Boosting your mood in 2020: How to get out of the quarantine blues COVID-19 has certainly made for quite a year for many of us. No one ever expected 2020 to turn into one of the most isolating years in the history of not just the United States, but the world. Because of having to quarantine to keep ourselves and loved ones safe, many people have suffered from mental health issues since March. It is more than just the fact that COVID has become so widespread. Many people have suffered losses this year both personally and professionally that make it hard to cope. Between the uncertainty of the future, COVID stress, and isolation, people both young and old have suffered from both depression and anxiety.

Breaking out of one’s normal routine is difficult at best. Due to COVID, daily routines are a thing of the past. Many businesses are still trying to figure out ways to reopen safely if they are able to open at all. The question of “What to do during quarantine?” has been quite common. There are a few options of things that can help to ward off poor mental well-being from such isolating measures. Your mental state affects your physical health, so it is important to know what the signs of depression are before you learn how to help them.

There are many signs that relate to depression. It is crucial to understand what triggers depressive moods so that you can reroute your mental state before it becomes really detrimental. One of the most noticeable signs of a deteriorating mental state is being tired. While there is not much to do as far as activities go, you may sleep for hours at a time and still feel tired. The lack of energy or even the lack of motivation to do anything is caused by being depressed. For those of you who are working from home, this may be more common for you. Aside from not being able to go to work, you probably are not getting out as much as you are used to. By working from home, you are not getting enough interaction with people anymore and this can lead to a severe decline in one’s well-being. Anxiety is another symptom of being depressed. It is very common to have anxiety right now because we do not know what the future holds. For those of us who love routines, it has been particularly daunting to not be able to make plans in the way in which we have become accustomed. With anxiety comes insomnia and lack of concentration. You are nervous and it becomes hard to focus on conversations with people and even finish your work because the anxiety has taken over your thoughts. The really difficult part of being depressed is that it causes you to isolate yourself more, as your mental health declines.

There are ways in which to help your mental clarity while quarantining. One of the best ways to get out of a funk is to use a journal to express your feelings. No feeling is wrong, you just need a healthy outlet to get those feelings out. This exercise also will help to alleviate your stress. When things are not going right, you can write down what your problem is and then strategize ways to make it better. Another healthy alternative to self-imposed isolation is to find a new hobby. Because of the lack of options for travel, now is the perfect time to take up all of those hobbies you’ve been wanting to try. DIY projects are great activities to do because you can do them by yourself. You can also learn to play an instrument, pick up knitting, or start a new exercise routine. Going outside and walking is another activity that you might try. Sometimes just taking a walk in the park or around your neighborhood can greatly impact your day. Once you get outside, take time to observe your surroundings and stay off your phone. The fresh air and peacefulness from a walk can change your whole perspective and help you to decompress. All of these activities are great, not just because they help to pass time, but you will feel a lot pride when you accomplish learning something new. Your mental health will greatly improve due to your self-confidence. If these activities still don’t help to improve your mood, try a new routine. It is easy to become depressed when you stay home in your pajamas for days at a time. If you are working from home, make it a point to get up and get a shower and dress like you were going to work. This will help you to feel more normal and like you have some control over how your day will be.

There are other ways in which to help with your mental stability as well. Thankfully, in the United States, we are required to have health insurance. This means that having a condition such as a mental illness is covered by your health care provider. By accessing a health care provider, you can find out other ways to cope with difficult situations to prevent both mental and physical disorders. It is a totally healthy and normal thing to do to get help when you need it. The time in which we are living in is unprecedented and it is very to to become overwhelmed and not know how to handle what is our “new normal”.

Online health care is another resource to use. Many health insurances cover this type of care as part of your plan, so you may not have to pay out of pocket to access this resource. Using an online healthcare provider can provide you with 24 access to health professionals who can assess your needs and put you on the right track to mental stability. Another great things about online health care is that there is no office visits and little wait time. Additionally, it is a great resource for people who have considered suicide because doctors or other licensed professionals can talk to you about your problems and sometimes that is better than any prescription. Having an online source of health care is a wonderful tool in which to utilize.

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