The world looks a little different than it did a few weeks ago. For many, this has brought to surface many stresses. The stress from pivoting into your new roles and responsibilities, along with social distancing and isolation, has led to an increase in depression.
Here is how depression can show up in your life and what you can do:
- Depression hurts. It can cause physical pain and suffering. Depression causes physical pain like body aches and pains, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, and fatigue.
- WHAT YOU CAN DO: Practice simple stretches daily for 5 minutes a day, simple yoga practices, or deep breathing.
- Depression can impact your relationships. Depression can cause irritability and cognitive fogginess. These symptoms can impact your ability to regulate your emotions and connect with others in a healthy way.
- WHAT YOU CAN DO: Start to notice when you are experiencing increased irritability and take a breather. Step away from conversations if you need to. When communicating, stick to using “I Statements”, and mainly sharing how you feel with others instead of blaming.
- Depression affects your overall health. Depression is often linked with other conditions like diabetes, some cancers, and heart disease.
- WHAT YOU CAN DO: Maintain your regular doctor visits and maintain a healthy diet. Mood disorders can develop from systemic inflammation. The best foods are healthy fats to lubricate and nourish the brain, green and orange vegetables to stabilize blood sugar and blue/red fruits to reduce inflammation.
- Depression can increase the risk for substance use. Often when people feel depressed, they will turn to drugs or alcohol to feel better.
- WHAT YOU CAN DO: Reach out to supports. There are virtual sober community support groups available during this time.
- Depression can affect work performance. Depression can cause low motivation and fatigue. Poor work performance and absenteeism are often a result of depressed moods in employees.
- WHAT YOU CAN DO: Reach out for help. Let your supervisor know you are having a hard time adjusting to things. Talk to someone. When you keep it in your head and heart it festers and poisons your energy. Once you get it out, you can see it and look at it and have others hold it for you as a witness.
We are here for you at Healthy Minds Therapy located in Northern Virginia! We are here to support you during your mental health journey.
Alycia Burant, MA, LPC, NCC is founder, owner and therapist at Healthy Minds Therapy in bustling Alexandria, VA. Her practice has three locations in Northern Virginia providing expert support and services for people in times of need. When she is not working, she enjoys relaxing with her family, wine tasting, cooking and traveling.