How to manage depression during COVID19 age?

Posted by aliali @aliali, Apr 25, 2020

My depression is well managed by meeting friends and going to the gym. During quarantine hours, I can do neither which is truly terrible for me. My mood gets really low; my body gets really out of energy. One of the ideas I am considering is preparing a cold-water jacuzzi at home. My depression is well managed by immersing my body in cold water. I am also looking forward to hearing from you. I feel my goals are unachievable during COVID19 age; I need a good mood to achieve my goals. When I exercise at home, I feel better mood. But getting out of home, even to the street, has some positive effect on me. Please help me. You may need to know that I am living in Saudi Arabia. The quarantine hours here are from 5 pm to 9 am.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Depression & Anxiety group.

@fiesty76

@sueinmn, Like you, the lack of face-to-face interactions is what I miss most during this isolation. My biggest question is not knowing when I’ll feel safe enough to resume any start back into mainstream life. Cyber/phone contacts, walks, gardening now have been a saving grace. I do a verbal “gratitude” list on my way to the coffee pot each morning and so far that helps start each day on a positive note. My great sadness is that I cannot see or spend time with my very ill closest friend. What is your greatest challenge and how are you coping with it?

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@feisty76 My greatest challenge is being near my kids/grandkids and not being able to really spend time with them. My daughters, Mom & Auntie who helps care for them, have been fabulous keeping is connected with pictures, videos, calls & Zoom. The 16 mo old now grabs Auntie's phone and starts poking buttons when he wants her to call so he can wave to us! Sometimes I just drive to their house and play with the 4 yo at a safe distance through the front door – jumping, counting, etc, but it's not the same as hugs from all of them.

I also designed, sewed & am finishing a quilt for the almost 4 yo for his big-boy bed. That has entertained me for the better part of a week, and I need to finish by the end of the month for his birthday. Then I will finish a "Grandma Bear" for the little guy, made from his preemie sleeper that he wore home from the hospital – his big brother reminded me that "he needs one like mine." I hope my arthritic thumb & neck hold out to get these done!

I feel so sorry for you and your friend. I have a good friend who is struggling to care for her husband with dementia, and try to connect with her every day or so. Is there anything you can do remotely for your friend?

Sue

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@fiesty76

Hi @aliali, How nice it is to be making a new cyber friend from Saudi Arabia. The Mayo Connect forums have introduced me to an amazing number of courageous members whom I could have never become acquainted with otherwise. Members from Canada, Nova Scotia, Scotland, Australia, England,and Italy are but a few who are enriching my U.S. life through their posts and glimpses of how our more distant neighbors are managing virus conditions during this worldwide pandemic.

Like you, I am missing "before virus" face-to-face contact and previously shared activities with friends and family. While some seem to be using more stay- at-home time to be cleaning out closets, starting new volunteer projects of making masks, delivering food to others and tackling large productive projects, exploring new hobbies and pastimes, I seem to wander through each day under some cloud of non-physically induced blanket of fatigue. Basic home, yard, health, diet and sleep maintenance seems to be the most I can accomplish these days. You know life has radically changed when you have a dream of fresh radishes, which were never a favorite veggie, and the first item on each daily "to do list" is planning the evening meal. Smiles

What seems to help me most is to force myself "to keep moving" throughout the day even if that just means less time sitting in front of tv or computer screens. Like you I enjoy exercising in groups but I'm finding as @suz55, @colleenyoung, and @johnbishop mentioned, a bit of daily sunshine and regular solitary walks or home exercise does wonders for improving my mood.

Like suz55, just the thought of voluntarily taking a cold shower gives me goose bumps! However, even though it might "shock" me into more constructive action, I'll leave that to other braver souls to explore. Just call me a royal wimp; I shiver at just the thought of winter.

The numerous threads provided within the Covid-19 forum have offered a wonderful way to stay cyber connected with others who share the same interests and hobbies. The walking, visual escapes, gardening, humor and anxiety threads have added both a positive diversion and also needed motivation for me to share and participate with others.

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What is sunshine? We haven't had any for a while and people are really depressed. Not only that, our arthritis and fibromyalgia really kick in during this rainy period. We are blessed that we weren't flooded as many have been. My grandson, who has four children, was a victim of flooding in his home. They lost a lot of appliances and other things. I pray they move to another place, not close to the river. He purchased this place because it was cheaper–so he thought!!! Not so, when you lose so many things in a flood. Thank God his family is safe and sound. My step-son and his wife were stationed in Saudi Arabia for quite a while when they were both in their air force. My grandson was in Kuwait in the service and married a girl he met. They have three of the most beautiful children we have ever seen. They have moved to America as she has cancer of the bone and had to go to the Mayo Clinic in Florida.

