COVID-19 Diaries (Part 26): How To Manage Mood Disorders After COVID-19 Recovery

covid 19 mood disorders
Contributed by: Rachana Arya

 

What do we mean by ‘low mood’?

Recovering from a health setback like COVID can be a lonely and frustrating journey, and mental health conditions can make this journey feel like carrying a heavy burden.  Most COVID survivors tend to experience an array of lasting mood disorders, irrespective of whether they had a hospital stay or recovery at home. 

These shifts in mood can have a serious impact on how a person feels and functions and distort his general emotional state. Early research findings have indicated that during the recovery from COVID-19, a low mood can intensify pain, worsen fatigue, or cause a person to withdraw from activities.

 

Signs to look out for:

The following are common indicators of low mood:

  • Feeling sad, hopeless, or empty for long periods of time
  • Feeling irritable and intolerant of people 
  • Losing interest in previously enjoyed activities 
  • Being more tearful than normal
  • Paying less attention to your looks 

 

Some physical manifestations related to low mood are:

  • Moving or speaking more slowly than usual
  • Change in appetite
  • Lack of physical energy
  • Low sexual drive
  • Disturbed sleep

 

If you’re experiencing mood changes – what does that mean?

To begin with, it is not uncommon for people to experience low mood fluctuation after any illness. Temporary mood swings are common, and they usually subside within a few weeks, as you get back to your normal routine and activities. Sometimes, however, a lingering mood disorder can prevent you from living a normal life.  So it is really important that you 

 

Helpful Strategies to manage low mood

When you’re in a bad mood, it’s easy to feel helpless, but you can combat this by focusing on the things you can do right now that you enjoy, find soothing, offer you a sense of accomplishment, or make you feel connected to others.

Our key advice to keeping a low mood in its place is:

  • As far as possible, try to stick to some daily routine as it helps you stay active even when your mood or motivation flags.
  • Make a regular list of activities you can do that you enjoy and offer you a sense of achievement.
  • Resume your hobbies
  • If your health permits, do some household chores every day, whether or not you feel like it. 
  • Since you have successfully battled the storm, try to boost your mood by sharing your positive experiences with friends and family, in order to raise awareness and dispel myths around the coronavirus disease. 
  • Stay physically active to improve the mood. 
  • Practise stress management and relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation.
  • Get dressed every day.
  • Share your feelings with your loved ones.
  • Get a good night’s sleep.
  • Eat well-balanced, nutritious meals and follow the prescribed dietary guidelines. Avoid eating processed foods as these contain a lot of simple carbohydrates that create a yo-yo effect on our blood sugar, which can worsen mood.

 

Last Drops

There’s a lot of truth in the proverbial saying “a problem shared is a problem halved.” Talking about your low mood with your loved ones can often be the first step to quick recovery from the deadly virus. Grab a cup of coffee and a phone… and get talking!

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