Depression Tips for Covid 19, Spiritually Speaking


Depression sucks. I’ve had bouts of it and gah. It literally felt like the world was grey and bleeding black around me. It was awful. My heart goes out to anyone experiencing depression right now due to the confinement situation, or from their work overload. So, today, while firing up my blog, I thought ‘hey, why not talk about tips for that?’.

I tend to focus on anxiety, because that’s what affects me the most, and I’m under the impression that it’s more common than depression. It’s also the general feeling I’ve been seeing people expressing online about this pandemic.

Yet, anxiety and depression tend to go together for me. Like, if I become very very anxious, depression can kick in. Yes, they can be separate, but as my mood swings are often anxiety based, so then can be my depression. My point is that they can be ‘co-morbid’, that they can go together as a package deal.

I sincerely hope that you, dearest reader, don’t suffer from chronic depression. If you do, I really suggest getting it checked out as soon as possible and get both medication and therapy as much as possible.

But what do you do if it’s ‘just’ the pandemic affecting you? If staying at home is just getting you ‘down’? Well, thankfully, that’s where our spirituality can kick in. We can use our spiritual practices to care for our inner wounds, and to boost us up.

That’s great and all, but how? How exactly can we use our spirituality to boost ourselves?  Well, I’ve compiled a list below. As usual, do what feels best for you and respect yourself and your limits. Also remember that there are hotlines that you can call if the depression gets too bad.

Ideas to combat Depression in the Pandemic:

  • Host a spirit party! You can’t have living people over, but what about the dead? What about the spirits? They certainly can’t give or catch ‘the virus’, so have them over!
    • you can make this a solemn affair as in Samhain, if that suits you, but I personally suggest making it more of a party. Throw confetti around, bake a cake, have some alcohol if you drink, and have all your guiding spirits over and eat with them! Read aloud some jokes, fairytales, and do some spirit communication however you feel (tarot, rune castings, trance work, etc).
    • Pro Tip: don’t forget to thank and ‘dismiss’ when you start feeling tired. As any party, don’t exhaust yourself energetically. Respect your limits!
    • Extra Pro Tip: use napkins or disposable plates to serve, to make as little mess/clean up as possible!
  • Do divination on a topic that’s not pandemic related. It could be on your garden’s future, your personal development, your psychic powers, what your talents are, and how grandma is doing on the other side. Just anything that’s not pandemic related. The point of this is to see/focus on all the life you still have, on all the projects that will continue beyond the reach of this pandemic.
  • Host a dumb supper/silent grieving period for those dying from the pandemic. The point behind this is to express our collective grief due to the pandemic. It’s normal to be upset by what’s happening, and (I think) it’s healthy to express it. This will not only give you a period within which to mourn, but it will also signal an ‘end’ to the mourning, at least for that day.
    • You can make this a daily ritual, depending on how much grief you feel. Say that every day you check the death tolls then find yourself crying. Then, instead of beating yourself up for being upset, make it part of a mourning ritual where you give yourself permission and space and a set amount of time to feel your grief. Then, when the time is over, try your best to move on and change your mind.
    • If you choose a dumb supper, you can lay out plates for the dead of specific regions, or do a specific region per day. Say, you grieve for Italy one day, Iran another, etc.
    • If you don’t have a lot of energy or want something simpler, you can simply burn a candle with the intention that it will guide the dead peacefully along their way to the otherworld.  an example of what one might say is, as lighting the candle “I light this candle, consecrating it to shine its light for those deceased of the COVID-19 pandemic. As this candle burns, a gate between the worlds is open, taking in all the wandering dead due to the pandemic and guiding them home by the light of this candle.”
    • You could also recite prayers for these dead, asking your presiding spirits/ whoever you feel like to take care of the spirits of the deceased due to the pandemic.
      • An example of such a prayer is “I pray to Anubis, Lord of the Dead. Please take those who have died of the plague in your arms. Be gentle with them. Ease their griefs and suffering and that of their loved ones. Weight their hearts gently and ease their passing into the other worlds.”
  • Pray to a solar deity to bring light into your life and banish depression. A prayer of this sort could go like: “I pray to Ra, Great God of the Sun. Please shine your light within my mind, within my heart and soul. Chase away the darkness of depression from my mind, heart and soul. Purify and invigorate me!”
    • Pro Tip: leave an offering to your preferred solar deity and engage in not only prayer, but also a deepening of your relationship with them. It can be as simple as putting up a sun picture, or baking them a cake and eating it with them. Just engage with them, and you will probably feel them in your life more!
  • Do exercise! Now, exercise is great for boosting the mind, but why not use that energy you’re creating to spread happiness in your home? A way to do this would be to visualize a rune such as Wunjo and imagine it radiating out from you as you exercise, spreading its energy out from you.
  • Cleanse and consecrate/charge your crystals to boost your mood. Simply laying them for a few hours in the sunlight, on a piece of paper on which you wrote ‘banish depression!’, can do the trick.
  • Obviously, you can burn invigorating incenses (like cinnamon!) or boil potpourri.
  • Ring bells to cleanse the air as well.
  • Do magical crafts! Ideas include:
    • Overhaul your altar!
    • Sew yourself a ritual robe, or embellish one you already have!
    • Practice a psychic skill.
    • Practice your basic ritual structure, such as circle casting, invoking, evoking, etc.
    • Write in your grimoire or BOS

