(WETM)- Many people were counting on spending time with loved ones during the holidays to lift their spirits. However, with the holidays basically canceled this year due to tighter and necessary New York COVID-19 safety restrictions, experts are expecting depression symptoms to worsen due to disappointment, loneliness, uncertainty, and conditions like seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Dr. Dawn Gonsalves from MVP Health shares her tips on coping with depression during this time. She says, “it’s definitely recommended you get lots of sleep. Try to turn off your electronics before bedtime, give yourself a little time to unwind. Consider limiting your caffeine, and alcohol intake because caffeine can cause anxiety, make you stay up at night, and you don’t get a restful sleep. Also, alcohol can cause people to feel anxious so we recommend you drink more water because when you’re anxious you tend to perspire and you lose that water so it’s good to replenish it. I recommend things like stepping outside, taking a breath of fresh air, yoga, socially distanced walking, listening to lighthearted music, or a TV show. Although we cannot be physically in contact with people who are not in our immediate household, we can certainly call family and friends and also chat live.”
Dr. Gonsalves wants people to know that “you’re not alone.” A lot of people are stressed and overwhelmed. If you are having thoughts of hurting yourself, reach out to your primary care provider, mental health provider, or call the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.