Mental health issues are extremely serious issues. In a society that still carries a taboo around mental health issues, it becomes very difficult to deal with them. When partners who spent a great deal of time together move apart, it is very natural to feel sad and down.
If it persists for a long, there are chances that you might go down the rabbit hole. Depression sets in gradually and is almost unknown to us. But the good news is that you can emerge from it with determination and care for yourself.
Depression is not something you should be ashamed of, and working on yourself will help you overcome it.
How to crush long-distance relationship depression
The separation from your partners in a long-distance relationship can be aching. The resulting solitude and loneliness can push you to mentally scary places. Some ways of getting over the resulting depression are:
Do not be caught in the societal perception, talk.
The first and foremost action you must take is to engage in conversations regarding your mental state.
It is true that there are irrational stigmas attached to mental illnesses, but recognizing that they are as natural as physical ones is an important step. Depressions are caused by imbalances in the chemical activities in our brains.
It is nothing to be ashamed of. Keeping it to yourself and putting on a brave face only accentuates the problem.
You should know that there are people around you who love and care for you. This is a battle that you need not fight alone. Talk to your loved ones.
- Reveal it to your partner: Do not keep it from your partner either. Let them know how you feel. Often, revealing your problems to your partner is a comforting act. When you get reassurance from them, you already start feeling better. Remember that they love you and value this relationship a lot. In the same way, if your partner seems to be having trouble, you should encourage them to speak up.
- The two of you are in this together: The most important fact to acknowledge in a long-distance relationship is that you and your partner are in this together. All the pains arising from this relationship would be felt by you two. Therefore, the only way to get over it is by being there for each other through thick and thin.
Get your life in order.
When you move apart from your partner, your life gets clattered. You would have gotten used to living with your partner and sharing a routine with them. When they move away, the practice gets discontinued. This might have alarming effects on your life.
You might find yourself waking up early, not knowing what to do, and seeing a lot of free time throughout the day.
This needs to be broken. It has been identified that lack of engagement can be the leading cause of people relapsing into sad thoughts.
Therefore, when your partner moves away, get your life in order. Plan up new routines for yourself and stick to them.
- Structures are important: When you have a system set for yourself, you know what you are supposed to do at any point in time. Make a morning routine to wake up, work out, and have breakfast. Decide when you will start working and how long you will work. Who are the people you will talk to and engage with?
- Predictability is good: When you know what your next hour or so looks like, it makes you much less dependent on the old memories to get by. You start living your life more and getting over the separation. Being uncertain of the next day might seem daunting. And so, making your plans helps you be sure of the near future.
Pick-up aims to meet.
Aimless life is a perfect getaway from depression. The biggest reason partners in a long-distance relationship suffer from depression is that they have nothing to look forward to.
They must have gone through their days previously looking forward to spending time with their partners. But now that they are far away, the emptiness is glaring.
This can be overcome by setting aims for yourself. Now, they do not need to be massive, earth-shattering goals. They could be small but effective goals. When you have to reach somewhere, you work for it, and your mental health gets better.
- Set up any goals: You could choose very personal goals to start with. Tell yourself that you have to burn these many calories every day. Then convert it into miles to run every day. Teach yourself new hobbies. Try to bring this into your work. Gear up to achieve new targets at work. Make your life as much about yourself and your goals as possible.
- Start feeling good about yourself: When you work on yourself to meet your goals, you start feeling good about your efforts. You start evolving as a person and that keeps your insecurities away. This helps you ward off depression to a great extent.
Meet people, be social.
Loneliness is often self-inflicted harm for most people. When your partner moves away, you spend days thinking of the moments you guys spent together.
Although this might sound romantic, it will affect your mental health. You lose interest in other people due to being lost in your thoughts.
You would stop seeing new people and interacting with your older friends. But never lose sight of the fact that only being with other people can help you overcome the pain of separation from your partner.
Be social and interact with people. Call up your friends and make plans with them. It always helps.
- Good time to connect: It is a good time to connect with some old friends or your family who might not have been contacted for long. Meet up with them and stay engaged. Your friends might also have missed you when you were with your partner. They would love to spend more time with you.
- Doing good to others helps: It does not just have to be meeting old friends. You can also take part in social activities and charities. Involve yourself in helping others and feeling good about being part of something bigger than you. Helping out people in need and seeing the gratitude in their eyes will help you get over your loneliness and solitude.
Keep yourself physically fit.
The importance of physical fitness cannot be overemphasized to take care of your mental health. Unlike what people might perceive, physical fitness enables our minds to stay healthy.
The chemical imbalances in our bodies are mainly due to our poor lifestyle choices. By working on our daily fitness, we can ensure that we keep mental illnesses at bay.
Chalk out a routine for your daily workout. Keep a tab on the calories you burn and the water you drink. You would be amazed at how healthy you feel mentally once your body starts reacting well.
It will be difficult initially, especially if you are a person not accustomed to working out. Still, looking at the long-term benefits, it is advisable to start it as soon as possible.
- Get that gym card: Working out needs dedication and self-discipline, which is difficult to build. It will work better if you join a gym and get an instructor. If you have someone who can push you to the limits and ensure that you meet your daily goals, you will invariably make it every day. Training under a professional will also help you perform the right sequence of exercises that will benefit your body.
- Start playing sports: Playing physical sports is another efficient way of keeping yourself healthy. Sports have the dual advantage of physical fitness and building a social group around you. You meet new people, learn teamwork and start caring for others.