Then, we have some basic pointers that are less spiritual

  • Let in sunlight
  • Call friends/relatives
  • Read books (especially books on spirituality!)
  • Paint/do crafts
  • Listen to uplifting music!


I hope this was helpful! Please take care of yourself and yours and have a great day! Lots of love to you all! ❤

lavender and massage oils
Photo by Elly Fairytale on

A Pagan Framework for Healing/Coping with Mental Illness ~ How to Help Out a Friend (Part Two)

Hi everyone, and welcome to part two. Part one can be found HERE, if you haven’t read it already. I want to thank everyone who came out and read this and offered kind words, as well as all of you who offer support to those of us in a rough patch. Keep up the love, y’all!

As always, if you see something you like here, or have an idea, let me know and drop a comment! I love chatting with people, especially about mental health.

  • Help with the dishes. For people who become low-functional due to anxiety, depression, etc., dishes are often the first thing to show signs of neglect. Now, the whole place will usually also be messy/dirty. But here’s the thing -> for starters, do ONLY the dishes. Why?
    • Doing too much cleaning may overwhelm your sensitive friend.
    • It may humiliate them, causing them to be unwilling to reach out again.
    • How do you offer this? Do NOT throw your hands in the air and declare their place a mess. In my experience, just pretend it’s all kind of normal, unless it’s a health hazard. This will make them more comfortable to have you help them with this one aspect of their life.
      • Step One. Manage to get yourself invited/welcomed in for coffee/chats. Then just sort of hang around their kitchen and say something like “Hey, mind if I do the dishes?” If they say yes, just don’t comment on anything, invite them to draw up a chair and chat with you while you wash. If they say no, Step Two. “Well, I’d like to help you out. Let me do them, please.” Now, depending on how well you know the person, you may gently point out that they don’t seem so good and that you want to give them a break. If they still say no, don’t push it. Maybe they’re too overwhelmed to deal with someone cleaning. Maybe the noise and action will be too much.
      • Pro tip: If you are multiple people, one person can take your sick friend out for a coffee/nature walk/sit with them in the living room while you go nuts cleaning the kitchen. Keep your sick friend as far away from the cleaning as possible. Now I say this because just watching someone else do the dishes can not only be humiliating, but as I’ve said before, stressful and overwhelming. You don’t want that. You want them to relax, have a positive experience, and poof! Clean sink. -> making it a positive experience will make it easier for them to allow you to come over and do it again.
      • Extra Pro Tip: Use the dishsoap. By this I mean, those dishes are going to be gunky. They’ve been sitting there a while (longer than you want to know!). You may need X amount of soap on your own dishes, well, use 2X on theirs. Trust me, when I was really bad, people kept underestimating the filth on my dishes and I actually once had to REWASH dishes because they hadn’t washed them properly. If they’re short on dish soap, bring some. Just – make sure they’re extra clean.
  • Coloring books! Are they artsy but too tired/in a flunk? Bring over some of their favourite mediums (pens, pencils, crayons, markers, etc) and grab some adult coloring books. I’m not joking, these can help. It seems all hokey to the more normal people out there, but when you’re really not feeling well, these things can be a great way to focus and calm down. Now don’t just show up and ninja chuck the coloring books at your friend/relative. Make it a recurring activity! You two can go shopping together (remember the blocking tips in part one) or shop online for them, or they can pick them out and you can go pick them up at the store. Get them involved and get them excited/looking forward to this! Make it fun! Then, once you have them,  arrange a time (maximum three hours. More like one to two because longer will exhaust them) where you can sit together with nice drinks and just color. This is a good time to talk about light things as well as serious things, for coloring helps avoid eye contact and gives a fidget to do while speaking, and the act of having something to do excuses slower speaking.
    • Pro tip: get coloring books that theme with their favourite hobbies or movies. There’s even supernatural (the TV show) one out there, as well as unicorn ones. Get whatever they like, no shame.
    • Pro tip: use the fact it’s trendy as an excuse to do it, and their love of art as a way to bond.
    • Example: “Hey, have you heard about those adult coloring books? I’ve heard they have a [favourite hobby] one! Why don’t we get some? We can sit together after class and relax with them.”
