The lockdowns have been hard. Everybody is worried about work and money. Our news feed is filled with nightmarish stories from the front lines and food shortages. As a result, it becomes easy to feel dread over the upcoming days. Right behind depression, anxiety strikes and turns into a downward spiral of negative energy. Beating depression during the coronavirus pandemic can be particularly difficult, it’s a chronic disease. In this article I’ll share with you my sure-fire ways to reduce depression and take back your happiness.
How to Beat Coronavirus Depression
I’ve said it many times before, meditation is always number one. Many Coronavirus depression and anxiety symptoms start in the mind. We think about the past, things that didn’t go the way we intended, while we think about the future and uncertainty makes us feel like it’s all pointless. This is a lie. The mind is tricking you. Too much thinking, past or future-projection, can trap you in a mental prison.
“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have” – Eckhart Tolle
In Eastern philosophy, they call the wild, toxic thought the “Monkey mind”. Meditation is about accepting the present moment and being at one with it. However, mindfulness to the moment. We are here, this is our reality and we must face it as is. Clearing the mind is living in the present. This can be quite hard. Focus on your breathing and inner body. Be an observer of your thoughts, allow them to be, as a result, it will help loosen their control over you.
We’ve all heard the phrase “An attitude of gratitude” This means thinking of things you’re grateful for. Find 5, say them out loud.
How it works
This practice is powerful because it causes a subtle shift in perception. When we’re depressed we tend to view things through a certain lens. Rain can cause you to be wet, muddy and miserable. On the contrary, rain brings water to crops and food, and for that we can be grateful. Once this shift happens, it helps you to be at one with the world instead of in opposition to it. What are you grateful for?
Problems that remain persistently insoluble should always be suspected as questions asked in the wrong way. – Alan Watts
Get some sun
Any way you can, try to soak up some rays. The vitamin D in the sun is critical to both physical and mental health, as well as helping people with diabetes. Being in the sun boosts your mood and produces serotonin, the “feel-good” chemical. Our serotonin levels drop in the winter because of little sun exposure. That’s why we experience the “winter blues” Even if you’re stuck at home, stepping outside for just 5 minutes a day will have a massive effect on your mood.
Take a walk
Walking is a great way to stay in shape and keep a healthy mental attitude. Walking for fitness is necessary since most gyms are shut down now. The more time we spend cooped up in our houses, it begins to feel like a jail cell. The walls start closing in, even after a great deal of indoor exercises. Fresh, clean air expands your vision of the world and a change in scenery allows the mind to relax, view circumstances in a new light. Benefits of walking include:
- Improved cardio
- Reductions of illnesses like heart disease and lung problems
- Burns calories
- Releases endorphins
As a bonus, if you’re short on time, walking on a sunny day doubles down on the effects more efficiently. Walk for about 30 minutes a day. You can bring your dogs or kids and make it a great outing that everyone can enjoy.
Learn a new skill
If you’re stuck at home, and bored out of your mind, put that time to good use. Put your mind on a mission to beat Coronavirus depression. Learn a new language or become a better cook. With the amount of information on the internet these days endless skills can be learned from your phone. Therefore, doing things to better yourself is an awesome way to stave off boredom. From my phone I learned how to be a better cook. YouTube has a massive amount of videos on every subject. Learn to do home remodeling or make a quilt. Something productive and useful. Masks are in need and creating them for other people will help curb Coronavirus depression.
Take up a new hobby
Motivation comes from action not the other way around. Have you ever noticed you won’t want to do something? No amount of internal dialog will change that and the more you get caught in your head the worse it is. Just get up and do it. Through action, even just going through the motions will help you build up momentum.
“Objects in motion want to stay in motion, objects at rest want to stay at rest” – Sir Isaac Newton
This is true for human psychology as well. Recently, my favorite hobby has been gardening. It keeps my mind active and focused on something outside of the “little me” ego. Nothing compares to the process of cleaning out the flower beds, nurturing the plants, and watching them thrive. It’s also a great way to make your food that’s free of pesticides and hidden toxins. You know exactly what goes into your food. You can start gardening today for less than $5.
Mental health during these stressful times cannot be understated. Forced government lockdowns have been hard on many people and we have seen an increase in suicides. Mental disabilities have been on the rise and with that comes addiction. If you take these steps, they will help you manage your symptoms more effectively. A clear mind and a healthy body leave space for growth. Growth inside and out.
Coronavirus depression must be fought with vigilance. Please take care of yourself and check in on your loved ones today. Though they might smile and look fine on the outside, many of us are proud and don’t want to be a bother. A phone call can make all the difference for someone in the grips of an existential crisis.