It’s been a year since the world started shutting down due to COVID-19. You may have lost a loved one or a job. You’ve missed out on experiences and milestones either for yourself or a loved one. You may be feeling isolated and cut off from your favorite activities and hobbies. You may just be feeling “over it” when it comes to masks and other safety protocols at this point.

Dealing with our newfound pandemic lifestyle comes with frustration, exhaustion, and other struggles that are unique to each person. If any of this sounds familiar, you’re not alone in suffering from “pandemic fatigue,” also known as “COVID fatigue.”

What’s contributing to pandemic fatigue?

There are many elements of pandemic fatigue that create the perfect storm of exhaustion and impatience. If you feel like it’s too much and the stress affects your ability to function, it’s perfectly acceptable to seek help.

One factor that contributes to pandemic fatigue is the feeling of isolation. Some people don’t mind the more confined lifestyle, but for others who enjoy being social, it can take a considerable toll.

It’s also hard spending so many waking hours with the same people; family members, partners, or roommates. With fewer options for personal space and pursuing individual interests, tension can build up quickly.

A parent who’s used to their kids being at school all day can struggle with having no time for themselves, and people who use their local gyms as a means of self-care and physical well-being find themselves having to come up with other options at home. There is also a lot of stress on parents trying to work remotely while simultaneously juggling distance learning and other things that go into managing a household.

There’s a lot of political divisiveness right now. Many people are facing conflict within their social circles and even with family members.

There doesn’t seem to be an endpoint yet, which is also a major source of pandemic fatigue. Although things are improving in many areas, people are frustrated that there is no definite answer for when things may return to normal.

The effects of pandemic fatigue

Being in a constant state of mental and physical exhaustion can reduce your ability to cope with stress. When you’re that worn out, it’s hard to get motivated to do anything about the negative feelings, making you feel more on edge and anxious. The pandemic has taken a toll on almost everyone, either physically or emotionally. Some of the more common effects are:

  • Fear

  • Uncertainty

  • Depression

  • Isolation

  • Thoughts of self-harm

  • Relationship issues

  • Employment issues from trying to navigate working from home

  • Constant state of worry about your health and the health of those you love

  • Helpless at the uncertainty of the situation

Coping with pandemic fatigue

The pandemic has taken an emotional toll on everyone, but it has also exacerbated and complicated the mental health issues of those already struggling. There’s a variety of ways you can cope; the most important thing to remember is that self-care is not optional during a time like this. Do something for yourself, even if it’s for 30 minutes a day. It’s important to remember to kind to yourself as you navigate challenging times.

Create a routine. In an unpredictable time, consistency can be an anchoring force and focusing, and it helps to focus on managing the things you have control over.

Take a break from social media and the news. The sensational and negative headlines and political strife can be intense and stress-inducing. Seek out diversions that have the opposite effect; activities with a calming effect such as journaling, meditating, or even binge-watching some favorite shows if that makes you happy.

Get Help when you need it. Serene Health is here to help you if you are struggling with pandemic fatigue. Call us at 844-737-3638 or visit us at www.serenehealth.com to book an appointment to speak with one of our therapists. We offer late evening and weekend appointments via our Telehealth app so that you can participate in a session from the comfort of your own home.