Thursday 24 September, 2020

Counsellor Shawn Clarke gives tips on coping with depression

(FILE)

(FILE)

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day.

And the year 2020 has dealt a deafening blow worldwide with the global COVID-19 pandemic that has resulted in thousands of job losses, deaths, and health scares as well as threats to the environment and political turmoil.

The physical and mental health of many has been compromised during these last six months with COVID-19 arriving in Barbados on March 16. Health professionals have raised concerns that an increase in depression and anxiety is expected due to the global uncertainty people are experiencing. 

President of Supreme Counselling for Personal Development, Shawn Clarke told Loop News that what people need most is a listening ear during this period. 

As the globe commemorates Suicide Prevention Month in September, Clarke provided a few recommendations on how persons can get through those "dark moments". 

  • You have to pay attention to your thoughts. When a person learns how to recognise negative thoughts and energies they are better to equip to deal with them. 
  • You have to learn your triggers. What are the things that cause my depression? If you know the things that trigger your depression then you can stay away from those things so you are better able to cope with when that situation arises. 
  • You need to do things to boost your self-esteem. If you have low self-esteem then it means that it is very possible that you can become depressed. Persons suffering from depression often have low self-esteem so you have to do things to raise your self-esteem whether it is listening to music, watching movies, taking fun selfies, writing positive things about yourself, or positive affirmations. 
  • Find a hobby. Spend time doing something you enjoy doing and find time during the day. 
  • Exercise. Do some level of exercise during the day. It is a great habit for anyone to pick up and this is especially important for persons who are suffering from depression. 
  • Go to therapy. Realising that you need help is a big step in overcoming depression. There are times when you have to realise that 'I cannot handle this on my own anymore, I need to seek professional help'. 

The counsellor also provided some tips from persons battling anxiety disorders. 

  • Take a time-out. When you realise this is too much for me, say 'I need to take ten minutes for myself or let me go and watch a movie for 40 minutes'.  
  • Exercise daily.
  • Get enough sleep. If you don't sleep enough that can bring about a level of anxiety during the day
  • A well-balanced diet. A person with anxiety should limit alcohol and caffeine which can aggravate your anxiety and trigger panic attacks. 

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