What is and how to Manage COVID Fatigue?
If asked five years ago where you thought we would be today, we would all most certainly be wrong. This year has been unprecedented and will be remembered in our history books to come.
So here we are 7+ months into a pandemic with nothing but fuzzy predictions of an end in sight. Stress upon stress continues to build up as we are itching to get back to normal (or anything that resembles it). Even if you are fortunate enough to never experience the virus itself, you may still feel some of side effects on your personal state of mind and society, what can be labeled as COVID fatigue.
What is COVID Fatigue?
COVID fatigue is the compounded stress and exhaustion from adapting to life during COVID-19 pandemic. It's collection of challenges experienced during the pandemic not related to the virus itself. The results are people feeling defeated, burned out, and even engagement in more risky behaviors. People are reporting higher levels of anxiety, depression, and drug dependency as they struggle to cope.
Some areas contributing to COVID fatigue include:
- Change fatigue
- Uncertainty burnout
- Depleted energy capacity
- Virtual burnout
- Constant searching for information on disasters and stressors
While these factors may have existed in your daily life before COVID, they have now been exacerbated across the workforce. So how do we fight it?
How to cope with COVID Fatigue
Okay, we know COVID Fatigue is affecting us, but what steps can we take to mitigate its ill effects?
Start with the Basics
- Get enough sleep
- Reduce the consumption of drugs and alcohol
- Exercise and eat right
- Get into a routine (new or old)
Do these just sound like general tips for living healthier? That's because they are! The best thing you can do for yourself is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Simple but true. Now is better than any time to focus on the basics of good health.
Work on Your Emotional Fitness
- Stay connected with loved ones
- Seek laughter and humor (one of the best healers)
- Start journaling
Your mental and emotional health are just as crucial to reducing stress as your physical health, so treat them as such.
Ditch Desensitizing Media
If you continue to search out news stories about the coronavirus, you will get desensitized to the warnings and effects of it. Your brain naturally filters out the dangers of something the longer it is exposed to the information while remaining unaffected. Stop scrolling after you identify the facts for trusted medical professionals.
Look at the Brightside
While it is essential to accept the world for what it is now, it's best to look at the good that has come of it. Maybe you get to work from home now and can spend more time with your kids. Maybe, you finally got to meet one of the neighbors you had been itching to get to know. Or maybe, you got the time to work on a project you had been putting off. If you assess it as an opportunity rather than a threat to your way of life, you can flip your perspective of the virus right on its head.
COVID fatigue may be increasing its grip on society, but we can slowly pull its fingers away by taking proactive steps to limit how it affects our daily lives. We are all in this together; its end will come, sooner or later.