Coping with Chaos and Depression
The mixture of chaos and depression will increase the longer we continue to face the COVID-19 pandemic. When chaos takes place in our mind, we can have a harder time coping with our depression. I am finding this to be true for myself over the past several days. If you, too, are feeling more chaotic and finding it especially difficult to cope with your depression lately, then let's see if we can figure out some coping strategies that might help.
Tips for Coping with Chaos and Depression
Ask For Help
I have been telling my spouse and my teens over the past couple of days that I have a "chaotic brain." I am struggling to focus. My short-term memory seems to be almost non-existent. I am trying to remember so many things, and then too many of these things are slipping through the cracks of my over-stressed, depressed brain. What can I do?
I decided to write down some checklists so I have visual reminders. I also delegated more responsibilities to my family members. These strategies have helped, but, full disclosure here, I am still struggling. Coping with depression is hard work under normal circumstances; then, when a global pandemic is factored into the mix, the work gets exponentially more challenging.
Pay Attention to the Rhythm of the Day
When you're struggling with chaos and searching for ways to cope with depression in the midst of turmoil and uncertainty, having a daily rhythm can be incredibly helpful. A rhythm is not rigid like a schedule; a daily rhythm flows naturally. There are no set time frames in a rhythm as there would be in a schedule.
A typical weekday rhythm for me looks like this: wake up, yoga, breakfast, homeschooling, housework, write, prepare to teach classes/workshop, self-care/me-time, cook (unless it's my spouse's or one of my teen's nights), dinner, all pitch in for kitchen clean-up, family time. This rhythm is flexible, but it sets a framework for the day. It's important to have this sense of structure, particularly when we find ourselves coping with depression during a season of chaos.
Get Better Sleep
I realized I needed more sleep. The problem is I am struggling to sleep, even though I take an antidepressant/sleep medication at bedtime. I've started drinking chamomile tea with lavender most nights now. I try to get off screens -- phone, laptop, television -- at least one hour before I plan to go to bed; however, I will confess that I am not consistent in following through with this. I would likely sleep better if I would stick with this rule for myself.
Use Aromatherapy for Self-Care
Taking warm baths or showers at night can help calm our chaos, especially if we use soothing scents. Some of my favorites are lavender, vanilla, and jasmine. Another way I make my baths and showers especially comforting when I'm struggling to cope with my depression are to take them by candlelight. Again, my favorite scents for candles are the same as those I prefer for bath products and lotions: lavender, vanilla, jasmine.
Have you been dealing with feelings of chaos, making it harder to cope with your depression? What strategies have you found helpful? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Smith, J. (2020, April 9). Coping with Chaos and Depression, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, May 27 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2020/4/coping-with-chaos-and-depression
Author: Jennifer Smith
Don’t wait to seek help!
I have been struggling between being ok and feeling totally overwhelmed. I have daily panic attacks, can’t focus at work and feel like I’m drowning. It wasn’t until I scheduled that first call that I realized how heavy the burden has been.
I am sorry to know this. This mental to and fro is horrible and makes work and life in general so difficult...I am glad you are seeking professional help. Take care and feel free to message me if you ever want someone to talk to.
Get help. If you’re struggling with your symptoms and haven’t reached out to anyone, make the call! I have been struggling between being ok and being totally overwhelmed. I have daily panic attacks and can’t focus. Work is super busy right now and I feel like I’m drowning. And I have held all of this in, refusing to acknowledge the elephant in the room. It wasn’t until I had that first appointment that I realized how heavy the burden has been.