Practical tips for depression during Coronavirus

Audio: Practical tips

Over the years I have had my share of depression. Sometimes it was due to other health conditions taking their toll on me and sometimes it was from depressing events in life.

My depressive episodes ranged from being suicidal for weeks at a time in the worse times, to being extremely flat mood wise for several months.

In these times I learned to put some practical things in to place. As many people might be feeling flat or depressed during this time of Coronavirus shutdown I thought I would share them.

1. Get a good breakfast – when I get depressed I really don’t feel like or care about eating, so a good breakfast was really important to give me health and energy. I would start with a smoothie with two cups of milk (rice, soy, cow), two Weetbix or half a cup of oats, a banana and frozen mixed berries. This would help me get some healthy calories in to me and give me energy for the rest of the day.

2. Take vitamins – I found that when I was depressed my full blood count at the doctor showed that I was often lacking in the B vitamins. Taking a multi vitamin helped bring them back up. It also lifted my mood within a few weeks.

3. Keep up my devotions – during my times of depression I never lost my faith in God. Although at time I wondered what was going on. Keeping up my morning habit of prayer and Bible reading was crucial. Some days I was so depressed that I could only read the daily verse on YouVersion Bible App and say a short prayer of blessing over my family. But that was enough to keep my connection with God.

4. Be honest – this was very hard for me as I am by nature a very positive person. Somehow in my mind depression and being positive didn’t mix. But being honest and telling people did help. Most people already knew something was not right, but telling them helped me and them. People listened and prayed for me.

5. Be kind to yourself – I had to learn to give myself grace – the same grace I offered other who were struggling. I realised I had to step back from a lot of things and only do the basics. In the midst of depression it is not a time to be taking ground. Holding ground was the plan. I gave myself grace and space to just do the basics and get plenty of rest.

6. Do things you enjoy – it can be hard to actually do things when you are depressed. Even checking the mail box can be hard. I tried to keep up my hobbies of weights, watching sport, and maintaining my website through it. They didn’t bring as much enjoyment as usual, but it did help.

7. Keep connected with others – my biggest desire when I am depressed is to isolate myself from others. I don’t want them to see my not so attractive moods, but it is important they do. I don’t want to bring others down, but I need to see them or connect with them. At the moment this can be done by email, phone, text, Skype or FaceTime. There are so many ways to keep connected. I made sure I keep in contact with positive people.

So there you have it, my list of practical tips for help with depression. Trust me, this is not written by someone who only has a book knowledge of depression, it is from the frontlines or trenches…or maybe pit is a better word.

My hope and prayer is that if you are suffering with depression at this time, that these tips will help.

Prayer

Dear God, I pray for all of those people who read this who are suffering from depression. I ask that You will be their comfort, their peace and their strength. I pray that they will know Your presence and Your love at this time. Help them to do the things that will help them through this time. And help them to know that this time will pass. Give them both hope and peace. Bless, protect and watch over them in Jesus’ name, Amen.