For almost two years, we have been forced to face a deadly pandemic. This was something no one could have imagined happening, but it did. This situation has plagued every inch of the world and left no area untouched. While the pandemic caused a great deal of uncertainly, sadness, loss, stress, learning ways to adapt to our new “normal”, and feelings of isolation.
The pandemic lift has allowed many to work from home, which is a benefit. Others might be learning how to stay on task working from home while helping their children with remote learning. The pandemic has brought on good changes but has also shown the true colors of so many. This part has not been pretty but has been a rude awakening.
Since the pandemic started most have experienced a type of fatigue we did not know existed. Through the rest of this post, I am going to explain three types of fatigue and a few ways we can counteract fatigue.
TYPES OF PANDEMIC FATIGUE:
1. Decision Fatigue- No one ever had to think about if it was safe to go out to dinner at their favorite restaurant before the pandemic. Unfortunately, now we must think about this as it is a life-or-death situation because it can be. We need to decide if it is safe to sit inside or safer to sit outside or if it is at all safe. Constantly worrying that the decisions we make will be wrong and cause illness or worst-case scenario death. The sad truth is our everyday choices are weighing on us and wearing us out.
2. Physical Fatigue- The many challenges we have encountered with the pandemic may be affecting our physical health in various ways. First off, the stress we are feeling could be causing falling asleep difficult or keeping us up at night. It is possible to feel overly stressed and our typical healthy coping mechanisms are not helping reduce the stress. This may force people to turn to less healthy coping mechanisms, such as overeating, alcohol, or other substances that we think make us feel better.
3. Compassion Fatigue- Our first responders and medical professionals are on the front line and witness the awful issues with the pandemic every day. These people are seeing people struggle and take their last breath daily. Some of these people are saying their goodbyes to loved ones on a computer screen, which can be heartbreaking. However, you do not need to be someone on the front line to experience this circumstance. We all see these cases on the news, and it can tug on the heartstrings because knowing someone lost someone, they love is extremely sad.
Even though it may feel impossible to not feel the threats of pandemic fatigue, there are several ways to find stability thought so much instability. During these challenging times it is crucial to take care of your body and soul, and even find some forms of optimism.
1. Ensure your basic needs are being met: Combating pandemic fatigue requires maintaining proper nutrition, sleep habits, good hygiene, and mild exercise. Of course, this does not mean you need to dive into a new healthy habit immediately. What this can mean is going to bed five or so minutes earlier, taking a short walk at lunch, or simply doing light stretching during the day.
2. Discover mindfulness exercise that works: Mindfulness exercises can be a useful tool in overcoming pandemic fatigue. This can be practiced in many ways and what works for some people, might not help another in the same way. It might be beneficial to write down some mindfulness exercises you would like to try until you find the perfect one for you! A few ideas are Five-minute guided meditation, mindful pause, or reciting your favorite song. Experiment with different techniques and you will find the right one but be sure to stick with the one that works the best.
3. Enjoy Stability when you can: Review your daily routine and determine what is not negotiable and must be done. Understand what needs to be done no matter what happens and what does not and eliminate what is not important. The must be done could be going to bed at the same time every night, eating meals at a certain time, or exercising the same routine at the same time on specific days. Do not forget to make some of the “important/must do” things that bring you a sense of joy.
4. Set boundaries with social media and the news: I am sure I am not the only one that followed new COVID cases and deaths during the beginning of the pandemic. Even now as the cases of COVID are decreasing, I still tend to look up the latest information about new cases and vaccinations. This can be very exhausting and frustrating, so setting boundaries is one of the healthiest things to do. Both the news and social media are full of negativity and can cause even more pandemic fatigue.
Thank you for visiting my site today. I had taken a break from writing about anything to do with the pandemic, but I thought this information could be useful to some of you. I would love to know what you think and if you have anything else to add. I hope your week went well and you are looking forward to the weekend. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!
Reblogged this on Survivors Blog Here Mental Health Collaborative .
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Thanks for this great post! My brother and I were talking about this very thing just earlier today!
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Thank you so much! I guess great minds think alike!
Thank you for your post. We are going into our third year of dealing with this pandemic. My family and I have had to make adjust to cope and do our best to stay safe. We have enjoyed the practical points also given in the following link. I hope you do as well. https://www.jw.org/en/library/series/more-topics/pandemic-fatigue/
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