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@woogie

What is sunshine? We haven't had any for a while and people are really depressed. Not only that, our arthritis and fibromyalgia really kick in during this rainy period. We are blessed that we weren't flooded as many have been. My grandson, who has four children, was a victim of flooding in his home. They lost a lot of appliances and other things. I pray they move to another place, not close to the river. He purchased this place because it was cheaper–so he thought!!! Not so, when you lose so many things in a flood. Thank God his family is safe and sound. My step-son and his wife were stationed in Saudi Arabia for quite a while when they were both in their air force. My grandson was in Kuwait in the service and married a girl he met. They have three of the most beautiful children we have ever seen. They have moved to America as she has cancer of the bone and had to go to the Mayo Clinic in Florida.

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My husband just yell at me: Sunshine!

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@fiesty76

@lioness, While a couple of my docs had asked if I had Phys. Directives (P. D.) and medical POA’s but made no mention of the VIAL Gave copies of these to all my docs and hospital when I had surgery but hadn’t thought of a copy for med. ins. provider, Humana. Got a chuckle out of your “good to go”. Thanks for the smile.

The binder suggested by @ginger and the one I put together is comprehensive and thick so The VIAL is a great quickie reference for EMS. Really appreciated her suggestion because as @contentandwell mentioned, three of my docs have since retired or died and changes for other providers need to be updated. Fiesty, take binder out and start update! Just do it! sigh

@contentandwell, Thanks for the Apple info. and suggestions which I’ll share with neighbor.

@sueinmn, Like you, early start-of-the-day walks work best for me as well. My best energy is in the morning and also the walks tend to start me off on a positive note for the day. It is so strange that during this time, I am so otherwise lethargic. Feel like I am in a fugue or dragging through a vat of molasses. The 3 goals/day written the day before at least help me shoot for some “accomplishment” but otherwise each day just seems to be melting into the next. Wonder if other usually active “doers” are experiencing this?

@merpreb, As others have responded, I am also going day-by-day on rescheduling all med. appts cancelled due to covid.
I would be making the same decisions as you @rosemary and @sueinmn for the med. treatment you are needing now. It is tough because so many in our state are flooding back out now that the state is again wide open. I do trust that my dentist would take every possible precaution and I would certainly want to keep my thumb dexterity at its best.
An acquaintance who had hip replacement surgery several months ago refused to go for p.t. following her surgery. As a result, she now has to use a cane. Others who’ve had knee and hip replacements and ff’d with p.t. are moving naturally again.

@jakedduck, Well see what you started you rascal??? Leonard, all this talk of chocolate has me wanting to raid my stash. No 5 lb Hershey bars like @lioness, but can’t let a day go by without a bite sized nibble on something milk chocolate…saving the dk choc.’s for the really dire moments. Vbg

@johnbishop, Hope you’ll keep the lovely bird photos coming! The most colorful here so far are the buejays and CO. cardinals. Still too early for the female hummers.

@sueinmn and other gardeners, In the front, I’m excited to see the first zinnia, coreopsis and cosmos seeds sprouting above ground. While returning coreopsis are in full bloom, it is a thrill to watch the little new ones.
I had the nicest new neighbor experience yesterday. For those familiar with artemesia and yarrow, you’ll understand the labor involved each spring in severely trimming back the sprawl that starts to cover backyard paths. Yesterday I left the alley gate open while carting tons of the cut backs to the dumpster. While sitting on my rump and cutting away, two young dogs entered my yard and began exploring. When they saw me, they were curious about the human on the ground but were tooskittish to approach close enough for petting. I closed them in and walked to alley hoping to find their human in search of them. Instead, saw the wooden fence break which might have caused their escape. About to walk around the block to knock on neighbor’s door, he came out and I showed him the break and told him I the puppies in my yard for safe keeping.
As we became acquainted, I asked how he and his family were doing being new to our community and neighborhood during this time of virus spread. I offered to exchange names and numbers in case something like this should happen again. We did exchange info and he thanked me and also offered to pick up anything I might need because he made a daily trip to visit his elderly mom. Now how nice was that????
While my arms/hands ache today from all the physical work, my heart is so happy by his kind offer. Even during these stressful, restrictive times, gardening provides so many and sometimes unexpected benefits. Smiles to all.

Hi, @aliali, Glad that something I wrote might have helped. We are all in this together! Had to laugh at your consideration of taking up boxing. While there have been a few times during this virus that I would have liked to “punch” something in frustration, I hadn’t thought of boxing as a mood elevator or stress reducer.
My hubby used one of those huge hammers..like you see in carnivals where they try to make the ball go up?, and would use it to bang on a large tree stump in our bkyd whenever he got really frustrated. My favorite was to drive to a pond and throw rocks! Not driving now, so maybe boxing is the answer? Very big smile. Good to hear from you. Are you staying safe and well?

@lilypaws, I’ve been following your posts and wishing you the best with your upcoming surgery. Thank you for the kind words, Jeanie. Until you are able to resume walks following your surgery, I’ll send you cyber wishes for a happy recovery while on mine?