  • Do some exercise with them. Exercise helps as much as an antidepressant according to some studies (I think, off the top of my head, no sources here). So do some exercise with them. If they, like me, are going to go into sensory overload at a gym, try these instead
    • The aforementioned nature walk, but slightly more intense. Make it a nature hike.
    • Pick out some yoga tutorials online and throw your mats down at home.
    • Pick out some HIIT exercise tutorials online and try them together.
    • Pick out some tai chi exercise tutorials online and try them together.
    • If either of you know enough, build your own at-home exercise routine, and do it together!
    • The point is, exercise at home, in a safe space, with medium level music (if any). Be encouraging. Help them clear out a space for exercise prior to the exercise (remember, mental health = messy home usually), or bring them to your place.
    • Reward yourselves for the good activity. eat some fruit, buy yourselves a magazine or a song, or even just a high five and a ‘yeah, we did it!’. Be energized, and encourage them.
    • Wind down with them. Make sure they’re okay after the exercise and don’t have a mood crash right after. Chill a little. Not too long, just make sure you don’t run out right after the exercises are done.
  • Meditate with them. Now this one’s tricky because meditation is pretty personal. But you can try something generic, like a loving-kindness meditation. Try short sessions, like five minutes.
    • Remember that meditation can sometimes cause unhappy things to surface, as well as a chance for symptoms to manifest. Be prepared for them to have a mini meltdown.
    • Be prepared as well for a depressed take on the meditation. For them to not feel ‘good enough’ or like they did it ‘wrong’. Read up about the basics of meditation and how it’s just a matter of persistence.
    • Steer clear of any kundalini rising meditations and energy work like that, at least at the beginning. Meditation can cause short term psychosis to manifest itself. So, in order to recognize symptoms of a breakout, avoid spiritual exercises that could also cause strange effects. Focus on your breath, or something similarly safe.
    • Meditation has so many known benefits, you can use that as an excuse to breach the activity. Example: “I’ve been feeling stressed lately, want to meditate with me?” That way, you don’t focus on their illness and it makes them feel less like it’s you caring for them.
    • Make it as ritualized as possible. Ring a bell beforehand, play some zen music, and use a gentle timer to ring you both out of it when the time’s up. This will help create a sense of routine, and make it easier to get into with practice.
  • Pray with them. If you are of similar faiths, take a moment and help them pray. During illnesses, we depend much more upon our faith than when we weren’t ill. But sometimes the words are lacking, sometimes we don’t feel worthy enough, and sometimes we just can’t focus. Hold hands together and pray to a common deity/their favorite deity.
    • Pro tip: agree upon what you’re praying for first. If you’re a writer/poet, write it down with them, then hold hands together and recite together. Or, you lead and they repeat. Or you recite/pray out loud, and they hold respectful silence.
    • Don’t make it just about their illness. Draw attention to other things they care about, as a way to gently remind them that there is other things in their lives. So, pray for their garden’s good fruits, for the sea turtles that are their totem animals, for the good health of their niece.
  • Hold ritual with them. Have they been able to keep up their magical hygiene lately? When I was really bad, I couldn’t lead a ritual to save my life, but that didn’t mean I didn’t want to. I had all kinds of magical projects! So, offer to do a ritual with them. It could be for the upcoming sabbat, the full moon, or a healing, grounding, or crafting ritual.
    • If you’ve never hosted ritual together before, start with something generic like a holy day ritual preferably. Share this space together. See what makes them comfortable. Do they want you to do everything while they sit in circle? Do you lead and they repeat after you? Find out what they’re currently able to do, and go from there. Don’t overwhelm them with chores and keep the energy down as well. Aim for something more low-key than a pumped up shamanic trance.
    • From there, work up to doing more personal rituals. Helping them do healing rituals, for example. Helping them cleanse their house after a particularly bad breakdown. Whatever you do, don’t overstep your welcome into their spiritual life. Make sure to help with the physical part of the activities and the organization, but not necessarily to tell them what it means/interpret their gods for them.
  • Give them a hug, if they’re comfortable with that. Some people need cuddles, too. If you’re comfortable with that, just hugging for a long time can help someone feel appreciated and balanced more. But make sure you respect everyone’s boundaries, including your own.

