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This is a summary of how one can deal with Covid-19 related depression.

Charity Ngwenya

What is depression?

A state of mind producing serious long-term lowering of enjoyment of life and the inability to visualize a happy future (Dictionary).

What are the symptoms?

Headaches, neck tension, gastrointestinal problems, sleep problems, lack of appetite, fatigue, insecurity, feelings of being overwhelmed by events, negative vision of things or daily events, feelings of discouragement, sadness, anger, difficulty in concentrating, irritability, aggression, crying, withdrawal, insularity, difficulty in taking decisions, increased use of alcohol, drugs and/or medication. 

How to deal with Covid-19 related depression?

This is one of the stressful moments we have ever faced in life. Our life changed in the twinkling of an eye and many of us are still struggling to adapt to different situations such as being jobless, changes in our daily budget. Even the fear of contracting the virus itself overwhelms us. Most people have the resources and mental strength to adapt to this type of situation. You should first rely on how you usually adapt to difficult situations. Here are a few other ways for you to minimize the repercussions of these reactions in your daily life.

  • Stay informed – Insufficient and/or contradictory information may aggravate the reactions.
  • Use reliable sources of information, such as the World Health Organization’s (WHO) websites e.t.c. Be wary of sensationalist news, reports from little known or dubious sources. Take the time to confirm such information with officially recognized sources.
  • While it is important to stay adequately informed, limit the time taken to seek information about COVID-19 and its consequences. Information overload can aggravate your reaction to stress, anxiety and depression.
  • Take care of yourself – Be attentive to your feelings, emotions and reactions and allow yourself to voice them to someone you trust. Remember that a problem shared is half solved. Write them down or express them through physical or other types of activity.
  • Make use of physical activity to let the stress out and eliminate tension. These include gardening, laundry e. t. c. The whole idea is to divert your attention from your problems. Even experience may be gained. 
  • Practice healthy living habits like proper nutrition and sufficient sleep.
  • Limit your access to stressors.
  • Allow yourself life’s little pleasures such as listening to music, taking a warm bath, reading, etc.
  • Remain in contact with people you love and who love you. Share your emotions and feelings with them and ask them how they feel about the whole situation. You might be relived to find out that your own stress is far much more lesser than theirs. 
  • Remind yourself of winning strategies you used in the past to get through such difficult times.
  • Count on your own strengths.
  • If everything else fails SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP. Talk to professional counselors like Melusi who are eargerly waiting for us to bring our issues to them. Don’t bottle it in, talk to someone. Not talking about how you feel might lead you to suicide.