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7 ways to avoid Depression during COVID-19 lockdown

opera.com 04/4/2020

In the past five (5) days, I have received messages from friends and family members who confided in me that, the way things are going with them, they might not survive this lockdown period.

Photo - ( Nigeria, Lagos lockdown Central Business District )

To some of them, it is owing to the needs they have and can practically do nothing about while to some others, it is due to the sudden change in their schedule with no exit time in sight.

The common complaints to all the mails, chats and texts I received is, the fact that dealing with the isolation and solitary moment they all are going through is more tedious than facing the usual Lagos traffic which they said have become a part of their daily routine.

Prior to the Federal Government's (FG) directives on the total lockdown of all economic activities in certain states such as Lagos, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, and Ogun state, the Lagos state government had directed an initial 7days lockdown to checkmate the continuous spread of the deadly Corona Virus Pandemic in Lagos owing to her huge population size and being the commercial hub of the nation-Nigeria.

Although, the good part of the lockdown is that, like never before, the "stay at home" has foster bond between husbands and wives, and have given parental access to kids whose parents have been extremely busy with work because of money.

However, the other side of the divide has been the way and manner individuals have been managing the necessary holiday caused by the COVID-19 virus. So many Nigerians are well known for their hustling spirit, the never dying determination most lagosians carry around which can easily be seen on their faces on a daily basis among other qualities which makes us Nigerians have been put to bed because we all have to stay at home.

Some persons have devised means of dealing with the change, while other are finding it difficult to cope as this seemed like a new phase of their lives altogether. But the issue of concerns is the rate at which people are slipping into depression this period.


Photo - (Lagos State Officials unload the food bags that will be distributed to people during lockdown)

 Meanwhile, if nothing is done urgently, we might have a different population after the virus must have been defeated.

Here are 7 ways you can deal with the compulsory boredom the deadly virus has brought upon us;

1. Don't attempt to question your past. Avoid the thoughts that makes you travel the history lane to question what you have done badly in the past and why you are where you are today. Giving in to such thoughts will increase your chances of getting depressed.

2. Try to avoid being alone. I know a lot of people will say, but the government advised we should self isolate for an initial period of two weeks. Yes, I know that. But the first step to depression is loneliness, so avoid being alone at all cost. Try to be around people, this means that, you should always be in the company of people.

3. This is the time to revisit your passion. So many people have been caught up in the "bussyness" of looking for money and losing track of our passion. This is the time to go back to that thing that gives you joy. Mine is writing and I am doing that so well lately. With a relaxed mind you have no idea how much you can bring out of yourself this period.

4. Avoid toxic people. All of us have that one person that always makes us feel less than we are worth. This is the time to avoid people like that, that person that makes you feel you are not good enough. Don't be tempted to text, chat or call them, you don't need any negative energy this time, so avoid any source of bad energy.

5. You have to be productive. You might not be used to working out, this is the time to try to get in shape. Now, this may be a bit difficult because majority of us are already enjoying waking up by 10am, but it will be great to try working your mind and body at this time it helps you to maintain a fresh aura which makes you stay alive.

6. Try new things. This is very important as it helps you to stretch your mind. There are a million and one thing you have no idea you could do. Sometimes, all we need is a push, so why not give yourself that push and do what you have always been afraid of doing. Try write that novel, try to read that book, try to prepare that proposal, try write that business plan, try to develop that business idea and develop the outline for its pitch, try to talk that one person you have vowed never to talk to, try to apologize to that person you know you have offended, try to take that step you have been so scared of taking.

7. Add value to yourself this time. It is the idle mind that can get depressed. If you constantly get busy with value-adding contents, boredom will not get a hold on you and you will be developing in the process. You can add value to yourself on a daily basis through several means, e.g: taking a free online course (there are loads of them online, just type on google, "free online courses"), by listening to that seminar tape or audio you have on your phone or laptop, by reading business books, by watching movies that will build your entrepreneural mind, by increasing your intelligent quotient (IQ) through games and mind stretching puzzles.

Photo - (People walking in the street with face mask)

If indeed you get busy with friends that are of like mind, you will be amazed at how much you can maximize this lockdown period and you will come out stronger and better prepared for the aftermath of the COVID-19 virus.

Let's all remember to check on the people on our contacts, that single message might save someone who is on the verge of committing suicide. That checking in on that long time friend might be the only thing that will keep the person alive. And more importantly, let's not be selfish this time, like never before let's share what we have so we all can stay alive, let's share, no matter how small it is, so many are starving and are frustrated in their thoughts which may cause depression. So, save a soul by reaching out, save a soul by sharing!


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