Medication First!

What? Whozzah? Medication? It’s such a rare thing. I never talk about it! Nope, not me.

Ah ha ha. I am joking, obviously.

As I have previously said, psychiatric medication is the high heels to my drag outfit of functionality. I prance around in them, adjust them, occasionally change them, but above all, need them. (Have ye, O great wanderer of life, seen a drag Queen barefoot? I has not.)

Now what do I mean when I say ‘Medication First (with an exclamation mark, no less)? I mean just that. Medication First. (!)

Now, this is where I draw the line between my fabulous self and the so many other viewpoints blazing out there across the Wiccan and neo-pagan and polytheist frameworks. You see, most of Wicca and neo-paganism and polytheist movements are what I would call ‘Medication Second’. In that they will often spout their views in this way.

  • Mental illness may or may not exist, really.
  • Why take psychiatric medication? It has (gasp!) side effects! One ought first to try exercise, eating ‘healthy’, de-toxing, eating special diets, doing special exercises, practicing yoga, meditating, walking in nature, practicing spirituality, spirit-journeying, re-adjusting their kundalini, consulting shamans across the globe, and maybe even breathing underwater while they’re at it. (Note how therapy with a licensed professional is usually not part of this list? Strange, right?)
  • If and ONLY IF the person has tried all the above suggestions (probably even including breathing underwater for some) then the person could, they suppose, try psychiatric medication. But beware of those nasty nasty side effects! Oh, and have you tried the other remedies already?

Note how everything else under the sun (and maybe under the earth) comes first before psychiatric medication. This means psychiatric medication comes second as a final and last resort for the ‘real’ crazies.

Now, I used to be like this. It led me down a truly crazy path and led me into great psychiatric distress. But now the little caterpillar has become a butterfly, so to speak, and I’ve become a Medication First kind of person.

What do I mean by that? It means my train of thought goes like this:

  • Is there a significant problem?
  • If yes, seek medical help. Take the psychiatric medication.
  • Then, once a sense of betterness has been achieved thanks to psychiatric medication, get therapy and try other stuff like exercise and whatnot.

But Why Why WHY? Pagans and so-called ‘spiritual’ people will gnash their teeth and foam at the mouth. We must try all the so-called ‘healthy’ alternatives first! We must avoid the medication at all costs!

Well, I firmly disagree now.

First of all, for someone to be seeking relief, they probably have a sizeable problem. Chances are, it’s worse than what they (or others around them) think it is. It certainly was for me. No one ever thinks they’re ‘crazy’ or ‘really that bad’. They always think they’re ‘just in a slump’ or ‘just having a bad day’.

