How Can I Cope with Quarantine Fatigue?
- It could take up to a year before we return to the life we once lived. The COVID-19 has disrupted our routine life in ways that cannot be imagined. As such, it is important to find ways to adapt to present circumstances.
- Schedules and routines help greatly. If your routine has been disrupted, try and create new ones.
- Create some alone-time for yourself while also relating to family and friends.
- Make out time for physical exercise and eat healthy while abstaining from unhealthy vices.
North Americans have been under self-isolation for the past two months. Businesses have been shuttered as well, no thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While there are plans to reopen some areas, it could still take at least a year before life returns to normal.
Quarantine fatigue has taken root, and so experts advise that it is worth checking in with yourself and loved ones to deal with it healthily.
According to Mary Fristad, a psychologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center who spoke to Healthline, many people complain of being fatigued at the end of the day.
This can be attributed to many reasons. One of the reasons may be that we are experiencing a lot of change and unpredictability in our lives. Anxiety is now so common, especially among people who are having financial difficulties. The demands of completing daily tasks, when suddenly working from home, and also providing the kids with education makes the schedule of many people quite exhausting.
How are people coping with quarantine fatigue?
There are some common ways by which people are responding to the pandemic. But then, individual responses can vary.
A few situations may be similar across the board and responses depend on each person’s life experiences.
For instance, most people who work from home at a computer complain of fatigue and eye strain. Even folks who wouldn’t identify as extroverts reportedly miss physical interactions with friends, co-workers, and family.
While video-chats and phone calls serve as a treasured social outlet, this socialization vis social-distancing doesn’t fill the entire void for most people.
There are reports of people missing hugs, physical presence, and human interaction. Online communication is far different from physical interaction.
A senior psychologist at Northwell Health in Lake Success, New York hints that the COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for people to attain their optimal level of stimulation.
It is important to note that people have to attain some level of stimulation before they can reach maximum efficiency. Understimulation reduces motivation. Conversely, overstimulation can make a person less-focused.
The constant influx of information may cause overstimulation and uncertainty as to what this information may bring, and this is more or less tiring. Quarantine fatigue is associated with a lack of stimulation. Not having a change in the environment is hard enough. Presently, people are both in an overstimulated or understimulated state, and this has negative impacts on mood.
Helping yourself from quarantine fatigue
Because our daily routines have been disrupted, most experts advise that we create new routines.
Physical fitness is a good example, no thanks to the closed gyms.
Many people aren’t exercising at this time, so one may easily switch to a sedentary lifestyle, which can contribute to poor sleep habits, which in turn causes fatigue during the day.
You can fight this by creating some kind of schedule or routine and sticking to it, even though it may not be as strict as the pre-pandemic norm.
You can also sign up for virtual exercise classes. They’re in abundance in this new era of video chats. With the spring coming in, it is a good time to enjoy some bouts of sunshine.
One should also stay clear from unhealthy coping. For instance, there has been a drastic increase in alcohol purchases since the COVID-19 hit. Maybe it is because people aren’t going out to the restaurants or bars, but there’s a lot of concern that some folks are switching to drugs or alcohol as a means of checking their mood during times like these.
It is also important that you find time for yourself. Humans are designed to be social, but many people have found themselves in overcrowded households.
It is important to have some alone time. The amount of time that we need to spend alone differs from person to person, but we must decompress.
While a worldwide pandemic may not inspire gratuitous thoughts, mindfulness helps greatly during this trying moment.
Humans are resilient, and we’ve got that ability to get through hard times. the social distancing guidelines provides us with the opportunity we need to be creative, bond as family, community, colleagues, friends, and family.
Extend a hand of help to others
Many people, like those who don’t have their children staying with them, or who are already used to working from home, haven’t seen any significant disruption to their lives.
While this demographic population may be coping with ease, they likely have loved ones or friends who are not doing so well.
Gathering friends or giving a hug to an extended family member may not be so possible, but with technology, you can check on your loved ones in a very straightforward and easy way. You can try the ‘connect five’ idea. Try reaching out to at least five people every day. That will be a big support for them and you as well. Video conferencing, playing online games, or just phone calls can be a big boost to coping with quarantine fatigue.
Tonika Bruce, MSN, RN, MBA. is an accomplished nurse leader, published author, and personal development expert passionate about advancing healthcare management and quality patient outcomes.
She taps into the years of experience in healthcare management to produce credible and easy-to-understand health and leadership content. Her exceptional work has been featured in reputable publications, including Forbes, Recruiter, Inc, and the Color of Wellness magazine.