Feeling a bit down in the dumps about the whole pandemic situation? You're not alone.
COVID-19 has taken its toll on our collective psyche, but there are ways to combat it. For many of us, the daily worry and extra precautions have become pretty draining. There's a term for it, and it's "COVID fatigue."
Once the novelty of working from home and distance learning wore off, the reality of our new normal began to settle in. We're five months into the pandemic at this point, so it's natural to feel a bit cagey.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio
According to the folks at UC Davis, COVID fatigue is a general sense of exhaustion and despair at everything going on around us during this epic pandemic. Combined with the constant barrage of bad news and depressing statistics, our enhanced daily routines have the potential to really wear us down.
“We know there are two kinds of stress that have long-term effects on our mental well-being and physical health – intense stress and prolonged stress. We have both... At the same time, a lot of the things we generally do to cope, the things we enjoy and that give life meaning, have changed or been put off limits.” —Kaye Hermanson, Psychologist at UC Davis
What You Can Do
One of the best ways to fight off COVID fatigue is to get out and live your life. Certainly follow standard health and safety precautions like wearing a mask and keeping your distance, but find the time to actually leave the house.
- Exercise and its resulting endorphins are at the top of the feel-good list. Even if you're taking a short walk around your neighborhood, the change in scenery will do wonders for you. Try to incorporate some kind of exercise into every day or at least a few times a week.
- Practicing mindfulness will help calm the anxiety and narrow your focus on the here-and-now. Start a bullet journal, try meditating outdoors, or just sit and relax with a nightly cup of tea. Whatever you choose, make sure to do your best to tune everything out and just unwind.
- Talk to someone. A family member or friend will do just fine if you don't have a counselor or therapist. Sometimes, getting things off your chest can help, even if it's just your frustration with The Great Clorox Wipe Shortage of 2020.
Photo by Min An
The experts at UCLA recommend limiting your screen time to under an hour a day when it comes to bad news. Whether that means watching the news or scrolling the headlines on your phone, don't let yourself fall down that rabbit hole for too long.
Whatever you do, don't discount your feelings during this strange time in our collective experience. Acknowledge that you're simply fed up, do something about it, and try to figure out how to re-energize your daily routine. We'll get through this!
Are you feeling a bit of COVID fatigue? What are you doing to snap yourself out of it? Share your ideas with us in the comments!