Five Tips to Reduce Pandemic Fatigue

Six months after the onset of COVID-19 in the United States and the end is nowhere in sight.  It is not a surprise that many of us are dealing with Pandemic Fatigue.  It’s a very real feeling of exhaustion stemming from the effects of the pandemic on your life — from stay-at-home orders to the fear of getting sick to losing your job. Dealing with intense emotions, such as fear, anxiety, and loneliness day in and day out can wreak havoc on your energy levels.  You may be feeling edgy or nervous, having trouble sleeping or focusing or lack motivation.  Know that you are not alone.  Here are some tips to help you cope.

#1: Take care of yourself: When we are feeling drained by all of this and have so much on our minds, don’t forgot to take care for your physical and mental well-being.  Make sure you are getting enough sleep and maintaining a nutritious diet. Though it may be difficult to drum up the motivation, exercising every day is important too. Doing these things will boost your energy, lift your mood, and strengthen your immune system.

#2: Limit your news intake: It is a good idea to ensure you are up to date on the latest coronavirus information, however too much news can overload you with negative emotions and zap your energy. Take a break from the news for a day or two and see if you feel better.

#3: Lower your stress: Focus on activities that lower your stress levels and bring calm.  Whether that’s practicing meditation, playing with your pets or taking scenic pictures on a nature walk, anything that takes your mind off the pandemic can be helpful.

#4: Create New Traditions: Many of our former traditions have been turned upside down by social distancing and fear of contracting the virus.  Consider creating new traditions, either just with your family unit at your house (ie: Junk It Up Friday Movies Nights, Family Hikes or Game Nights) or with your greater community through virtual happy hours, socially-distanced walks with a neighbor, or online book clubs.  These new traditions will create new ways to connect with others and potentially be something to look forward to.

#5: Learn a New Hobby: Learning new things can be a great mood booster.  With the new wealth of online resources, you likely won’t even have to leave your house.  You can learn to play an instrument, practice a new language, take an online course, or study photography.  As a bonus, you can show off your new skill and impress your friends with what you’ve learned at the next socially distanced get-together!

These tools can provide you with additional tools to make it through this unprecedented time and come out on the other side a stronger happier person.  If persistent pain is adding to your fatigue or lack of motivation, consider scheduling a free phone consultation with a physical therapist.  Physical Therapists are musculoskeletal experts who can find the underlying cause of pain and develop a plan to help you reduce or eliminate that pain. Don’t delay! Call today.

Source: UCLA Health

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