Have you found yourself saying, “I am so OVER this!”? Anyone else feeling DONE with the global pandemic? You are absolutely not along in your done-ness. For nearly a year now, the entire world has collectively endured a traumatic experience. Together. No one has been untouched by the effects of the pandemic. See if the examples of pandemic adjustments below sound familiar:
- Shifting from office to home for remote working
- Daycares opening and closing
- Social gatherings restricted
- Self-care outlets limited (gyms, yoga studios, swimming pools, etc)
- Entertainment options closed or limited (restaurants, movie theaters, painting studios, book clubs, holiday gatherings, etc)
- Moving from classroom to virtual learning
- Limited to no access to friends and loved ones
You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone not impacted by the stressful adjustments caused by pandemic restraints. Our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all influenced as a result. Do you find you are experiencing any of the following in your life?
- Getting sleep but feeling fatigued or exhausted
- Feeling irritable or short-fused
- Difficulty managing stress
- Difficulty concentrating or focusing
- Relying on alcohol or substances, video gaming, social media, food, or excessive spending
While we’re not ‘out of the woods’ yet so to speak, there are important steps we can all take to ensure our mental health and overall wellbeing remains a priority:
- Name the feelings instead of numbing- Practice awareness and full acceptance of your feelings. Feeling them now allows you to have full awareness of your needs.
- Normalize your experience- Talk to friends and loved ones about how pandemic-fatigue shows up for you and for them. Validating one another’s experience can remind us that we are not alone in our circumstances, rather, we’re actually all in the same boat.
- Create a routine, but add in a bit of flexibility- We thrive in routine and structure. The pandemic may have completely destroyed any sense of routine. Starting your weekday at the same time, taking a walk each night, stopping to have a lunch break… find a realistic routine that works for you. But allow for some flexibility if needed. If the pandemic has taught us one thing, it’s the art of ebbing and flowing.
- Focus on the ‘controllables’- Ok, it’s a made-up word, but you get it, right? There is SO much out of our control these days, so we can choose to focus on what we can control. This may include taking time to rest, time to take a break, time to visit, time to practice deep breathing, time to set down the phone, time to step away from social media, time to do a puzzle or watch a movie. What can we control? Our responses? Our tone? Our self-care? Our vulnerability? We get to decide.
- Consider stepping away from habits that don’t serve us- We’ve all done it at some point. Turned to something that brought us temporary relief. But now that thing no longer benefits us. So maybe take a day out of the week to put that habit aside. Instead of the video game…take a walk in the sun. Instead of going back to sleep…do some meditation or reading. Instead of boredom eating…drink a large glass of ice water. Whatever habit crept up this past year, if it no longer serves you, consider giving it the boot!
No matter how this collective experience has influenced you, know that you are not alone. We are truly in this together, and we will see ourselves through to the other side. Until we reach that point, recognize how the pandemic-fatigue shows up in your life. And together, let’s work to take care of ourselves as we all deserve to do. If you need additional support, therapy can help. Reach out today to connect with a counselor.