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Journal Thrive

Self-Isolation and Depression

Being cooped up, especially under stressful and uncertain circumstances, isn’t easy for people with mental health issues. Self-isolation and depression are not a good mix. Please take a moment to be kind to people that are struggling. It’s hitting me pretty hard the past few days, so I want to share a few tips on how I keep myself going.

You need to interact with people somehow, while also limiting exposure to social media. The only reason I check in with the hellsite that is Twitter twice a day is to touch base with friends. Then I need to dump out of there as soon as possible, because the casual cruelty and aggressive stupidity that permeates the place curb-stomps any remaining faith I have in humanity.

Exercise and getting outside is great. The weather is nice, people are scarce, and Katie and I are going to start taking walks down by the lake. I’ve got a light kettlebell workout to help me generate some endorphins, which help stave off depression. I step outside on the balcony a few times pr day just to breathe in some fresh air and remember that there’s a world beyond my walls and device screens.

Stick to routines as closely as possible. The time you wake up, meal times, and bedtime have to be stable. With no external cues or interruptions, it’s easy to want to sleep all day, stay up all night, or some combination of the two. Sleep deprivation and weird changes to your circadian rhythms are not good for mental health.

Self-Isolation and Depression

Try to find something meaningful to do. If you’re working from home, you have some sort of purpose. If you’re playing video games and binging Netflix to kill the time, you’ll run into trouble. Take on a creative project. Clean. Organize a collection. I know a ton of people who are learning to cook and bake. Give yourself something to do that leaves you with a sense of accomplishment.

In all seriousness, I am having a difficult time right now. There are so many reasons that I should probably break the big ones down into separate blog posts. Awful people are being awful, and I can’y handle all of the ways that will lead to more people dying. There’s fear for my health if I catch this. I wonder how it’s going to affect my business, both short-term and long-term. As things change, I can’t help but think about how my residence status in Finland might be affected. It’s a lot. Writing these posts allows me to get some of that out of my system, so I can try to function normally.

2 replies on “Self-Isolation and Depression”

Hi, Berin. Hang in there. Kristine Kathryn Rusch has posted to essays on how to deal with the current situation as a writer and survive. (www.kriswrites.com) Hopefully you can find something there to ease your mind.

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