As the world grapples with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, many people experience symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Approximately 284 million people experienced an anxiety disorder in 2017. It is considered the most widespread mental health condition across the globe. In the United States, adults reported elevated adverse mental health conditions linked to the pandemic.
How does COVID-10 affect depression? The pandemic period is a distressing and uncertain time. Even if some places have re-opened businesses, schools, and work, the end may still seem a long way off.
Many people lost their jobs, and some businesses have closed down. Some are struggling financially, while others lost loved ones to the infection. Other people grieve the loss of the life they knew before the pandemic. All these lead to feelings of frustration, isolation, and loneliness.
To fight off these feelings, here are some activities you can do during lockdowns.
Gardening is right for your mental well-being as it helps combat stress.
Stress is a global problem that can cause a wide range of physical and mental symptoms. It can cause high blood pressure, digestive problems, and muscle tension. Stress can also cause mental health conditions like depression and anxiety.
Plants are natural stress busters. Gardening at home or in the community helps improve one’s physical and mental well-being. You can try herb planting, which can help you with cooking, too.
Plan Regular Exercise Sessions
Most people fall into two camps when it comes to lockdown and physical activity. Some will go on with their exercise regimen and become fitness junkies. On the other hand, some people don’t exercise at all. It is time to cut the bad habit and start exercising.
Plan a regular exercise session to fight off anxiety and depression amidst the pandemic. Current physical activity recommendations say that people should perform at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous exercise per week.
Make the most of the lockdown time to find ways to exercise where you can. This will not only help you become healthy, but it can also help combat mental health issues and stress.
Exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood. It helps you sleep better, boosts your self-esteem, and improves cognitive function.
Music Is Healing
During lockdowns, maximize the time to improve yourself. Music is one way to alleviate stress. It promotes natural healing, especially for people who have anxiety and depression.
Music therapy is an intervention that involves regular meetings with a music therapist. It helps improve mood through emotional expression. Apart from this, you can learn new songs, take singing lessons, or dance your heart out. Whatever you do, incorporate music to feel excited, happy, and comfortable.
Learn a New Hobby
We see people taking up lessons for new hobbies during the pandemic, such as painting, crafting, and cooking. This is the perfect time to learn a new craft you’ve wanted to have in the past.
You can learn to paint through online tutorials, cook through social media video platforms, and even make crafts that can add aesthetic value to your home or office.
Connect with Others
Connecting with loved ones, friends, and acquaintances comes in many forms. You can connect with them through social media, emails, or phone calls. Today, with the birth of video calling and social media, connecting with others has become easier and better. Make use of technology to fight off the feelings of isolation and depression.
People who need to be quarantined may also feel isolated. Social isolation leads to chronic boredom and loneliness. In the long run, it may cause panic, anxiety, and depression. Connecting with others virtually can help mitigate the effects of isolation.
For families with children, the lockdown period can be the time to spend quality time. Make sure to allow a couple of hours a day off work to mingle with family members. Besides having fun with the kids, this activity can reduce stress, depression, anxiety, and loneliness.
More than one year into the pandemic, many countries are still on lockdown due to the rapid spread of the virus. With many families isolated, this could heighten the risk of mental health issues. Finding ways to release the stress, relax, and unwind can help fight off unwanted emotions.
Anxiety and depression are among the most common types of mental issues today. If these activities do not help alleviate the symptoms, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare provider specializing in psychology and psychiatric health.