Life today is tense. Fear, anger, sadness and social isolation are affecting our health, both mentally and physically. Between the pandemic and recent protests, the wear and tear on our mental wellbeing caused by chronic stress is leading to significant and sustained increases in symptoms of depression and anxiety, according to recent data from Healthline and YouGov.
While technology can be great, especially during these times of social distancing, constant news reports featuring death tolls and destruction can be overwhelming. On social media, comparing your quarantine life to that of others can lead to a distorted view of reality. Technology pulls us from being present in the moment – an important aspect of dealing with stress – and makes us feel like we are in the middle of that stress.
Emotional intelligence is key when it comes to knowing how to read your body for signs of stress. Many of the common warning signs of depression, such as weight gain or sleep irregularities, can be explained away by lifestyle changes as a result of the current times. This makes seeking help difficult, as it’s hard to distinguish what is normal and what is a symptom of depression.
Being self-aware is more important than ever. To support you during these difficult times, we’ve created a simple checklist for you to follow on a daily basis with recommendations to help improve your mental health.
Tend to Your Mental Health
If you’re currently suffering from depression or anxiety, it’s important to take time to care for yourself. Reach out to others for help and compare effective depression treatments. The options today extend beyond traditional treatments like talk therapy and medication. You may find success with an alternative treatment, such as Ketamine Infusion Therapy, which has high rates of success in providing relief for conditions like depression and anxiety.
If you find the checklist above helpful, you may want to process your emotions and track your efforts in managing your depression/anxiety even further with a Mental Health Bullet Journal. Our free template will help you turn your daily routine into easy-to-understand data points to improve your mental health.
Reach Out to Others
Our communities are in great need of support right now. Even if your mental health is strong at the moment, you may know someone who’s struggling. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to help. If you know someone who is suffering from depression or anxiety, try one or more of the following ways to provide support:
- Let your loved one know that you care about them and are available to help.
- Inform yourself about the mental health issue they’re facing.
- Continue to include them in your plans and check in regularly.
- Provide assistance in taking care of everyday tasks.
- Offer to make arrangements for treatment, such as calling healthcare providers or providing transportation to and from appointments.
- Ask about what other types of support they need.
Most importantly, always treat someone dealing with a mental health issue with respect, dignity, and compassion. It’s important to never place blame or suggest that they just “get over it.” Instead, try to provide a feeling of safety and security where they can express themselves openly and count on your support.
Whether you personally struggle with depression/anxiety, or a friend or family member is struggling, there are things you can do on an individual level to advocate for better support. The stigma of depression is incredibly harmful, causing those who suffer from depression to avoid seeking treatment. It’s also linked to increased risks of bullying, harassment, and physical violence.
It’s important to take the time to consider what steps you can take to improve your mental health or help others struggling with these issues. It’s time to break the stigma and ensure that everyone can get the tools or treatment they need to maintain their mental health.