Episode 28-Pandemic Depression and Creative Solutions

Play episode

Have depression and anxiety changed because of the pandemic? How has COVID-19 impacted what these issues look like, as compared to their classic versions? How can we fight them in order to regain our happiness and vigor in life?

In this episode, Nathan and Aaron answer all these questions and more as they share their observations and experiences as therapists.

In This Episode


  • What is classic depression?
  • What is “pandemic depression”?
  • How do you treat classic depression?
  • What are some creative ideas for treating pandemic depression?

What is classic depression?

  1. Lethargy (being slow-moving and tired)
  2. Hopelessness and helplessness
  3. Apathy and lack of pleasure

What is “pandemic depression”?

  1. Increased hopelessness and helplessness
  2. Lack of pleasure
    1. There’s no real way to do pleasurable things because of the pandemic, so it can feel like crushing boredom or helplessness
  3. Weight changes
    1. You’re no longer getting exercise from day to day activities, especially having to stay home.
  4. Sleeping too much or not enough
    1. Not getting exercise and moving during the day doesn’t prepare your body for sleep or help release pent-up emotion, making it harder to sleep
  5. Feeling trapped

How do you treat classic depression?

  • Medication
    • One medication is serotonin, which gives you pleasure
    • Another one is a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, which gives you energy
    • A bit of a different one is Wellbutrin, which keeps you alert
    • Medication isn’t the first thing to turn to, but for a lot of people it is necessary
  • Exercise
    • You need to move your body to the point where you’re moving and breathing hard
  • Healthy diet
    • Diet can be one of the limited sources of pleasure, but a bad diet will only do damage in the long-term
  • Managing sleep

What are some creative ideas for treating pandemic depression?

  • Be with people
    • Follow rules, of course, but getting together with others helps greatly with depression
  • Move, exercise, and get outside for fresh air
    • Do a few workouts, walk, run, go outside for fresh air – all these things will boost your mood
  • Turn on music to boost your mood
    • Use more upbeat music to get you going and feeling happier
  • Talk about your frustrations with the pandemic, even if you’re tired of that, to keep connecting
    • It doesn’t matter if everyone’s heard it before, it still helps to get your frustrations and problems out there
  • Play virtual games with friends, like JukeBox and SlingBox

Useful Links

  • Sign up for our free email course, 9 Ways To Overcome Fear & Self-Doubt, that will guide you through our process of facing fears and insecurities so that you can feel more comfortable in your own skin

Thanks for Listening!

Feel free to leave a comment below or share this podcast on social media by clicking on one of the icons below. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave us a review on iTunes and subscribe to our podcast!

aaron potratz and nathan hawkins therapists standing smiling

Meet Nathan & Aaron

Nathan Hawkins and Aaron Potratz are both licensed therapists and clinical supervisors in the state of Oregon. They each own their own private group counseling practices and co-own a third group practice together. Nathan and Aaron have been in the field since 2004 and 2007, respectively, and have over 100,000 hours of therapy experience each. On their show, they discuss facing fears and common challenges from a therapist’s point of view, imparting wisdom and humanity to their viewers. Along the way, they hope to not only share their insights but bring some light-hearted entertainment to make the journey easier.

Share this
Join the discussion

More from this show

Email Course

Episode 28