Are you tired of wearing masks, social distancing, and the “new normal”? Well, you are not alone. What you are experiencing could be called COVID-19 fatigue or “pandemic fatigue”. The World Health Organization’s definition of pandemic fatigue is “feeling demotivated about following recommended behaviors to protect themselves and others from the virus”. https://www.who.int/news-room/feature-stories/detail/who-europe-discusses-how-to-deal-with-pandemic-fatigue
Symptoms of COVID 19 fatigue might include:
· Physical and mental fatigue
· Lack of energy
· Feeling constantly overwhelmed, sad or helpless
· The inability to complete daily tasks
· Increased irritability
· Reduced work performance
· Isolating from others
Learning to deal with pandemic fatigue involves lots of self-care. WHO defines self-care as “the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.” https://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/self-care-interventions/definitions/en/.
Here are some ways to take care of yourself and deal with pandemic fatigue:
1. Exercise: Exercise is great for mental health. Exercise helps to relieve stress by releasing endorphins. Even a simple walk can help. Yoga can work too!
2. Talk about your frustrations: Finding someone to talk to is extremely helpful. Don’t ignore feelings, talk about them to help relieve stress.
3. Engage in constructive thinking: Think positively and remember everyone is doing the best they can.
4. Practice mindfulness and gratitude: Enjoy life in the moment and be grateful for what you and others you care about have. Take it day by day.
5. Be compassionate with yourself: Don’t think you are supposed to know what to do in a pandemic. Take changes as they come and remember nobody is perfect.
6. Take it day by day or even moment by moment: Think about what you can do to make yourself feel better. Don’t worry about what’s going to happen too far in the future. Remember some days will be better than others.
7. Find things to look forward to: Even the smallest things can be fun. Do you have a virtual game night with friends coming up or a date to walk with a friend?
8. Let yourself Laugh: Laughter is good for mental health. Watch your favorite funny movie or tv show or read a funny story.
9. Look back, but carefully: Don’t think back to before the pandemic, but instead, think about what you have accomplished during the pandemic. And what lies ahead in the coming months.
Tips taken from: https://health.ucdavis.edu/coronavirus/covid-19-information/covid-fatigue.html
Remember these frustrating times will not last forever! Take care of yourself and enjoy the moments! You are not alone!