My go-to answer for most things is, Cocaine. I’m sure if I did Cocaine I would be less fat, less lazy, which would lead to me being less depressed. Most likely, this is flawed thinking, but I never have tested it to know for sure.
A brand new study on the effects of Covid on our mental well being was just released and to no one’s surprise, it’s not a rosy picture:
What does this tell us?
- We are moving way less than we did pre-Covid.
- We are sleeping more.
- We are getting up later.
Also, in the study, depression has increased by over 90% in the past year! That is massive, and while we love the flexibility of remote work, we are also craving the need for personal contact and normalcy. Humans are pack animals by genetics. We don’t thrive in cages (like being locked in our homes).
By the way (from the picture at the top), who are these people who don’t wake up until 10 am!? And even more puzzling, pre-covid, who are these monsters who didn’t get up until 8:30 am!? Surely, I gest. But, only for free of being canceled by some new pro-sleeping, don’t judge us movement.
How can we turn this around?
I was raised by Baby Boomers who weren’t all too keen on schedules and the importance of a consistent schedule on mental and physical wellbeing. They just grew up during a different time in our world where you just kind of went with the flow. Yes, hippies, kind of.
My wife, bless her soul, rescued me and trained me to understand how having consistency in your life leads to a less stressful life. Less stress leads to less depression. Turns out, we as humans, actually do really well when we know the parameters of our world. We actually like being put in a box. It’s warm and cozy. We perform better. Covid took us out of our boxes, out of our schedules, out of our routines.
And like a flower without water and sunlight, many of us wilted. We stopped moving. we started putting on weight, we started sleeping more, and we became depressed.
We love the newfound flexibility, but we want some semblance of our lives back. Getting up, going to work, hitting the gym, etc. We need to turn these negative trends in our health, physically and mentally, back in the right direction. Even if you stay remote or hybrid, really work to build a more permanent, more healthy schedule into your day.
Part of building that new schedule is an understanding that we aren’t living a temporary life. We all have this belief that once Covid is over, we’ll be back to normal and then I’ll start getting healthy again, but our reality is we aren’t getting back to the old normal. For most of us, we’ll have a new normal, and we need to adjust to that new normal now.
It starts with moving more. Spring is a great time to start!