Have you been experiencing a run-down, depressed, and anxious feeling that you can’t seem to shake? It stems from wrestling intense emotions and stress all day, everyday — it really drains your energy and causes a very real feeling of fatigue.
And of course, this kind of fatigue, caused by prolonged stress and emotions, has been around a lot longer than the current pandemic. However, we’re seeing it affect a very large amount of people all of a sudden, and it’s coming directly from the unprecedented circumstances we’re all currently living in.
That Tired, Run-Down Feeling You Can’t Shake is Probably Pandemic Fatigue
That’s where the term “pandemic fatigue” comes in. This new term points specifically to that burned-out feeling that many are starting to experience in our current climate.
It’s easy to see how the pandemic and circumstances stemming from it are causing us all turmoil. After all, many assumed that life would go right back to normal after a few weeks of lockdowns. Now, months into the pandemic, and there is still no clear end in sight for the United States.
The pandemic brought a number of extra stressors — disrupted routines, job losses, child care challenges, economic uncertainty, disrupted food chains, social isolation, and general uncertainty.
That’s a lot of extra pressure.
It’s causing may people to experience any number of emotions, like fear, anxiety loneliness, and hopelessness. And while it’s normal for people to experience these feelings at some point in their lives, having to wrestle with them constantly is causing pandemic fatigue.
It’s really just a short-hand way of saying that we’re at a mental health breaking point. Many people are finding themselves feeling stressed, isolated, burned out, and lonely. On top of that, we’re more depressed and anxious than ever before.
Coping With Pandemic Fatigue
While returning back to the way things were before isn’t possible right now, it’s imperative to find ways to cope — to reduce the toll on your mental and physical health.
- De-stress with calming activities – Focus on activities that are calming or make you happy. It looks different for everyone, but it could include setting aside time to read, practicing meditation and breathing exercises, learning new recipes, or even just watching a comedy.
- Connect with others – If you find that isolation is stressing you out, it’s important to reach out to others. Make phone calls, arrange video meetings, write letters, or even just chat on social media.
- Take care of your body – Get enough sleep and maintain a healthy diet. And it may be difficult to find the motivation, but regular exercise is important, too.
- Limit your news intake – Sure, it’s important to stay up to date on the latest information. However, too much news can overload you with negative emotions. While you’re taking a break from the news, go ahead and take a break from all social media if possible.
- Acknowledge your feelings – Trying to ignore your feelings won’t solve anything. Instead, allow yourself to have those feelings. Then, refocus your mind and energy on things you can do better.