Are you feeling more drained, irritable, and less motivated to do the things you normally would have done with ease? With the pandemic has come an onslaught of emotions, including fear, anger, worry, and frustration that life will never be normal again. Most of us have been sheltering since mid-March. Although restrictions are being lifted, the fear of getting sick lingers. The emotional fatigue has generalized to physical fatigue, and the people closest to us are often the ones suffering the effects of our fatigue.
When you are stressed and overwhelmed, finding moments of clarity and calm becomes more and more difficult. It’s almost like you can’t escape having to think about it and prepare. Running errands without planning could jeopardize your health, which turns a simple errand turn into a potential stressor. Do you have your mask, hand sanitizer, and gloves with you? This constant state of hypervigilance increases your stress, anxiety, and your physical well-being. When you are unable to calm down, you react to your partner and friends rather than connecting with them.
There is nothing certain in life, and the pandemic is making that clear. The cure for pandemic fatigue is to create moments of calm, even when they are harder to find. Unless we learn how to take the time to cope with increased stress, we will lower our immune system and make ourselves more susceptible to depression, conflict, and illness. These 5 tips will help you prevent pandemic fatigue.
1. Practice stretching for 10 minutes three times a day. Healthcare professionals talk about the importance of stretching and its ability to calm and restore deep breathing. You do not have to be physically fit – lean on a chair or sit and stretch. There are numerous You Tube and Pinterest tutorials to help you get started. You see life differently after you stretch.
2. Stay away from “what if” traps. When you ponder all the things that could go wrong, you trigger your fight/flight response. These thoughts create hysteria and are often negative. Instead, get your mind active and focus on completing small tasks and chores that need to be done.
3. Organize something you will look forward to celebrating in the future. Planning summer birthdays or fall anniversaries can give you something to look forward to and redirect your thinking. Involve yourself in activities that bring others joy to feel more connected and hopeful.
4. Make time for friends. More than ever, take time for friends. Restore energy by connecting with others outside of your immediate family. Friends calm us with their voice and presence. Take time to meet up virtually or mask-to-mask. It is important that you do not let the pandemic erode your friendships.
5. Send a note of appreciation. Research has proven that writing a letter has lasting benefits on neurotransmitter networks. Taking time to write a thank you note to someone you appreciate can strengthen your ability to cope.
During the pandemic, it is more important than ever we take care of our immune system. High stress levels that go unmanaged lead to a physical weakening of your body. Learn to take time to reset and refocus not just for you but for your loved ones