Mental well-being practices.
Doctors keep saying that when we learn to train our minds, we start feeling better. Practicing yoga and other forms of meditation helps you get closer to yourself. You can face your darkest and deepest thoughts when you are one with yourself.
Meditation helps you in coming to terms with your inner troubles. You can only face the mental demons you fear if you face them.
Besides this, meditation also helps reduce harmful hormones like cortisol, which is the prime driver of stress and anxiety.
It aids in increasing the levels of serotonin which instills happiness and relaxation in the human body.
- Join meditation classes: Starting is near impossible for people who have never meditated. To hold your attention without wavering is much more difficult than people would think it to be. It is better to join a class and help professionals hold your hand initially. Meditation, if not performed properly, does not help you at all. Once you get the hang of it, you can start practicing it at home.
- Reading self-help books and groups: Self-help books and groups are generally overrated. They do nothing to help you become a better person. But they will come in handy to get over your depression if you choose the right ones. A person going through depression needs to identify the fact that others are feeling the same. Self-help groups help you reach that community.
Your diet plays a role as well.
When physical fitness plays a prominent role in your mental well-being, how can a proper diet be far behind? Eating healthy has proven to help you overcome your depressing thoughts.
A lot of the hormonal imbalances in our bodies are a direct result of the food we eat. Unknown to us, the wrong food choices make a mess with the way our minds work.
When our partner moves away, we often lose interest in cooking for ourselves. We start ordering restaurant food and eating a lot of junk packaged food.
These foods contain high levels of sugar and chemicals, which can do a wide range of damage not just to our bodies but also to our mental health.
- Start cooking: It is not surprising that home-cooked food is the best. When you use fresh ingredients without preservatives and chemicals, you treat yourself to a better energy source. Even while cooking, you can choose to buy ingredients that are organic and do not contain harmful substances. It might not be enticing to cook for yourself but try to involve your partner in the ritual and organize virtual date nights.
- Cut down on the booze: Another major change that you need to bring into your life is cutting down on alcohol. Partners might start drinking a bit too much to get over the sadness of a long-distance relationship. But although alcohol provides a short-term release from sadness, it inflicts greater damage to your body and mind in the longer run.
Do not compromise on sleep.
In a long-distance relationship, it can often happen that your partner might be in a different time zone altogether. If there is a massive time difference between the two locations, it might happen that you would have to stay up late at night to talk to them.
This affects your sleep schedule and results in imbalances in your daily routine. Lack of sleep might make you irritated during the day and inefficient at work.
It will further impact the other facets of your life when you fail to give a hundred percent where required. Sleep deprivation keeps you tired the entire day and affects your mental health drastically.
- Do not develop bad sleeping habits: Lack of sleep is definitely a problem. But its antidote is not sleeping excessively. The key is to adhere strictly to a healthy sleep schedule. Make sure that you go to bed at a reasonable time and wake up early. Do not sleep in during weekends or day-offs. Also, resist using electronic devices just before going to bed or immediately after waking up.
- Improve your lifestyle to get the best sleep: Certain changes in your lifestyle can help you get perfect sleep. Eating the right food and avoiding substances like caffeine will aid in this. Ensure that your room is as dark as it can be when you go to sleep.
Be conscious of how lucky you are.
Long-distance relationships are not possible for all couples to carry out. The effort and commitment required are massive, and everybody cannot put in the work required.
So, if you are in a successful long-distance relationship, you are in a strong relationship. If your partner lets you know how much they miss you every day, you are one of the lucky ones.
Understand this. Let yourself know that you are in a relationship that is worth all the trouble you are facing now.
When you face daunting questions and uncomfortable silences in your home, remind yourself that there is someone who loves you so much.
- Express it to your partner: Expressing your love and gratitude to your partner becomes all the more important when you are in a long-distance relationship. Keep telling each other what you like about the other person. Make each other happy and keep yourselves entertained. Organize virtual dates and video calling sessions regularly. Never stay apart for a long time, and schedule your visits regularly.
Seek professional help.
Although all the methods mentioned will help alleviate your mood, there is no certainty that they will help you overcome clinical depression if you suffer from it. At the end of the day, it is a disease that needs to be treated like any other one.
The quicker you realize this, the better. Again, it is important to emphasize that any taboo associated with mental illness is irrational and should be treated.
Seeking professional help to deal with your depression is the most mature and healthiest thing to do for yourself. Talk to your parents and friends and find out about the best psychiatrists available to confer.
- Listen to what the doctors say: The doctors you consult will definitely suggest to you the healthiest manner of living, which will aid in getting over your mental turmoil. But more importantly, open up to them. Be frank in your admissions of fear and insecurities. You should not hold anything back. Only when they come to terms with the depth of your problem can they effectively treat you.
Long-distance relationships can affect different people differently. While some individuals start enjoying freedom and use it to the maximum benefit, others might find themselves untethered and clueless about how to go about their lives without their partners.
This might lead to mental issues like depression in many people. But hiding this fact or shying away from opening up to the people who care about you will only worsen the situation.
Let your partner and family, and friends help you. No one deserves to go through depression alone, least of all someone who is in love.
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“Compassion, understanding, and connection” – these three words describe me the best. I founded “TheLoveBoy” to share joy of Love. As a self-taught practitioner, I have been studying the dynamics of human connection for the past decade and my passion lies in sharing my insights with others. My mission is to help individuals cultivate deeper and more meaningful relationships