Sick of It?! How to Reduce Pandemic Fatigue
As the COVID-19 pandemic drags on, people have tired of the ongoing changes and decision-making required every single day. Pandemic fatigue can include emotions like anxiety, fear, loneliness or hopelessness. These feelings can create a lack of motivation, difficulty focusing or sleeping as well as a tendency to argue or withdraw from loved ones.
Unfortunately, pandemic fatigue has also led some people to forget or reject important safety guidelines including: handwashing, mask usage and social distancing.
“People in the community are experiencing fatigue. We are tired of all the social isolation, and people are hanging out and not paying attention to public health recommendations. In doing so, they are inadvertently spreading this illness,” said Raj Govindaiah, MD, chief medical officer at Memorial Health System. “We now have the most disease in our community than at any point in the pandemic. This fatigue you are feeling is common, but it is more important now to be careful and safe.”
How to Cope
Find and continue to seek out healthy ways to cope and meet your emotional and physical needs. Here are some tips:
- Choose healthy. Sleep at regular times, drink water and eat nutritious foods. Add physical activity that works for you and your situation. Walk outside or find a treadmill or stationary cycle.
- Know yourself. Recognize your stresses and sensitivities. Knowing your triggers can help you to avoid or reduce reactions. For example, if scrolling through social media or watching the news affects you negatively, break for a day or two. Read a book or watch a comedy instead.
- Set limits and prioritize. Recognize when you are doing too much or more than you can handle, and find ways to reduce your workload or tasks.
- Take breaks. Take time to stand up, move around, eat a snack and give your brain a break.
- Connect with people virtually. Video chat, make a phone call, start a text group, send a letter or a card, enjoy a socially distanced coffee—you can still connect with others without physical contact.
- Do something you enjoy. Take time to read, pick up a hobby or do an art project or other activity you enjoy. Make an effort to do something you enjoy every day.
- Seek help. If your emotions or feelings become overwhelming, know it is okay to ask for help. Reach out to your primary care physician or a counselor.
Memorial Health System is thankful for the community’s efforts to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Need to talk?
As behavioral health services across the state close temporarily in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Memorial Behavioral Health provides telehealth and phone appointments with their patients. In addition, MBH has established an emotional support hotline, available at 217-588-5509, to provide support to individuals who are experiencing anxiety or stress, even if they are not MBH patients.
Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19
Download a COVID-19 recommendations handout to share with family, friends, community members, employees and others about how to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Stay up-to-date on COVID-19 information from Memorial Health System at ChooseMemorial.org/Covid19.
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