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Coping With Pandemic Fatigue? You’re Not Alone …
We’ve been discussing the virus at family dinners, work meetings, and our social media pages from February until November, and counting. As we are living through unprecedented times brought on by the pandemic, life continues to be challenging and abnormal for the majority of us because there is still so much unknown. You may be thinking, “When will there be a COVID-19 vaccine?” or “When we can go back to somewhat regular life?” These questions and countless others, media overload, and the real fear around it all has a great number of people experiencing COVID-burnout.
What Is ‘COVID-19 Burnout’?
Most of us have experienced some type of burnout at some point in our lives. It’s that time period where you may have experienced too much of something, and as a result you feel sluggish, unable to engage with that particular person or activity, not to mention it’s grueling to get through. Because we’ve been inundated with information, fear, changes, and news all related to COVID for many, many months, you may have reached your breaking point. This is COVID-19 burnout.
Many people are experiencing both intense and prolonged stress due to loss of jobs, working from home, managing their child’s hybrid school schedule, among countless other complications. As a result of the ever-changing world around them, many are starting to become overwhelmed and perhaps careless in their response to COVID-19. Maybe you’ve become a little lax on hand-washing, or wearing a mask. It’s easy to feel overburdened right now, and you’re not alone. It’s evident that the unity and positivity the community had at the beginning of COVID has started to diminish. However, we must all be cognitive that right now is not the time to move backwards. On the contrary, right now is the time to look back when COVID-19 started and tap into that same hope we once had. Uniting in our efforts is the only way to stop the spread and allow us to keep moving forward.
Tips To Cope With COVID-19 Burnout and Pandemic Fatigue:
Acknowledge Your Emotions – Create awareness of your emotions and truly allow yourself to feel them. You’re not the only one experiencing a roller-coaster right now. And you’re certainly not the only one frustrated about the closures, the mask wearing, and the continuation of all things stressful. Express what you are feeling by writing it down, saying it out loud, or talking to someone. When you’re not shouldering all of your heavy thoughts, you may feel lighter, improving your ability to tune into new information.
Constructive Thinking – Now that you have acknowledged your emotions, it’s time to find a silver lining. We can’t change the fact that COVID-19 is still present, but we can adjust our mindset to accept that life will be difficult for a while. Remind yourself of your sense of purpose, be compassionate with yourself and others, and participate in activities that fulfill you.
Exercise & Mindfulness – Remember that any type of exercise releases endorphins (happy thoughts) and helps dissolve anxiety-inducing adrenaline from frustration. Getting up and going for a 30-minute walk, going outside to play with your kids, doing cardio, a Zumba class, or picking up the dumbbells can be helpful in managing the stresses of the world right now. You can also go on a hike and practice mindfulness, being present it the moment to fully appreciate the space around you. Right now is the time to take life day-by day-and stop putting yourself through unnecessary misery, projecting into the future or ruminating about the past.
Social Media Breaks – Limit how much time you spend on social media. Yes, we know it’s difficult. Looking at all the informational posts about COVID-19, comparing how we’re all experiencing lock down, or seeing your friends’ posts about going out – not practicing safe social distancing can take a toll on your mental health.
Remember COVID-19 burnout and pandemic fatigue is something we, as a community, are experiencing. Let’s do our part to control the spread by practicing safe social distancing, wearing our masks, and spreading hope to our community.