Pandemic Depression Teams Up With Seasonal Depression For the Ultimate End of Year Knockout (10 Ways to Overcome It)
What a time to be alive. When the history books are written, 2020 will go down as one of the most intricate, valuable, and awe-inspiring years in human history. Just kidding. 2020 sucked. It sucked even more for the countless number of people who struggle with depression.
Adding to the typical seasonal depression that comes towards the end of each year, we can now add ‘Pandemic Depression’ to the list of things that keep us in our rooms, under the covers. It’s even worse for the people who have just “regular” depression. All of these combined could lead to a pretty miserable existence for the next few months, which is why we’ve developed 10 ways to overcome this unholy trinity of depression. They say the best defense is a good offense, so we’re going on the offense to combat what we have now dubbed ‘Depression in the Time of Corona.’
Cover Photo: Brandon Colbert Photography, Getty Images
We know, baby. It’s cold outside. And nobody wants to go outside when it’s cold out. But global warming is a thing, so it’s not even that bad. Quit complaining and go outside. Seriously. Take a walk. Build a snowman. Climb a mountain. The world is yours, so take advantage.
This whole pandemic thing has really cramped everybody’s style, hasn’t it? We barely see our families. Our sex lives are almost non-existent. We’re growing resentful of our cats because they’re not contributing to the household one bit. It’s all a mess. We need social interaction. Even the most introverted of us need at least a little bit of human interaction. But we’re not getting it. Because we’re responsible (right?). Thus, we are forced to rely on the technology that was fortuitously built for us years ago. In the land of Ago, we used to spend all of our time on screens, so why not do it guilt-free, now that we have no other option? FaceTime your mom. Have Zoom brunches with your grandmother. We know you’re already using Snapchat to sext, so keep on sending those dick pics (as long as there’s consent…don’t be that quarantine guy).
Get a Pet
Speaking of the cat we have grown resentful of, you should get one too. In fact, kill two birds with one stone and get a dog. That way, you can go take it for walks outside and you both win! Truly, though, having an animal does a world of good for those battling mental health issues. Whether it’s a cat, a dog, a rabbit, or a bird, animals provide a sense of compassion and a sense of purpose.
Make Your Bed
Seriously. It seems mundane but it’s the little things that matter most. Making your bed tricks your brain into thinking you’re being productive. Leaving it unmade tempts you into just getting back under the covers and letting the day pass you by. So make it! And then, while you’re at it, vacuum your living room. And then you might as well clean your kitchen. Suddenly, making your bed has turned into spring cleaning and you end the day feeling like you conquered the world.
It’s been proven, by science and stuff, that working out is extremely beneficial to one’s mental health. Exercise gets the endorphins going and elicits serotonin in the brain (i.e. – it triggers the happy juice in your head). While gyms may be open, it’s still not advised to actually visit them, but that shouldn’t stop you from breaking a sweat. There are a plethora of workout videos and training regimens online. So whether you’re doing push-ups, planking (aww…remember planking?) or just practicing various forms of yoga, utilize this time to get that beach bod you’ve always wanted but never allegedly had time to get.
This is a fun one. Every day, at the beginning of the day, or at the end of the previous day, write out a list of things you want to accomplish for the day. The benefits of this are two-fold. One, it allows you to write out the things you need to actually get done, so that you actually have a guide and aren’t just trying to guess and remember. Secondly, checking things off is, like, really fun. It makes you feel like you accomplished a lot. Even if the tasks you assign to yourself are relatively mundane (make your bed, drink water, send a nice text to somebody, etc.), it still fills you with a sense of pride and purpose when you’re able to check them off.
Discover New Hobbies or Rediscover Old Ones
Remember that old guitar at the back of your closet? How about that sketchbook you got for Christmas seven years ago? Puzzles, and pictures and porn, oh my! There is a world of hobbies for you to either discover or rediscover.
Write, Write, Write
Speaking of writing, don’t just stop at writing checklists. Write just for the sake of it. Write down how you’re feeling, what you’re doing, your frustrations, etc. Even if you’re not a good writer, it doesn’t matter. Nobody has to read what you write. You’re doing it for yourself. And sometimes, getting feelings down on paper (or computer, or iPhone) helps to put them into perspective.
Eat Your Favorite Foods
This is our favorite. There’s very little joy to be found in the world right now, so focus on things that do bring you joy. There’s a reason why Mel Gibson and his family all made their favorite foods towards the end of the movie Signs. They knew they were probably gonna get killed by the aliens, so they wanted to spend their last few hours eating the things that made them happy. So whether it’s a bacon cheeseburger, spaghetti, or a mountain of ice cream, treat yourself. You’ve more than earned it.
Put the ‘Mass’ in Christmas(s)
People started putting Christmas lights up before Halloween even happened this year. And we don’t blame them. Times are tough and if putting up a tree and, like, a thousand lights makes people happier, we should do it. Don’t stop there, either. Blast Christmas music. Go for walks at night downtown and take in all of the Christmas lights that adorn your local shops. Basically, do anything and everything you can to make yourself happy. As every commercial ever this year says, we’re all in this together. So do what makes you happy. Give yourself purpose each day. And, more than anything, remember that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to navigate these waters. Take each day as it comes and just do your best. It’s the only thing we can do.