Create a Routine for Managing Everyday Struggles with Depression
Everyday struggles with depression can take their toll on an individual even in the best of times. And, now that quarantine and pandemic related restrictions have disrupted our typical routines, those suffering from depression may have difficulty managing in these times.
We’ve talked quite a bit about the importance of developing healthy mental habits during the pandemic, which has caused a burgeoning mental health crisis in our country, and around the world. Stress and anxiety from job, food and financial insecurity, isolation and loneliness, and the very real threat of sickness to ourselves and our loved ones have taken their toll. It’s tough on anyone, but especially for those who were previously coping with depression, or find themselves facing it for the first time.
Of course, everyday struggles with depression aren’t always easy to pinpoint or address, even at a moment when it appears that so many are struggling with the same issues at the same time. Regardless, establishing an at-home mental health routine plan can be instrumental to seeing this current crisis through, and better preparing for the future.
Below, we’re discussing tips on how to mitigate feelings of depression and potential co-occurring disorders while in quarantine. You can implement these actionable steps to keep your spirits up, stay distracted, and stay motivated.
Healthy Mental Habits Start with a Routine
There is no denying the benefits of establishing a routine when it comes to dealing with everyday struggles with depression. That goes double in quarantine, since being at home for most of the day makes it easier to fall into bad or unhealthy practices.
So, what should your routine look like? It should be unique to your needs, but there are some essentials that you should consider adding in for their mental health benefits. Here are five of them:
1. Get ready in the morning.
One of the best healthy morning practices that you can adopt is also one of the simplest: take a shower, brush your teeth, comb your hair, and get out of your pjs. Getting ready in the morning instead of going straight from bed to couch or desk is imperative for switching gears and starting out in a good and productive mood. It also directly combats the struggle to maintain basic hygiene that those suffering from depression often experience.
2. Begin the day with mindfulness.
Speaking of your morning routine, adding morning meditation, or some form of mindfulness practice, can actually help train your brain to better manage stress and anxiety. It can also help with focus and memory, which boosts cognition and gives your brain more of the tools it needs to function more efficiently.
3. Stay connected.
Ever notice how much worse you feel on days when you don’t talk to anyone? Make some form of communication with friends and/or family members part of your every day. It’ll help you feel less alone and isolated in quarantine, and it will also provide you with an opportunity to talk about things that might be bothering you.
4. Keep active and get fresh air.
Exercise—especially outdoor exercise—offers an endorphin boost that can improve your mood, help you get better sleep, and help you feel more confident in your abilities. It doesn’t need to be an intense workout either; even just a nice daily walk around the block will break up your days and get your endorphins going.
5. Get enough sleep.
A lack of sleep can seriously fuel depressive thoughts and episodes. Set up a bedtime routine that helps you ease into sleep and get enough of it, such as putting down your phone early, turning off noises and distractions in the bedroom, and doing some pre-bed pampering. It might take some time to become a habit, but every effort you make toward better sleep will pay off in lots of other ways.
In addition to a routine, you may also want to consider adding in professional help for depression via telehealth. Talking to a mental health professional can be immensely helpful, and can also help you develop additional habits and tools to cope with the struggles of depression.
Our team is always here for you. Schedule an appointment if you are in need of more support.