neglect during everyday life. Make time to speak with your loved ones, learn that recipe you’ve been meaning to cook, or read that book you’ve had on your shelf.
Truth is, life isn’t fair. The sooner you can accept this and realise that this way of life if not forever, but in fact it’s just a passing phase, the less pressure you’ll put on your shoulders and the happier you’ll be.
Talk it out
In a rehab environment, much of our work revolves around talking. Through talking to one another, we can begin to understand the reasons we feel and act in certain ways. What’s more, we can begin to process these overwhelming thoughts and feelings together and begin to implement the techniques that work for us in terms of ‘mindset management’.
Right now, you’re most likely spending a large portion of your time at home, alone. That’s okay. It’s okay because, in truth, you’re not alone. Your friends and family are still out there and going through exactly what you are, and they need to hear your voice as much as you need to hear theirs.
To help you through this time, pick up the phone and have a conversation. Express that you’re struggling or that you’re feeling lonely. Listen to what others have to say and offer a shoulder if need be.
No person is an island and we are undoubtedly better together. Voice your concerns with your loved ones. After all, they might be going through the exact same thing, and they might be able to offer a little advice that helps you push on.
Remain responsive to change
Many mental health concerns like depression can arise in response to drastic and unforeseen change. Case in point is COVID-19. Divorce and death cause similar mental health concerns, too. While change is never easy, it’s important to remember that it’s one of life’s greatest certainties.
You cannot fight or avoid change as a human being. After COVID-19 disappears and life returns to some semblance of normality, something else will come along that will cause a new uproar. We’ve seen this in our history, whether it be two World Wars, the Cold War, Ebola, Smallpox or, more recently, climate change.
Your goal as a human being, then, is to remain open to the changes that come our way. While understanding the boundaries of your comfort zone is important, nothing lasts for ever. Every addict that walks out of rehab, for example, is ‘in recovery’ for the rest of their days. A ‘one-stop-fix cure’ does not exist, and there’s no such thing as ‘the way it once was’.
How you choose to react to changes like COVID-19, then, is what’s important. The event has happened, and we must accept this. Now is the time to rationalise our thought processes, work with the information we have, and decide to make positive change for ourselves that helps us storm this weather.
What to do if you’re spiralling
Unfortunately, mental health concerns like depression and stress are self-perpetuating – we have negative thoughts, which lead to negative behaviors, which lead to more negative thoughts and so on.
While it’s important to cut yourself some slack and accept your low mood for what it is, it’s also important to know when it’s time to seek professional help. At Tikvah Lake, we work with many clients to help them through times of mental hardship, and our treatment options are designed to be personalized to each individual and their specific needs.
If you’d like to find out more about how we can help, visit our admissions page today.