Counsellor Sarah Barr shares helpful guidance for people who are living with depression and struggling with a lack of social interaction.

Depression is much more than feeling sad. It is a very real mental health condition and affects the mind and body. Depression affects how people sleep, eat, and see the world.

Depression can make you want to isolate yourself from the world and hide away. Yet this often reinforces feelings of isolation and loneliness. Having a lack of social interaction and support from your friends and family can make it all the more challenging.

Creating a structured routine can help you to feel in control. Living with uncertainty can bring up feelings of anxiety and despair. By focusing on what you can control, as opposed to what you cannot, can help you to feel more in control.

If creating a daily routine for yourself, remember the most important aspect of it, is to be kind to yourself. To be gentle, to listen to your own needs. These needs too will change daily, or even throughout the day. That is okay.

In your routine, try to do something each day that you enjoy. It could be going for a walk, reading or some art. Explore anything that will help to increase your sense of wellbeing. This could be doing some excerises in breathwork, yoga or mindfulness.

Depression isn’t as straight-forward a condition. It can present itself in different circumstances and doesn’t always have a clear path to recovery.

What works for one person may not work for another person.

If you are living with depression, there is no doubt that the changes made due to Covid-19 have greatly impacted you and your wellness.

Hopefully you are still able to interact with people within your home or through video calls. But if not, it may be important for you to reach out and talk to a professional counsellor Pieta House or your doctor.

Please don’t suffer alone, help and support are available.

Take care, Sarah.