It has been over 8 months since the World Health Organization declared the Coronavirus a pandemic. After this announcement, which came on March 12, 2020, countries across the world began implementing quarantine and lockdown measures, confining people to their households and limiting outside interactions. Now, people are starting to feel a unique time of tiredness called “COVID Fatigue”. What is this fatigue, and how can you combat it? Read on to find out!
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What is COVID Fatigue?
COVID Fatigue, also known as Pandemic Fatigue or Quarantine Fatigue, involves complex emotions that are caused by being tired of adhering to pandemic restrictions—such as maintaining physical distancing, wearing masks, and not being able to physically interact with people outside of your household. These behavioural changes, which stray from what used to be the norm, create feelings of anxiety, frustration, and a loss of hope. Since such precautions were not ever practiced in previous years, it becomes a challenge to adhere to them, especially considering the uncertainty around how long they will go on. Additionally, such feelings may increase in individuals who do not see the real risk of COVID-19, while they might diminish in individuals who understand the severity of the issue and the importance of maintaining such safety habits. Regardless of why someone may experience COVID Fatigue, one thing is central—a lot of people are beginning to feel such emotions, and it can be detrimental in limiting the spread of the virus.
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How to combat COVID Fatigue
Do you think you’re experiencing COVID Fatigue? Well, you’re not alone! There are various strategies that have been suggested to combat such feelings. These strategies include:
Stay connected with others: while physical and in-person interactions may not be recommended at the moment, there are many virtual ways to stay in touch with your loved ones. Reach out to others, and make sure people are doing okay.
Be physically active: Exercising is a good coping mechanism that can help to improve your mood (and health), as well as improving your outlook.
Practice meditation: Mindfulness allows you to calm yourself down and relax. The more you meditate, the easier it gets to implement anytime and anywhere. Even taking a few minutes away from your busy schedule every day to reflect and meditate can help to improve your overall well being.
Take a break from COVID news: Nowadays, news outlets always provide COVID-19 updates. This can often become overwhelming, and you also risk receiving false information based on the sources you look at. Remember that it’s okay to take a break from news consumption, and you can do so by avoiding social media sometimes.
Think positive: With so much going on in the world, it can be difficult to look at the brighter sides of things. As a result, it’s important to take time to reflect and express gratitude about who and what you are grateful for in this time—whether that be your friends or family, your pets, your food, your hobbies—anything!
Turn your precautions into a habit: COVID safety habits have become a daily doing, so it’s important to incorporate them into your daily activities. For example, having a mask and hand sanitizer in a certain area every time to remind you when you leave your house is a small yet important way to put you into a routine.
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Overall, while feelings of COVID Fatigue are prominent in people across the world, it’s important to remember the root cause for following such precautions: to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, both local and national. By staying true to the precautions put in place by our local health authorities and ensuring that those around us do as well, we can all do our part to work towards getting rid of this virus and hopefully returning to normal, whatever that may be!
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Article Author: Asima Hudani
Article Editors: Maria Giroux , Sherilyn Wen