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WHEN YOU’RE NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO’S DEPRESSED

We’ve all been living with Covid-19 for several months now.  Not surprisingly, it’s reported that the number of new cases of depression has increased alarmingly since March.

Social distancing, fear of the virus, worrying about our loved ones, bereavement, job anxiety and financial loss are the obvious factors that have contributed to our wavering mental health.  If you were suffering from depression or anxiety before the pandemic, the chances are that you now know of a few others who are, too.

They might even be under your own roof.

Covid-19 has affected an increase in the number of households with two or more depression sufferers.  What happens if you’re not the only one who’s depressed in your home or in a close relationship?  How should you support each other?  How are you supposed to take care of yourself?

One of the troubling aspects of social distancing and self-isolation for depression sufferers has been the decrease in available help.  One to one, regular personal therapy has been reduced to online chat.  In some cases, anti-depressant medicine courses have been interrupted as repeat prescriptions and deliveries have been affected.  It all adds to the worry and the weight of self-responsibility.

If there’s more than one of you suffering from depression at home, it’s very important to know how to care for each other.  There are three things to remember – and they all begin with the ‘self’:

  1. SELF CARE

Firstly, remember that there’s little chance of your helping anyone else if you’re not looking after yourself.  Are you getting enough sleep and eating well?  These are two, fundamental things you can do that will help to sustain you physically and emotionally.  Are you taking time to do something just for you on a regular basis, too?  A walk in the woods, a bit of window shopping, a movie or a daily run?  Top up on your own psychological wellness before you attempt to improve anybody else’s.  You cannot run on empty.

  1. SELF-AWARENESS

Knowing how to tune into your feelings is vital for your self-understanding.  It’s easier to ride out mood swings and protracted phases of anxiety when you can view your present more objectively.  Know that your feelings will change soon.  Find out what your ‘triggers’ are; this will help you to pre-empt the onset of negative feelings.  It will help you to hang onto a degree of objectivity when they threaten to overwhelm you.

  1. SELF-RESPONSIBILITY

Although it’s crucial that you offer each other comfort and reassurance when you can, remember that you cannot ‘fix’ each other.  Ultimately, you are responsible for you – and only you.  Don’t take on undue responsibility for someone else’s feelings, thoughts and actions.  You have enough on your own plate.  Consider where your personal boundaries lie and communicate them clearly:  clarity is vital as you learn each other’s triggers.

One day soon, we’ll all be out of this strange time of isolation and we’ll enjoy happier times.  Think of that as you care for one another and keep talking about how you’re feeling.

Men in particular tend to keep quiet about their negative feelings; as long as you’re using clear, non-accusatory language, you should feel free to open up.  When you share your feelings with someone else, you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel.

Here’s something to look forward to … I plan to take a group of fifteen business owners on a twelve-month group coaching/mentoring programme.  Together, we’ll go on a journey and at the end of the year create a book, journaling our experiences of running a business during a recession.  If you would like to find out more, please go towww.robgoddard.co.uk/mentoring

Till next time, keep talking!

 

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