Managing depression during COVID-19

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Possible challenges they face

  • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness are common among people with depression. These feelings are likely to have been exacerbated by the way in which COVID-19 has limited social, educational and vocational opportunities.
  • People who are experiencing depression might have low motivation to carry out any activities, the uncertainty and restrictions due to the pandemic affect their motivation in carrying out activities.
  • Social restrictions have provided less opportunity for people to gain positive experiences, and to connect with others, and for some people have caused a ‘sense of loss’.

Managing symptoms

  • Plan ahead and maintain a routine. Planning your schedules ahead helps you stay organised and maintain a structure for your daily life. Breaking down large tasks to smaller steps also helps you to better organise your plan.
  • Stay active. Here are some at-home workout videos that can help you to kickstart your exercise routine. Learn more about how exercise helps to combat depression.
  • Prioritise self-care activities.
  • Stay connected and Talk to someone you trust.
  • Be aware of our mental health and check-in with how you are doing on a daily/weekly basis. Early recognition can make getting back on track easier.

How can friends and family help

  • Learn more about depression
  • Check-in regularly. Check-in on them to see how they are doing, or if there is anything that you can help with.
  • Be patient. People with depression can withdraw, or want to isolate themselves, or be more dependent and need more reassurance from others. You may need to be patient with them and do not blame or invalidate their emotions.
  • Get active. People with depression are likely to lose motivation and disengage from activities that would typically give them a sense of pleasure and/or achievement. Help them to identify what these are and how they may be able to re-engage.
  • Learn about their triggers and early warning signs. Learn about what triggers their changes in mood to help with early intervention before things escalate.


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