Overwhelmed? Exhausted? Frustrated? Over it?
I’ve felt all of these feelings in the past year. Things have gotten better and it’s been nice to businesses back open and feeling a bit of normalcy.
But now, Costco is out of toilet paper again, holiday plans are being cancelled with friends and families, things are closing down and people are starting to isolate again. I had a friend who used the term “pandemic fatigue” and it made me really think about what this means and wanted to share some lessons I’ve been learning in hopes that it will help you, too.
So first, what is pandemic fatigue? It is the impact that the pandemic has had on our feelings, thoughts and behaviors. Here’s some signs that may indicate you have it:
- An increase in alcohol or food consumption
- You have adequate sleep but still feel exhaustion
- Not engaging in activities you typically enjoy
- Focus and concentration are harder
- The little things are stressing you out
- Your patience is short
Sounds like all of us, right? Now, let’s go over some things that has helped me, at least, with this:
- Tell someone you love and trust how you are feeling. I bet they can relate and acknowledge that this is hard. It’s a better feeling to know we are in this together!
- Choose an activity you enjoy or used to enjoy. Try doing it for at least 3 times to rediscover your joy with it.
- Do something outside. No matter the temperature, being in nature can change our moods around!
- Gain back control over what you consume. Instead of grabbing for the bag of chips or bottle of wine, try moving your body or plan out your grocery list so you don’t keep buying these things and have a back-up plan instead.
- Stay connected in a safe way. Although we are all over being on Zoom and connecting virtually, remember it still is connection. Schedule phone and virtual chats with family and friends so you are more likely to do it.
- Avoid information overload. You want to be informed but remember to put limits on your social media and how much news you watch. It sucks us in if we aren’t careful.
This has been a long season and a hard one. There is no denying that but I want to encourage everyone to keep going. When your thoughts tell you how stressed and overwhelmed you are, speak these words into your mind:
We are in this together. You have a community of people who want to see you win! Keep going and growing. This is a season of growth!