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  • Writer's pictureJesse Galvon Reid

Pandemic Fatigue - Maybe you are more than just tired?

As this pandemic pushes on further into the year with positive case numbers rising this is on everyone's minds as it affects many domains of our lives directly and indirectly. It's like a constant hum in the background of our lives that actually takes up energy and some days more than others.

More uncertainty takes a foothold as to when “normal” life gets called into question and when we can return to our lives as we lived it back at the beginning of the year.

I have been having many conversations with my clients over this period of time and I am so grateful that they are all physically healthy and no reports of illness for them. The mental health side I am growing in concern for. Pandemic fatigue is pulling into the forefront of my conversations and these are some of the symptoms

  • Feeling disconnected from life in general

  • Escalation of negative thoughts - please monitor

  • Lack of focus and energy

  • Disinterest in hobbies and passions

  • Irritability and or anxious

  • More fights/ disagreements with spouses

  • Growing concerns over things you can’t control

  • Harder to find joy in the small things you used to love

  • Sleep disruption

  • Feeling burned out and overwhelmed

These are just a few of the examples I have personally come across and it's growing monthly in its intensity. This deeply concerns me as it should all of us. Humans are built for connection and this at the core of it is really symptomatic of loneliness and prolonged stress. This is a perfect storm to watch as our physical responses lead to higher instances of unhealthy coping mechanisms, mental and emotional vulnerability can spiral out leading to depression, anxiety, and compromised immune systems.

What can you do?

Little steps, when you are feeling overwhelmed break things down into smaller pieces. Ask yourself “what do you need right now?”. Make a list of things that get you back into a positive headspace, for example:

  • Call a friend or loved one

  • Meditation - get grounded

  • Get moving - exercise

  • Switch tasks

  • Take a bath

  • Go for a drive

Find the little things that bring some fun or joy back and help you feel comfortable in your own skin. By creating intentional steps you can reclaim some real estate in your head. Try to connect with yourself and the quality of your thoughts. Extreme self-care and self-compassion go a long way to re-energizing yourself and your daily routine.

Right now if you are sticking to a ridge routine there are fewer novel experiences and that can stifle creativity and innovation really fast. Coupling that with invasive negative thoughts and outcomes gets tough and not even a deadline will encourage you to bang that off like before. Having a healthy expectation of self, those around you, and how long this will last will help you find a better balance. If we are all waiting for a return to normal, likely disappointment will creep in and a sense of negativity will take over because there is no end in sight as of yet.

The future is unwritten and all we have is now. Do what you need for you and those around you to keep moving forward. Seek support when needed and keep healthy!

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