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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Barsky

How to Deal with Depression After Surviving COVID-19

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ve probably taken steps to protect yourself from the virus. But despite your best efforts, you may have tested positive for COVID-19, anyway.

If you contracted COVID-19 and recovered, you might experience a wide range of emotions. Furthermore, you might be still be dealing with lingering physical symptoms.

Even if you had a mild case, you may not feel quite like yourself just yet. Although this is a physical illness, living through something like this can definitely affect your emotions as well, and you may even experience symptoms of depression.

If you’re concerned about your mental health while recovering from COVID-19, these tips can help you through the healing process.

Gradually Build Up Your Activity Levels

After recovering from COVID-19, you might feel you’ve slowed down a bit. After all, symptoms of the virus can include exhaustion, fatigue, and shortness of breath. Some people even struggle with serious respiratory problems because of this virus, which makes it hard to maintain a more active lifestyle.

Take it slow as you return to your usual activities. Don’t push yourself too hard. Slowly make an effort to move your body. Even gentle yoga can be beneficial!

Express Your Complex Emotions

You may feel frustrated that you got sick in the first place, even though you tried to protect yourself from contracting COVID-19. Maybe you feel annoyed that you were exposed at work and felt like you didn’t have the choice to stay home. Or perhaps you’re disappointed that people in your life did not take the pandemic seriously until you became sick.

It’s completely normal to experience a variety of complicated emotions during this time. You may want to try writing in a journal or venting to an understanding friend who can validate your feelings. Try not to judge yourself for feeling whatever you're feeling.

Focus on Your Mental Health

Now is the time to prioritize your own mental health. Some people who contract COVID-19 deal with exhaustion and brain fog for some time even after they recover.

Therefore, focus on habits that support your mental health so that you can give your body what it needs.

For instance, you’ll want to eat nutritious meals, get plenty of sleep, and consider reducing your screen time to lower your anxiety.

Monitor Your Media Diet

With so much coverage of the pandemic in the news, it’s easy to get glued to the latest headlines. You might check the news multiple times per day. But now, watching the news might only make you feel more stressed out. You might worry about catching COVID-19 again, or you may feel frustrated about other hot-button issues that you don't have much control over.

Staying informed is important, but right now, it might be okay to take time for a media detox. You need to focus on getting back on your feet and healing, and subjecting yourself to higher levels of stress can impede that.

Talk to a Therapist

Finally, consider talking to a therapist about your experience. This could be helpful if you had a more severe case of COVID-19, and you don’t know where to turn to talk about it.

If you feel alone and like no one else in your social circle can relate to you, working with a therapist for support can help you get the guidance you need. You can work with your therapist on stress reduction methods and simply express your feelings – you don’t have to filter yourself, and you might feel a little lighter afterward.

Are you struggling with your mental health after recovering from COVID-19? Talking to a therapist can help you heal. Reach out to me today to discuss your options for scheduling your first session.

You can also find more information on depression therapy here!


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