The “new normal” requires social distancing, wearing a face mask, and other preventative measures to help slow or stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). This new way of life has caused panic and uncertainty worldwide. It has also led to widespread depression that can make it difficult to function.
How to Overcome Depression in the New Normal
Overcoming depression in the new normal first requires people to identify the signs and symptoms associated with the mood disorder.
If people experience depression symptoms, they should immediately pursue medical treatment. Untreated depression symptoms can get worse in times of extreme stress. These symptoms won’t subside on their own, and they can linger for many months or years after onset.
A doctor can assess a patient’s depression symptoms and offer a treatment plan designed to help manage these symptoms. Doctors may prescribe antidepressant medication, which can help temporarily relieve symptoms of depression. Or, they may recommend psychotherapy, which involves meeting with a mental health counselor to discuss depression symptoms and build and implement strategies to manage them. Doctors may recommend a combination of antidepressants and psychotherapy or alternative therapies like transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to help patients reduce or eliminate depression symptoms.
A depression treatment plan aims to help a patient overcome their symptoms now and in the future. In addition to the use of medication, psychotherapy, or other treatments, the plan may include lifestyle changes that can help people manage their depression symptoms.
1. Mindfulness activities
Engaging in meditation and journaling can be impactful, especially when it comes to overcoming depression. These activities encourage people to take a break from work, school, or other everyday activities, and instead, focus exclusively on themselves. With mindfulness, people can stay in the moment and how they are feeling at this time. As such, mindfulness activities can play an important role in helping people guard against mental and emotional health issues in the new normal.
2. Regular exercise
Along with mindfulness activities, exercise can help people cope with stress, anxiety, and other depression symptoms during this challenging time. Regular exercise releases endorphins, i.e. feel-good hormones, in the brain. In doing so, exercise can help people alleviate their depression symptoms and improve their self-esteem.
3. Balanced diet
A healthy diet can provide an energy boost to those dealing with depression in the new normal. Eating foods rich in vitamins and nutrients can help people feel energized. Plus, a healthy diet combined with regular exercise can help people simultaneously enhance their physical and emotional wellbeing.
4. Sufficient sleep
Consistent sleep is important during the new normal, too. Getting seven to nine hours of sleep each night can help people wake up feeling their best every day. Set up a comfortable sleep environment where you can lie down and relax at the end of the day. This environment should be quiet and free of distractions, and it should make it easy for people to consistently get a good night’s sleep.
5. Don’t resort to alcohol and drugs
People may prioritize exercise, diet, and sleep and still find that they are struggling with depression during the new normal. In these instances, they should never resort to alcohol or drugs. Substance abuse can hamper the effectiveness of antidepressants or other depression treatments and cause depression symptoms to worsen. Rather than use alcohol or drugs to cope with depression symptoms, people should pursue medical treatment options. If depression symptoms reach the point where people are contemplating harming themselves or others, call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Overcoming Depression with Others in the New Normal
There are many things that people can do on their own to overcome depression in the new normal, but people can also work with others to get through this difficult period together.
6. Use technology to stay connected
Phone and video chats let people stay connected to one another, even when they are physically apart. By setting up regular phone and video chats, people can engage with family members and friends from around the world, share their thoughts and feelings, and provide support. Phone and video chats with family members and friends can help people realize that they are not alone.
7. Engage with colleagues
Chatting with coworkers via phone or video can be beneficial in the new normal, too. Many companies require employees to perform tasks remotely, which has made working from home a major part of the new normal. This can lead employees to feel isolated from their peers. To address this problem, employees can set up virtual lunches with coworkers; these gatherings let workers connect and discuss work and non-work topics. Remote employees can also use video technology to host virtual birthday parties, trivia, and other events that promote social engagement.
8. Keep in touch
Chatting with family members, friends, and coworkers can be helpful, and there are opportunities to build new relationships as well during the new normal. For instance, social networks can help people stay connected to distant relatives and reconnect with friends from their past. They also enable people to find community and faith organizations in which people can come together remotely to support each other.
Explore Treatment Options for Overcoming Depression in the New Normal
Overcoming depression in the new normal requires patience and hard work. Despite people’s best efforts, they may find that their depression symptoms persist and show no signs of disappearing.
At Achieve TMS, we want to help patients overcome depression as quickly and safely as possible. We offer TMS therapy that patients can use on its own or in conjunction with other therapies to manage depression symptoms during the new normal.
Our medical clinicians and technicians are available to discuss TMS and offer insights into our revolutionary depression treatment. To learn more about TMS or schedule a consultation, please contact us online, call, or text us today at 877-257-3193.