What To Do About COVID Fatigue
In the early stages of the pandemic, people met up on zoom cocktail hours, took online classes, talked about the bread they were baking. When summer and nicer weather hit, I could barely drive through my neighborhood there were so many people outside walking. As the holidays neared and passed, people were focused on how to spend their first COVID Christmas without extended family. After New Year’s, with colder weather and shorter days, it’s possibly felt more difficult to get through the days.
Getting easily frustrated or irritated with people, feeling like you want to cry, or just feeling numb, along with physical ailments like headaches, stomachaches, difficulty sleeping or concentrating, can be signs of long-term stress, in this case, the stress of COVID fatigue. It’s been nearly 11 months since the pandemic started, along with the various stages of shut downs we’ve been in. We’ve not been able to see family, friends, or even go to stores like we used to. So what can we do right now to combat COVID fatigue?
MOVE – walking outside (even when it’s frigid) can do wonders for your perspective. If you don’t want to be in the cold, put on some music and dance or find a yoga video on YouTube. Moving your body helps improve your mood and can make you feel like you’re in control of something.
GRATITUDE – it may not feel like we have a lot to be grateful for, but even if you can pause over your first cup of coffee in the morning and really be thankful that it’s there, that can help start your day off right. Finding little things throughout your day to be grateful for can help get you out of your funk.
CENSOR – be careful what you’re watching and listening to. If you’re overwhelmed by the pandemic, stay away from the news. Find uplifting movies or podcasts to spend your time on.
CONNECT – it might be hard to consider another way to look at the screen, but joining online groups where you feel supported, or reaching out to family and friends, can remind you that you are not alone.
TALK – if you feel like none of the above helps and you’re not sure what to do, look for a trained mental health specialist that you can talk to. We all need extra support at different times of our lives and many therapists are meeting virtually to accommodate clients.
Although we are all in this pandemic together, it has affected each of us differently. While there seems to be hope for a more normal future, don’t wait to try out ways to help you feel better now.
Julie Lublin, MA, LPC
Julie Lublin is a staff therapist at Marsh Psychology Group. She can be reached at email@example.com or 248-860-2024.