I’ve had a lot of difficulty doing work, working from home, not because of real distractions, but just because it felt pointless and thus I was distracting myself actively instead of doing, but I managed to get past that.
For me a couple of things helped a lot:
- I run/play Dungeons & Dragons. My group (which is all my friends, not strangers) used to meet about once every month or six weeks or sometimes longer apart. As we’re now all locked in on a weekend, we’ve been managing to get together every weekend for the last five weeks, to play for 3+ hours. Even the people with kids have been fine because starting at 8.30pm and because no-one has go home, they can play until midnight or whatever. This has been really good and I always feel a lot better after talking to everyone and playing with them and stuff. I think other people are doing pub quizzes and escape rooms (involving print outs) and stuff, but the main thing is that the only people here are actually friends, they’re not people you have to put on an act for, or deal with bad behaviour from (which seems to feature in a lot of the pub quiz things I’ve heard about).
So if there’s anything you can do to hang out with people who you don’t have to put on an act for, especially if you can ensure nobody who you do have to put on an act for isn’t there, that’s really good.
I’ve also just been playing a lot of videogames with friends (many of the same people), something I don’t normally necessarily get to do that much. Again this has really helped make me feel less stressed and gives back some of the socialization that is missing without the stress of dealing with strangers or mere acquaintances (not sure if that stresses everyone - but it does me and the last thing I need is more stress).
One secret source of stress I discovered that was really messing me up was not having enough food/drink that I felt safe not having to go out. I didn’t realize this was even a thing, and it didn’t surface consciously at all, but I realized what was going on when I was down to my last pint of milk (of which I drink too much but whatever), and whilst it wasn’t a problem, I could obvious go shopping or the like, I was trying to avoid using it up so I could avoid having to go out. When I did finally go out and got a load more stuff, and used an actual shopping list and managed to get almost all the things on it, I felt tremendously better.
Cooking stuff way ahead and making sure my freezer is full of stuff also helped me a lot. Not only was it weirdly fun, but it made me feel vastly safer, like if I was ill or something I could just microwave stuff.
I had a burst of using takeaways because I was too lazy to cook, which was not only expensive and stuff, but also not good. When I was getting it like once a week or so, it was good as it gave me stuff I couldn’t cook myself, or not to nearly that standard, and was interesting, but just letting myself order from them a bunch just made things worse. Stopping with that and going back to food I’d cooked and so on really helped.
I started playing games I didn’t normally play, and playing in a way I wouldn’t normally, to break up monotony. There are certain kind of games I play doing good but also play a lot when I’m kind of depressed - Path of Exile is one, I think because it has kind of a short reward loop - luckily this short-circuited because I got too rich and then just bought everything I could want for my character. But I’ve been trying to ensure I play games I wouldn’t normally, and avoid “depression games” - i.e. games which you play when you need a false reward (anything with a lot of “levels” and “gear” is suspect here). But I think it might just be the change more than anything else.
One thing I did get was Just Dance 2020, because frankly I was sitting around too much - my wife is quarantined separately from me, and was having a good time with it, and I got it, and am also really getting a lot of out of this, because it combines a lot of the fun of games with actually doing exercise with music that is either good or at least high energy and something you may not have really listened to before. Exercise doesn’t cure depression (unlike some people think), but doing something that is hard to label as anything but positive can help.
You don’t actually need to be able to dance or anything either. I sure can’t.
I think changing up what you’re doing and just trying to make sure your life in the house isn’t a monotony, or overly-regimented, is really helpful. Going out is too if there’s enough space to do it, but I kinda don’t have that at the moment.
I don’t know, I feel like I did “collapse”, but have since un-collapsed. Doing positive stuff that means you feel safer and happier and aren’t overwhelmed by is a big part of it.
Don’t know what kind of meds you’re on, I stopped taking mine for a few days (ADHD ones) and that definitely didn’t improve things, so I’d probably avoid changing dose and see if I could change other things, and make my life different that way first. Trying something different, even if you don’t think you’ll enjoy it, may help. If you have friends who are real friends and not themselves depressed, trying to spend some time online with them (and not fake friends) may be helpful (not everyone has that though).
I would also say breaks are very good. I took a week off, expected it to feel like a usual week off from work, i.e. barely feeling like any time off, still thinking about work and so on, mostly doing it to find time for chores etc., but it totally didn’t. I think because I’d pre-cooked a lot (I have a small freezer the size of a little fridge as well as a normal little fridge and I ruthlessly emptied it at the start of this), and already had the house in an okay state because I was stuck in it, it actually felt like a holiday, like a real one. I read books. I watched movies I’d been meaning to. Watched shows, played games. By the end of the week I was so incredibly far from work mode that I forget my damn password, which caused havoc, but it really did help. I honestly feel like we should probably be working 2 weeks on 1 week off like this or something, but I guess it’s not practical.