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  • Frederick L Shelton

5 HABITS TO GET YOU THROUGH CORONA

Updated: Aug 18

Habits are the best of servants or the worst of slave masters.

Most people know that depression can create bad habits but they don't think about the fact that bad habits can create depression. Millions of people are engaging in habits that will do exactly that.

I suffered from depression when we took care of my mom during hospice, until her passing. I’m so grateful we were there for her and wouldn’t have done anything differently but it did take its toll. I became intimately familiar with both depression and the habits it tends to breed. I also learned how to overcome both. Here are five counter-punching habits to maintain during COVID-19, that will hep stave off depression:

1. GET UP & GET OUT One of the first signs of depression is staying in bed. Another sign is isolating in your room and yet another is complete apathy, to the point you stop shaving, showering etc.

The symptoms that result from depression, can also CAUSE depression. If you act like someone who is in the throes of depression, you are very likely to become someone who is a reflection of your symptoms. Don’t be. I don’t care if it’s 10 o’clock because you haven’t been sleeping well, get your ass out of bed! Then get out of your room. If you can’t stand the person you’re living with, put on a mask and go for a walk. But get up and get out.

2. GROOM YOURSELF

You may not feel like it. You may feel like “What’s the point? No one is going to see me anyway?” You will see you. And if you see yourself slipping into decline physically, your mind will follow. Don’t slip away. There are people who love you and who will be hurt if you go away. We need as many GOOD people to get through this as possible because I promise you, there will be plenty of bad people who thrive because of it.

3. EXERCISE Force yourself to do some kind of exercise. I have a hard time with cardio because of the psoriatic arthritis in my Achilles Tendons. Oh well. I still get on the treadmill 3 – 4 times a week. The other days, I do yoga, lift weights, dance and am looking at restarting martial arts.

The key is to find SOMETHING. I don’t care if it’s only 10 minutes a day, you need the endorphins, increased circulation and strengthened IMMUNE SYSTEM that comes with exercise. So no excuses!


4. REGULATE YOUR TV & SOCIAL MEDIA TIME

Don't watch tv all day – especially the news or movies like "Outbreak" and "Pandemic"! Don’t stay on social media all day. Face Book is just plain negative most of the time.

When you go on Facebook, try to inspire people. Try not to get caught up in the debates and such (which I often do). Fine. It’s a place to vent. But when you log on, look at the time. Give yourself one hour. I promise you, you don’t NEED more than an hour on Facebook at any given time.

Same thing with Twitter. Twitter is the same negativity for people with a short attention span. LinkedIn: Great place for B2B but whatever you do, DO NOT POST POLITICS ON LINKEDIN. Unless you want to instantly alienate 1/3 of all potential clients, employers etc. this is foolish. In any case, unless your job specifically requires mining LI, limit your time there to an hour or so.

5. TUNE OUT

If like me, you’re busier than ever at work – don’t burn out. I’ve been working 10 hours or more, every day as a sort of escape mechanism. My mind wants to believe that if I’m busy at work, everything must be okay, right?

Wrong.

My judgement was starting to become flawed. I would forget or miss things. I started getting edgy. All the signs of burnout.

So I have forced myself to take at least 1 ½ days off per week (Hey, I’m an entrepreneur and business is crazy busy, so it’s a start!). Do the same. Tune out. Yesterday I laid out by the pool and listened to Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade”, followed by the Rolling Stones album “Let It Bleed”. By the time I came in, I was as mellowed out as someone at a party at Snoop Dog's house. Take time to slow and calm your mind. Let the stress go. Remember: All ships rise with the tide.

We’ll get through this together.

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