10 Ways to Fight Social Distancing Depression

Rachel Moore, Theatre & Choir Staff Writer

I know that right now it’s really easy to fall in a hole and get depressed because I feel it too! Here are 10 tips that I’ve been using to FIGHT THIS that have really helped me!

  1. Talk to people that make you happy and positive! This sounds cliché but it really is true. If you’re talking to someone (even though you might really like them) and they’re being really negative and it’s impacting your mental health, then DON’T TALK TO THEM. It’s okay to distance yourself from people who are impacting you negatively! It doesn’t mean that they’re a bad person or you don’t care about them. If they’re going through something rough and you feel the need to help them,  just remember that you can’t help them at your own detriment. Your personal mental health comes FIRST because guess what? You can’t help someone if you yourself are not doing well! (This doesn’t have to be permanent. If this person starts making you feel happy again, then you should of course become close with them again!)
  2. Make daily goals for yourself! Because we’re all stuck at home, we don’t have a lot of goals set for us by school, work, and other activities. Making attainable goals for yourself each day, no matter how big or small, and then meeting them can help you feel fulfilled and productive! It can be anything- make a yummy breakfast, exercise, brush your teeth twice a day, drink 1 liter of water, etc. Just make sure they’re realistic and attainable! 
  3. Go outside if you can! Staying inside all day, especially if you’re used to being outside a lot, can make people feel more depressed. Go on a run or a walk (6 feet from other people) if you can, but if not just go in your backyard or balcony and get some fresh air! It’s not good to feel cooped up all the time. 
  4. Exercise! It’s really easy to lay in bed all day just watching Netflix or TikTok or playing video games. However, if we do this too much, we start feeling lethargic and losing motivation to do stuff that we need to do (like schoolwork, work from home, and basic things you need to do to take care of yourself, like SHOWERING). My personal favorite way to exercise during this time is going for a nice run outside to get out of the house, but if you can’t do that, any form of exercise also helps! Getting your body moving will help shake off the funk that you feel yourself falling into. 
  5. Practice basic hygiene that you usually would if you weren’t social distancing. It’s really easy to skip a shower or two because we’re not going out and seeing people. However, if we stop showering and practicing other basic hygiene, you start to look and feel all gross, which in turn makes you mentally gross. If you used to shower everyday, shower everyday even if you don’t need it. If you used to shave your face regularly, still shave your face! Being cleaned up and put together will help you feel cleaned up and put together! 
  6. Dress yourself nicely once in a while even if you aren’t going anywhere. It might seem like a waste of time and energy, but guess what? Wearing the same hoodie and sweatpants every day is doing absolutely nothing for your mental health. You look like a lazy bum and you know it. So guess what? Put on your favorite outfit once in a while! Do your hair! Do your makeup! Make yourself look cute! Take some photos of yourself if you feel like it! Sure it might seem kinda pointless, but I promise it’ll make you feel better about yourself! 
  7. Forgive yourself. Whatever you’ve been overthinking, FORGIVE YOURSELF. It’s really easy to wallow in our past mistakes and failures right now because we have so much free time. It’s way easier said than done, but you have to just forgive yourself. Whatever it is you did, whoever it is you might have hurt and disappointed, the biggest thing you can do for yourself and them is to let it go. If you want to move on and grow as a person, you have to acknowledge what you did; you have to tell yourself that maybe it wasn’t okay, but you have to forgive yourself. If you don’t, then you’ll keep on hurting people and making mistakes. You’ll never improve yourself. 
  8. Improve upon yourself. Whatever that means for you, actively work on making yourself a better person during this time period. I promise, this has been the most effective way for me personally to get out of whatever hole I’ve fallen into. If you can, improve upon yourself for the sake of yourself and for the sake of being a better person, but if you can’t do that, improve upon yourself for the sake of others around you.I also promise you that everyone who really matters in your life wants to see you succeed and do well. You can become their positive influence. You can become the light in their life! 
  9. Take care of yourself. Just do whatever you need to do. This time is about you. If your family is being crazy and stressing you out, TELL THEM. Talk to someone. 
  10. KNOW THAT IT GETS BETTER. This is going to sound super cliché as well, but believe me: I know how it sounds. I know that just sounds like a false way to make yourself feel better. I know that even though you subconsciously know that it gets better, it’s difficult to see that. However, this pandemic is temporary. Although no one knows how long this will last, you will go to school again. You will be able to see your friends again. Maybe it won’t be completely “normal” again, but if there’s ANYTHING that I’ve learned recently, it’s that our “normal” is constantly changing. OUR LIFE RIGHT NOW IS NOT PERMANENT.

Whatever it is, take care of yourself. You are important! We will get through this.