After months of dealing with the fallout from COVID-19, many people have what is nicely being called "pandemic fatigue". We would choose to add a colorful word or 2 to the name... but nevertheless, it's real, and we have seen it first hand!
What is pandemic fatigue exactly?
It’s a very real feeling of exhaustion stemming from the effects of COVID-19 on your life; from stay-at-home orders, the fear of getting ill, the worry about losing jobs, finding childcare and remote schooling. The idea that we've now named it as a specific syndrome is really a nice way of saying that we’ve reached a bit of a mental health breaking point. We’re stressed, isolated, burned out, anxious and more depressed than we’ve been in a long time.
Nearly 1/3 of American's alone are reporting mental health issues related to the pandemic. We can not overlook the urgency of these problems, new data suggest that the fallout of these problems will be significant, with upward of 75,000 MORE people dying from drugs, alcohol abuse and suicide than we would have expected without the corona virus. Our next great task will be to flatten the mental health curve; and we are here to help! Here's some great info on what to look for and things we can do to address the issues you might see reflected in yourself or a loved one.
Signs of Pandemic Fatigue
The hallmark sign of pandemic fatigue is a sense of inner weariness.
You may also feel:
You may also notice that you:
- Eat or sleep more/less than usual
- Use unhealthy ways to cope
- Self medicate more frequently
- Snap at or argue with others more frequently
- Have trouble focusing
- Lack motivation
- Have racing thoughts/mind
- Withdraw from others
- Feel on edge or nervous
Here are some natural ways to help manage your feelings:
- Exercise - It’s the No. 1 best thing we can do for coping. That and fueling our bodies properly!
- Talking - Ignoring feelings doesn’t make them go away. Just saying your feelings out loud is important to process them.
- Limit your news and social media intake - Too much news, and too much social media can overload you with negative emotions. Take a day or 2 off at a time. Make sure your news sources are authentic!
- Constructive thinking - We can’t change the situation, but we can adjust our thinking. Re-frame negative thoughts into constructive thoughts. Be compassionate with yourself and others.
- Connect with others-Humans are social creatures by nature. Being alone and feeling isolated can be stressful. Find your preferred way of connecting in a safe way.
- Mindfulness and gratitude - Try being in the moment. For now, just take life day by day, even hour by hour if needed.
- Breathe - Exhaling influences our body’s ability to relax and calm down. When breathing try spending a little bit longer exhaling than you do inhaling.
- Last but certainly not least... a little bit of acupuncture can go a long way in helping re-frame your body and mind. We are always here to listen, talk, connect and hopefully provide a bit of relief.
We want to remind you that the most important thing is not to give up, don't lose hope! The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t going away anytime soon. Preventive practices are needed until there’s a treatment or vaccine, which could be months away. Adapting to life with the corona virus IS possible. Accepting this new reality and staying committed to good habits can prevent both pandemic fatigue and COVID-19.