Covid 19 is still taking and disrupting the lives of many. With the promising vaccine and treatment, there is a hope that life will return to normal someday. A large number of people are experiencing pandemic burnout. The need to follow the protective guideline is fading out.
What is Covid Fatigue?
The demands of life during any kind of pandemic lead to demotivation and exhaustion, which is known as pandemic fatigue.(1) This fatigue can further lead to a more devastating pandemic. Fatigue the people are going through during the covid-19 pandemic is what can be called Covid fatigue.
Pandemic fatigue is very much natural. At the beginning of any pandemic, people are aggressive towards short-term survival skills. Over a period of time, the fear subsides and frustration grows, and exhaustion and complacency set in.
How To Known If Someone Has Covid Fatigue?
Covid fatigue may look different in different people. There are a few symptoms that are commonly observed:
- Feeling Emotionally Exhausted and Cynical: These are the most common symptoms of covid fatigue. These symptoms were observed mostly in the people who were working in the demanding work environment during the pandemic.(2)
- Being Less Productive At Work: Pandemic fatigue leads to people doubting themselves and their potential. This makes them pay less attention to work tasks. This makes them feel like a failure at work.
- Anxiety About The Future: Uncertainty about the end of the pandemic leads to anxiety about the future of own self and the community. Unpredictability leads to worry as no one has any control over their lives.
- Less Willingness To Comply With The Health Guidelines: Due to dragging further of the pandemic, people tire of the rules and regulations and start skipping them.
How to Deal with Covid Fatigue?
First of all, it is completely normal to feel fatigued during any prolonged pandemic.
There are a few ways that can help in dealing with it.
- Keep Up With Routine: Sticking to the routine in times of crisis can help in maintaining good mental health.(3) It is important to know how to stick to the routine while working from home or if someone is out of work altogether. Narrowing down the focus to basic routines necessary for maintaining livelihood and daily health needs like eating well and getting good sleep can prove to be of good help. It also influences how stressed a person feels. Secondary routines like exercising and socializing are also important for mental health. These habits can be adopted in the new daily schedule.
- Strengthen Ties With The Important Relationships: Forming new relationships can be time and energy-consuming. Here comes the part of the already existing relationships. Established relationships are the ones on which you can lean on and give a sense of connection and community without exhausting many emotional resources.(3) However, not all established relationships are healthy. Some are troubled and toxic and can further drain the emotions and put extra pressure. You are an expert in your relationship and should know how to remove yourself from the abusive ones, whether a pandemic is going on or not.
- Be Aware Of The Addictive Behavior: During stress, anxiety, and depression people with disordered eating habits or those with substance abuse may notice more symptoms.
A study was conducted, in which 38 percent of people who were being treated for eating disorders noticed an increase in symptoms in the early part of the pandemic.(4)
It was recommended by the researchers to:
These could help in overcoming stress.
- Build Resilience: Resilience is an ability of a person to bounce back from any hard circumstance. It is great for those recovering from exhaustion and injury.
Resilience can be built by believing in yourself, paying attention to the present moment, and exercising.(5)
How to Avoid Stress with Covid 19 News?
Feeling overwhelmed or stressed after hearing the news of the pandemic can be prevented by:
- Limiting the news to specific times in a day. It is good to be aware but all the time hearing about it can lead to stress build-up, which can be avoided by listening to the news just once per day.
- Seek information from trusted sources only. Any kind of news laced with highly emotional commentary can increase anxiety which can further lead to fatigue. It is therefore important to give an ear to the ones you trust on.
When to Seek Help from an Expert?
Pandemic fatigue is real and most people go through it. It can be dealt with a bit of lifestyle change. But, do not hesitate to reach for help in the following situations:
- If you notice constant anxiety is affecting your wellbeing, relationships, and daily functioning.
- You start experiencing symptoms of depression.
- You lose motivation to protect your health and of the people around you.
No pandemic lasts forever, self-care skills can help in facing challenges and help in moving ahead in life.
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