When COVID-19 related restrictions, including lockdowns, began throughout America, many people hoped that everyday life would resume in a few weeks. Today, several months later, the pandemic doesn’t seem to have an end in sight, and some states that had started to reopen businesses are now scaling back these operations again.
The prolonged and seemingly endless nature of the coronavirus health crisis has contributed to pandemic fatigue. These are feelings of chronic stress and exhaustion arising from dealing with the multiple stressors of COVID-19 on people’s lives. Some of the significant stressors include social isolation, job losses, child care problems, and the general worry that can strain a person’s overall well-being.
Learn more about pandemic fatigue and how to cope with it here below.
Symptoms of Pandemic Fatigue
Dealing with the anxiety, fear, and hopelessness of COVID-19 can give you a feeling of unaccustomed inner exhaustion. You can also feel more irritable, worried, sad, helpless, and frustrated. Other notable symptoms of pandemic fatigue include:
- Brain fog and difficulty concentrating
- Feeling nervous or edgy
- Lacking the motivation to do anything
- Withdrawal and strained interactions with others
- Sleeping or eating less or more than usual
- Being more argumentative with others
- Difficulty avoiding anxious thoughts
How to Combat Pandemic Fatigue
While it may seem challenging to adapt to this health pandemic crisis uncertainty, it is not impossible. Fight pandemic fatigue by focusing on improving your physical and emotional well-being. Here are a few practical steps that can help you in regaining control and renewing your energy.
Practice Self Care
Ensure you are maintaining a balanced diet and getting enough sleep every day. Although it can be hard to muster the motivation, adding some exercises to your routine is also crucial. Incorporating these simple self-care activities will improve your mood and energy while strengthening your immune system.
Try Relaxing Activities
Focus on doing calming or joyful activities to help reduce your stress. These routines can be anything from practicing meditation and yoga to reading and nature walks. Any activity that provides stress relief is helpful to fight pandemic fatigue. It also helps to stop watching too much negative news.
Connect with Other People
Feeling isolated and being alone is stressful since humans are naturally social creatures. So, it’s vital to interact with others while also observing the pandemic related restrictions on physical distancing. Take advantage of other ways to communicate, including phone calls, video meetings, chatting on social networks, or even attending an online religious service.
Acknowledge Your Feelings
You are likely facing a mixture of emotions right now due to pandemic fatigue. Instead of ignoring them, acknowledge and accept them first before you can refocus your energy and mind to correcting them. If the feelings are overwhelming and adversely impacting your ability to do everyday activities, contact a healthcare provider.
Use Positive Affirmations
Sometimes, anxiety and fear can drive the mind to think of the worst-case scenarios, even when they are most unlikely to happen. Always take note of your negative self-talk and consider replacing it with positive affirmations. For instance, replace fears about contracting coronavirus with things you are doing to keep yourself safe.
Try New Experiences
Usher more fun into your time at home by creating new experiences. You may even discover something exciting that you can keep doing after the pandemic. It could be a new hobby or a movie night with your family. Get creative and think of fun things you’d like to try out that will make you feel better mentally, emotionally, or physically.
Coping with pandemic fatigue requires people to take a more hands-on approach to proper self-care. But please remember, it demands more self-compassion as you keep adapting to the ever-changing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.