Second of all, there is a never-ending source of so-called ‘alternatives’. One can waste years seeking them all out, and they can be blazingly expensive. And finally, no matter the amount of them that one has tried, one will never have tried enough. There will always be one more guru, one more supplement, one more yoga sequence that people will pressure you into trying or, worse, you will pressure yourself into trying. This will delay treatment indefinitely.

Third –and really, I think this is my point – there is no harm in trying psychiatric medication first.

It’s not like the world will fucking blow up.

Because here’s how it happens.

You take the medication → you feel better (somewhat) → you use this ‘feel good’ energy as momentum to propel yourself further with therapy, lifestyle changes, etc.

This might sound like drivel, but I swear it’s how it works for me and how I’ve seen it treated by the good doctors I’ve met. I could try all the lifestyle changes, but without my medication there to help me, I was just swamped. Once I felt better thanks to medication, I could clean my house, go jogging, and feel even better!

It’s basically like giving a sick person medication. You give it to them to help re-establish the normal flow, so that the body can get back on track.

Ohhhhhhmyyyyygodzzzz. Does this… does this mean psychiatric medication is… medication? *sarcasm*

So, medication comes first in the sequence of treatment. At least it did for me.

What’s my point? Where am I going with this? I’m going here → we need to change our narrative surrounding mental illness to be medication first.

I know, I know, it sounds like I want everyone to just echo my viewpoints. It’s not that. I want people to stop leaving medication ‘second’ as a choice that you only go to if you are ‘that bad’ or ‘really crazy’ or ‘desperate’. I want people to realize that medication is not dangerous or toxic, and that it can be the start of therapy and of a whole lot of changes in one’s life.

What would a ‘medication first’ discussion sound like? Like this:

Person a) hey, i’m feeling shitty.

Person b) ok, I trust your judgement. Have you consulted a doctor and taken the requisite medication?

OH MAH GAWDS. Doesn’t that sound the same as when someone has the flu, cold, diarrhea, or whathave you?

Trust me, we can do this. We’ve got this. We do it for broken legs, asthma, and everything else. Yes, for a very mild cold, we may stick to alternative solutions. But let’s revisit my first point in this discussion one more time.

Chances are, it’s worse than what they (or others around them) think it is. Now, I don’t want to be a drama queen. But people tend to overlook their mental health. It’s been my experience that those who finally realized they needed help (especially those who are so-called ‘spiritual’ people) were in dire straits when they finally turned to a doctor.

So what this means is that by the time someone realizes they’re having a problem, it is no longer time for the alternatives. It’s time for the doctor.

And guess what? Here’s the kicker. If you’re at that point… just how much of a dosage of alternative stuff do you think you would need? It’s like taking alternatives that would treat a cold, to treat… pneumonia? Ebola?

Because psychiatric medication can be very strong. It can be easily jacked up to high doses. Not so with alternative ‘treatment’. In a recent video I watched, someone compared the efficacity of zoloft to smelling saffron for 20 minutes, and said they were on equal footing. They neglected to mention the dosage of zoloft it was equal to. Was it a small, itty bitty tiny dosage of zoloft? Was it a high dosage? Was it a stable dosage that the person was accustomed to? What if the twenty minutes of saffron was not enough? How long a day would the person have to smell it for? Similarly, they mentioned cloves as being helpful (I think it was to boost serotonin). Just how many cloves a day would someone need to take in a case of severe depression?!

Personally, I think this is ridiculous. Yes, these alternatives can help someone with the mental health equivalent of a small cold. Yes, they can help someone maintain positive mental health much like they help boost physical health.

But! Mental illness is just that. A fucking illness. It is un-health to the point of distress. It is a serious situation that we, by leaving the life-saving medication thereof as only a second and ultimately ‘only take last’, we are neglecting to treat the illness or take it seriously.

Because take it from someone who tried all the alternatives first. It didn’t work. It hasn’t worked for anyone I’ve known, either (and now I know a lot of people with mental illnesses). And yes, most of the people I know have had it go to the point of critical conditions, ergo their life and functioning was in danger. It is that common that it becomes that critical and yet we suggest treating it as if it was a common cold.