Hi, @tmvickery, I’m meeting you here for the first time. Like you, I am usually pretty sociable and outgoing. However because of the virus spread, I’ve become accustomed to not driving and staying home. My lung issues will keep me home longer than many because people in my area are not observing distancing or masking guidelines.
I also rely heavily on the internet to keep me informed and on nightly Netflix and computer games and reading to keep me entertained.
Being cyber connected with others through Mayo Connect groups has been an excellent boon for me. My walks and gardening keep me moving. Otherwise, I can find it all too easy to stretch out on the sofa for some mindless tv and unplanned naps. Are you finding other interests now that you are not enjoying being out in public as much?

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I have watched soo many things on Netflix. What have you watched? I think the first thing I watched was Mid Wives. I really like that show. I have seen some episodes over again. I feel as if I know the Midwives.

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@sueinmn

@feisty76 I chuckled as I read "The 3 goals/day written the day before at least help me shoot for some “accomplishment” but otherwise each day just seems to be melting into the next. Wonder if other usually active “doers” are experiencing this?" I had just written down my (short because it's Sunday) list of things to try to accomplish. I have always been a list maker & organizer.

I wrote elsewhere in Connect that I am struggling with isolation right now. I am by nature very social and staying away from people is really hard (even though I know we must.) I am seeing that as things loosen up, some people are abandoning caution as though the virus is gone – even though it is still increasing here in MN. Like you, that means we have to double down on precautions and I am trying to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and even to guess when that might be happening.

So for this week, I have decided to make two lists – the usual task list in the morning, and a gratitude list near the end of the evening, the time I am feeling the most sad. What do you do to stay positive?

Sue

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I keep telling myself I am going to the basement and get into the many toy boxes and separate the toys according to age and donate them to the poor. I hate going to the basement by myself. My husband refuses to do anything I want. We live together but do not do much together except have meals. He and I do not like the same TV programs so he has his and I have mine. I love Love Stories and things on Netflix such as Mid Wives and he prefers Arnold what's his name in fighting shows. UGH. I do not care for fighting shows at all. I watched Trolls by myself. My grandkids loved it so much–I watched it and love the music. That's what makes me feel good. My friend and I watched a movie maybe Mary Poppins. She's 94. We are in the same Bible study and love the same things. She is the mother of seven and I am the mother of four.

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@woogie – I agree – I hate cloudy days and don't feel as well as when the sun shines. We have been lucky in a way, to have a drier Spring, but we need some rain…
May I ask, why do you need to separate the toys by age? Where we are, the thrift stores will take unsorted as long as not broken. Mine go to the local transitional living organization – people moving from homelessness to transitional housing to independent housing – they love educational toys, puzzles, books and the old stand-bys like Legos and Fisher-Price, any kind of cars and trucks, etc. Or don't do the sorting in the basement – just bring the boxes up to a spare room, porch or the garage and go through them where it is more pleasant.

In evenings I sit nearby and do things on my computer or phone while my husband watches TV as I mostly don't watch anyway. Today I will finish my grandson's new quilt, so for the next couple evenings I will be finishing the binding – lots of hand sewing. I suppose I could do it by machine, but I call it a form of meditation – as I sew, I think about the person I am making it for.
Now out to pot a few plants for the patio.
Sue

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@aliali I’m wondering how you’re doing. Do the cold-water jacuzzis help? Are you able to get outside for any walks? We’ve all had to put our goals and relationships on hold during this to,e, but hopefully, they will wait for us. Please take care of yourself

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@woogie

I have watched soo many things on Netflix. What have you watched? I think the first thing I watched was Mid Wives. I really like that show. I have seen some episodes over again. I feel as if I know the Midwives.

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@woogie, Glad that your grandson and family are safe although their losses because of flooding in their home must add so much more stress during these times. Please give your grandson from me, a big thank you for his military service…another of my favorite groups of true heroes. So hard for the family dealing with bone cancer but I am glad she is under the great care of the Mayo Clinic. Do you live close enough to see your family regularly during more normal times? I've really enjoyed the Mid Wives series, too. I've watched it on our PBS channel. Interesting how the series has progressed through several decades of social change and still remains pertinent. My Netflix favorites are mysteries, especially British ones.

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@lilypaws

@zep Yes those MONSTER HORNETS are pretty scary. My husband has different ideas about this Covid-19. He thinks every one will get it eventually. Maybe it won't be bad like it is now. I don't believe him. I hate to complain, but he thinks the mask does no good. And I know he can't understand why he can't be in my room after my surgery. I fill it's for safety reason, he could bring the virus into me after coming in and out of Mayo Hospital. It's all for our safety. But he's a good guy, and does so much for me.

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Can you find hobby as sewing or try coloring books for adults to help pass the time. I have been trying to do this which helps. Making mask for those s who need them, one draw back I’m on my feet too much need to sit n sew as kness are in a lot of pain have a great day

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