Covid-19 has left many people in isolation at home, away from friends and family, in an effort to reduce transmission of this novel virus. However, a new study about the link between social connection and depression has compelled us to us reexamine the importance of strong social ties for our mental health and wellness.
The study, performed at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, showed that social connection is the biggest protector for those who are prone to depression. The study also suggested that reducing sedentary activities, like TV-watching, being on electronics, and even napping, can also help reduce the risk of developing depressive symptoms.
The study was executed in two stages. The first stage looked for manifestations of depression in over 100,000 participants, and followed their social interactions, sleep, nutrition, exercise and other environmental factors. The second stage scanned these factors to see which had the strongest causal relationship to depression. The study found that social connection—and our network of family and friends—was most closely tied to a person’s risk for developing depression.
But what about Covid-19? Social distancing has certainly complicated our ability to stay socially connected with others. Staying 6’ away from friends, or not seeing family members or friends at all due to the risk of transmission, has caused many already-depressed individuals to sink further into isolation and sadness. What’s worse is that many depressed individuals will likely lean on sedentary activities, like watching TV or scrolling through social media, to stay occupied during the pandemic.
So, what should we do? Making sure we are taking care of ourselves in terms of nutrition, physical exercise, and sleep will help. Then, figuring out ways to connect with our loved ones during this time will also be beneficial—maybe a socially distanced visit or a virtual gathering, or even texting with friends and loved ones will go a long way. Practicing self-care is another way to remain socially distanced while alleviating feelings of sadness or anxiety: yoga, massage, acupuncture, counseling, CBD therapy, IV vitamin infusions, or even ketamine infusions could help.
Elev8 MD Wellness Center is one of Charlotte’s leading wellness centers. We offer a full menu of health and wellness services for those suffering from anxiety or depression. We offer ketamine infusions, IV hydration therapy, and CBD products to help ease your anxieties.
Schedule a free consultation with us today to see if you are a candidate for ketamine infusions, talk therapy, or any of our other wellness services.