Apologies… This blog has been a bit neglected for the last few weeks. The truth is, I’ve been struggling with my Depression and it takes me so much effort right now to do the simplest of tasks. I almost didn’t write this…
In this blog entry, I want to talk about my experience recently with being depressed amid the Coronavirus ordeal. When things kicked off around the beginning of March, my OCD became exacerbated and my stress levels went sky-high. I was already dealing with some personal things which were causing some stress, but the Coronavirus pandemic really kicked things up a notch. I’m a Support Worker and so I’m counted as frontline staff. I was getting to the point where I couldn’t handle going into work. Luckily, my managers worked with me and are allowing me to work from home until the pandemic calms down a bit. This has helped a little, but over time, the stress has turned into Depression, and I find it difficult to do anything.
I take medication at night, which sedates me, so getting up in the morning is hard for me. Add-in the sleepiness Depression causes, and I’m barely functioning right now. I’m just about managing to do my job each day, but I’m constantly worried I’m going to get in trouble for not being up to par, for not doing good enough. I’m getting to the point where I currently don’t enjoy my job anymore, which makes things even harder. I’ve titled this entry “Limbo” because that’s very much where I feel I’m at right now. I’m stuck in a job where I’m not happy (although, don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful to have a job right now, especially under the circumstances), I’m stuck in a flat on my own (my partner lives 5 hours away), I’m stuck in a body I don’t like (I’ve gained weight due to emotional eating), and I’m stuck in this constant state of sadness and indifference. There is no current end in sight for the Coronavirus situation and it makes me feel all the more stuck, never knowing when I’ll break free of all this.
To be honest, I’m supposed to be moving at some point to live down with my partner, and as such, I will need a new job, but I think it gets me down because right now, I have no new job to be excited about, no moving date as to when I can be with my partner again, nothing to really look forward to. I’m sure there are many people in similar positions right now, which is why I wanted to share how I’m feeling.
However, despite feeling “meh” and “blah” and “blegh”, I still manage to find the positives in each day. For example, the emotional eating I mentioned? I’m working on cutting that down and only eating when I’m genuinely hungry. I’m also using my elliptical for 30 minutes every day to try to lose some of the weight I’ve put on, and also just to get a bit fitter. Most weeks I do 5 out of 7 days, a couple weeks I’ve done all 7 days, and some weeks I really slack. It’s a work in progress. So, I may be sleeping a lot, but I’m still managing to get some exercise in, which I should be proud of myself for, as it’s not easy.
I’m also doing simple things, such as showering regularly, getting up every day, and doing my work from home. These are all small accomplishments which I need to remember to recognise. If it were my friend in this situation, I’d be telling them they’re doing great! I’d be reminding them to not be so hard on themselves, because considering the current situation, they’re actually being quite productive and they’re doing well. So why shouldn’t I tell myself the same thing? I might not do much in a day, but I’m doing SOMETHING, and that’s what matters right now. I’m trying and doing my best and not giving up, and that’s all you can really ask of yourself, isn’t it? So, I’m going to keep on trying and keep on doing my best, and I’m going to remember to point out the positives of each day to myself. Focus on the things I HAVE achieved. I’m also going to take one day at a time, and I know this won’t last forever.
What about you? How has your mental health been during this pandemic? What things do you do for self-care? What things could you do to be kinder to yourself right now?
A few things I do:
- As I mentioned earlier, I try to focus on the positives and not be too hard on myself. I ask myself, “What would I say to a friend in this situation?” and it’s usually something much kinder than what I would tell myself, so I try to tell myself the same thing.
- I read books that I enjoy. It’s great getting lost in a good story.
- I watch shows I enjoy on Netflix. It’s also fun to get lost in a good show sometimes.
- I exercise because I know how much better I feel after I’ve done it. Not only for the endorphins being released, but because I feel a sense of accomplishment.
- I maintain my hygiene, because I know how low I feel when I don’t keep on top of it. It only makes things worse. Plus, self-care is important!
- I talk to my friends and family on the phone. I’m already quite isolated by living alone, so keeping in contact with loved ones is key to combating some of my loneliness.
- I don’t watch too much news. I keep up-to-date enough to know what’s going on, but I don’t over-do it as it can be upsetting and anxiety-provoking.
- I pamper myself with something, such as a pedicure. Again, self-care and self-love is important!
- I get up every day and do my best. If I have an off day, I forgive myself and try again tomorrow.
- I remember this won’t last forever. I’ve been depressed before and made it through, and I’ll do it again.