Only our children know how difficult growing up in a pandemic is. School is online for many, adding to feelings of isolation. To compound the latter, many favorite pastimes are being canceled due to COVID.
In a pandemic, depression is the most difficult to detect in everyone because everyone is already experiencing an abnormal level of sadness and stress during this crisis. Depression is even more difficult to detect in youth because of raging hormones and mood swings.
For this reason, rolling out has compiled the following list of common symptoms of pandemic depression and ways to overcome it during these trying times.
Symptoms of pandemic depression:
- Sadness that lasts after the circumstances change
- No interest in activities that were once enjoyed
- The feeling of anticipation is lessened
- Weight loss
- Weight gain
- Disrupted sleeping patterns
- Tired and sluggish
- Talking down about oneself
- Hopeless or worthless feelings
- Thoughts of suicide or talking about ending it all
Ways to overcome pandemic depression
- Encourage your children to talk about their feelings.
- Stay active. Sports can give kids a sense of accomplishment and social interaction.
- Keep routines. Keeping a sense of normalcy is very important.
- Volunteer. Helping others has a way of helping ourselves.
- Do not keep negative media playing in your house. Turn on jazz music or acoustic calming music.
- Keep a sense of perspective. Avoiding “catastrophizing” or obsessing about the pandemic.
- Teach your children about tolerance and patience in these uncertain times. Encourage your children with positive affirming words that we will get them through this.
- Teach your children about polarities and how to conquer negative thoughts with positive ones.
- Try to make plans for the future, plan trips, vacations, upcoming parties and make goals
- Keep a gratitude journal.
If depression lasts more than two weeks, it is time to seek help from a licensed professional. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 is a good resource for seeking help for loved ones.