For many of us, self-quarantine and social distance is a big problem. Not only economically and socially, but also psychologically.

For me, it’s the mental aspect that is the biggest problem.

When it started

Close to the summer of 2019, I was hit with it all. Burnout and later on, depression. It got so bad that I had to retake a whole semester from my education and get treatment.

It went really well. I was starting to get better and my energy was totally changed in my education. Life was no longer gray and dark.

It didn’t last …

Then as we all know the Coronavirus aka COVID-19 broke out as an epidemic. First in China, and soon after a global pandemic, forcing Denmark, where I live, to shut down March 11th.

I love that we were quick to shut down the country as fast as we did, but for someone like me, it has not been a picnic.

Some of the symptoms that I had when sick were to isolate me from people, which means that my depressions have come back.

My experience

When I got my depression it’s also linked to bad stress.

I keep thinking about the work I have to do. Creating more and more lists inside my head. Then getting worried that I can’t get it done, which then breaks me down and I don’t get my work done. That then pulls my down a black hole of depression.

It’s an endless loop that I usually can break with good habits. Like always going to my school and work, even the days when there are no lectures.

This was key to me getting better because I would HAVE to get dressed and go outside and my mind was prepared to work now. (See the problem now?)

Seeing as stress is a big key to my depression, and me also being a workaholic, I’ve used the last 3 years training myself to stop working when I got home, so I get the change to stress down.

Now optimally you would have a room to sleep, a room to work and a room for leisure. But this is not an option for me since I live in a 19 square meters one-room apartment, meaning all of those rooms are one.

Now how does all of this help me fight?

Today I’ve finally broken out of my bubble of depression and decided to do these things!

Say it out loud!

I found a phrase to I can use, “I will NOT let this depression take me down!”.

Just by saying or even thinking that phrase is enough for me to feel relief. Especially when I have a dark moment and I feel lost.

Write it down!

Doing what I’m doing right now, write about it!

You don’t have to make it into a blog post and share it with the world. But taking a minute or two to write your worries down can really help you to see, and reflect on what’s going on inside your own head.

Writing it down can also make it easier for you to talk with those closes to you what is going on with you.

Talk about it!

The worst thing you can do when depressed it keeping it to yourself. Depression doesn’t just go away so talk about how you are feeling with someone close to you. If you don’t feel like they understand you, then try somebody else. Hell, you can even try talking to yourself, to begin with, if you are shy about it. There is a reason the saying, “Get it off your chest” became a thing. Talking will make you feel better. But also remember to contact your own doctor for help if your depression interferes with your life!

No TV, no mobile, no gaming!

Or at least not as the first thing in the morning.

TV, social media and games are fun and relaxing. But they are also sources that eat your time quickly and creates attractions.

So first thing in the morning go to the bathroom and do your thing. Have the coffee maker ready at night so you can brew that morning fix without thinking and start the day productive.

Set times for yourself for when you are allowed to “have fun” and then keep them. For this, I found this post about different blockers for websites.

The same can be found for your phone where I found this post

A quick look showed me that freedom.to have an option for both web and APPs #NotSpons

Get it out of your head and make a list!

This part is more for the stress part since that’s a big part of my problems.

Some people say that making a TO-DO list of the work you need to do is actually not that great for stress management, which is why you also need a HAVE-DONE list.

The TO-DO list helps you get a look an what you need to do and gathers a good overview of your projects/tasks. Where the HAVE-DONE list gives to some relief when you are thinking, “I don’t know what I’ve done today” or “It feels like I get nothing done”.

Where do I even start?

First off, what are you use to using? If you want something quick and analog just use pen and paper, or if you have post-it notes, use them to write a task you can more from a TO-DO paper to a HAVE-DONE. This is something used in SCRUM project management. Read more about SCRUM here.

If you don’t have post-it notes or just don’t like your handwriting, you can make a spreadsheet either online so you can access it on your phone or locally.

Locally have the bonus that you HAVE to be at your work station in order to watch it which will also train your brain to get into work mode.

If you wanna do less work then to customize a spreadsheet, then I can recommend using Trello. Trello is a free SCRUM management platform that pretty easy to get into and can be used for business, teamwork and TO-DO and HAVE-DONE lists. I also use it every time I have an idea for a video, design or whatever I wanna remember. It works both in your browser but they also have an APP for your phone. #NotSpons (I wish though)

I also use it every time I have an idea for a video, design or whatever I wanna remember. It works both in your browser but they also have an APP for your phone. #NotSpons (I wish though)

All of this took about 2.5 hours out of my day, which is a lot of time. But made me feel lighter and more alive than I have felt in a long time.

If you are still reading I would like to say thank you. I hope you are staying safe and well and hope you can use any of my rambling.

Featured Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels