5 steps to get out of Covid Languish/Depression/Life Funk
1. Text someone you enjoy now and suggest a coffee or a walk. Choose an outdoor activity to do together, if not feasible, pick something you both like. OK, if you can’t think of someone you enjoy right now, pick someone you tolerate! You cannot live inside your own brain with yourself all the time, and no, virtual friends don’t count here. Sorry 🙁
2. Just go to the activity. If you don’t feel like it, go. If you’re tired, go. Your goal is to get out, the rest doesn’t even matter as much right now. Later on you can focus more on the actual friendship interactions and whether or not you feel “up to it”. At first it’s getting there and connecting with the world outside of your head. But I will bet you once you get there you’ll feel better!
3. Drink tea or coffee. One cup of caffeinated tea/coffee in the AM/early afternoon will do the trick. Caffeine gets a bad wrap, however, It contains anti-inflammatory properties which are known to be associated with decreases In depression. In addition, caffeine blocks receptors that can cause fatigue and depressed mood. (If you experience high anxiety from caffeine try fresh lemon water, instead).
4. Schedule something for the morning so you have to get out. It can be a doctor’s appointment, an oil change on your car, a haircut. If you’re a freelancer or have a flexible business schedule, aim for early but not unrealistically early. For me that means an hour before my languishing self would wish I could get started. <She needs a little kick in the butt! Momentum is huge.
5. Experience nature. I cannot emphasize this enough. Get fresh air daily. Stop and listen to birds and cicadas at night. Take in the sun. Eat outside. No matter the weather, I open my window at night to hear the cicadas. I am fully aware some people hate these noises. But for me they remind me that I’m alive, there is life around me, and they are a peaceful backdrop for me as I fall asleep. I like and support apps like Calm but I say use what’s natural and free! you can use ocean sounds or any other peaceful sounds from apps to achieve a similar goal.
OK I know I said 5 but do I ever totally follow the rules? NOPE! Bonus ideas:
Eat regular meals, including colorful foods. So often people have anxiety and depression related to not eating and they do not even realize how much food helps. As soon as you eat a healthy meal your mood should improve, your blood sugar will balance. Please note fasting isn’t for everyone, just because it’s all the rage right now doesn’t mean it’s for you.
Juicing, or buy juices. Juices will give you much needed nutrients, improve mood, immunity, and gut health which is highly tied to mental health.
Stay hydrated. So many people drink a lot of water and many DO NOT. You know who you are. We need water for life. If your pee isn’t a pale yellow, you aren’t drinking enough water. (I am not a doctor, please consult with your doctor for what is best for you). Think of this as a natural clarification process.
Make those doctors appts. I can’t tell you how many people I see who put off annual check ups. It’s easy for those of us who care for others to focus on everyone else. This isn’t just “self care” this is a MUST just like your car requires regular oil changes. Don’t skimp, call that doctor now!
Do something new, anything. A new route to work, a new walking route, a new class, anything new to spice things up!