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Social Distancing Depression? Overcoming the Coronavirus Blues

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is causing anxiety on a global level, but for many individuals, feelings of stress on an individual level can be even worse. That’s because following recommendations for social distancing to avoid the coronavirus can cause or aggravate stress, anxiety and potential depression.

Humans are social creatures, so even the more antisocial can experience mental health issues related to loneliness. Fortunately, this isn’t something you merely have to accept. By following these strategies, you can fight isolation’s attempt to cause depression during your coronavirus distancing.

Get Outside

Social distancing means you shouldn’t go out into public, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go out. Scientific research consistently shows that sunlight has a direct effect on mood, and it can even reduce depressive feelings and other mental disorders. Head out into the backyard, or if you don’t have one, lay the seat back in your car. You’ll be surprised at just how far the sun can go in creating a sunnier disposition.
Vitamin D and Depression
Effect of Sunlight Exposure

Enjoy Safe Levels of Human Interaction

Feeling alone doesn’t always happen when you’re alone. If there’s more than one person in your home during distancing, enjoy shared activities so neither of you feels too isolated. Conversations, playing with the kids, or even breaking out a board game all are positive ways to keep everyone engaged and less-stressed.

If you’re alone, grab the phone or computer and make use of Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, or Facebook video calls. Since face-to-face interactions have been shown to reduce the risk of depression, these visual-focused apps beat out a phone call every time.
Face-to-Face Social Contact

Caring for Your Body Cares for Your Mind

Managing the stress, anxiety, and depression caused by coronavirus isolation can be an unwelcome challenge. Fortunately, a simple 30 minutes a day of physical activity can go a long way to combat those emotions. Decades of in-depth research shows that physical activity has a direct positive effect on our mental well-being. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) even recommends this on their coronavirus information page!

Cardio, weightlifting, yoga and plain-old stretching can get serotonin running through the body. You don’t need a gym to do this, so get your heart rate up if you’re serious about overcoming the coronavirus blues. Considering more people have opted to workout from home in recent years, we’ve pretty much been preparing ourselves for this.
CDC Recommendations
Exercise as All-Natural Treatment

Help Those Who Need Help

There’s a good chance you know someone that’s going to have some difficulty with social distancing. Even if you’re having a rough time at it, you probably have a person in mind who might be a little worse off. Take the time to reach out to this person and help them battle their depression and stress of social isolation. Your emotional health will reap rewards!

This works for a couple of reasons. First off, you’re getting the human interaction that is so important during isolation. It also turns out, though, that helping others helps you. There’s a growing body of research that shows investing time in others increases happiness for both parties..

Call a friend who you know needs help during this time. You’ll be doing both of you a favor.
Exercise as All-Natural Treatment
Research into Giving

Keep to Your Routine

If you experienced stress, anxiety or depression before coronavirus ever hit the news, you probably know that keeping a routine can help your mood. Going to sleep and waking up at particular times keeps your circadian rhythmicity in check, and this reduces the likelihood of experiencing mood disorders.

Of course, it’s more important than just trying to maintain your sleep schedule. If you stick to your regular daily routine, you’re more likely to accomplish this feat. Eat meals at the same time. Adapt to a new exercise routine. Shower like you always do.

Social isolation linked to coronavirus isolation might make you feel lethargic. Don’t let it win this battle.
Routine, Routine, Routine

Beat Anxiety from Coronavirus

There are certain difficulties in the road ahead, but they’re not insurmountable. While social distancing will keep you healthy on a physical level, it’s important that you never fail to take care of your mental health. Stress, anxiety, and depression from coronavirus social distancing are serious issues, but every tool you need to overcome this is easily at your disposal.

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