As this term comes to an end we look back on how our lives have been changed and we continue to face shifts daily. It’s not unusual that all of us are exhausted, and we frequently hear phrases like “done with it” or “we’re so over it”. It has resulted in widespread emotional exhaustion, which has now been named “COVID fatigue.”
What is COVID fatigue?
The symptom of being drained by the pandemic’s precautions and weaknesses is known as covid fatigue. The length of the prohibitions, along with a lack of activities to partake in, has resulted in fatigue, depression, and other forms of stress. Not only do we bear the consequences, but so do our children. It’s time to learn more about it and develop coping skills, such as mindfulness and talking about our fears and anxieties. Even if it is not a clinical diagnosis, but rather a condition discovered during COVID-19, we must recognize and ‘name’ it.
There’s a Name for the Feeling: “It is called ‘BLAH’! We still have a lot to learn about what causes this Blah or languishing and how to cure it, but naming it might be the first step. It could help to defog our vision, giving us a clearer window into what had been a blurry experience. It could remind us that we aren’t alone: languishing is common and shared. And it could give us a socially acceptable response to “How are you?” Instead of saying “Great!” or “Fine,” imagine if we answered, “Honestly, I’m languishing.”
How to cope?
We’ve discovered the perfect term to express how we feel. So, now that we’ve named it, the next move is to tame it, embrace it, and reframe it. How can we get from where we are now to where we want to be? It is understandable and very natural to feel tired or stressed out at this point. But, you are not alone if you are feeling exhausted, and there are some things you can do to support yourself, which include:
- Mindfulness and gratitude:
When confronted with the pandemic’s barrage of overwhelmingly negative emotions—fear, anxiety, confusion, discomfort, and sadness—it is normal to want to avoid them, to occupy ourselves with our phones, jobs, or a stream of mind-numbing material. This is where mindfulness comes in and helps you deal with the pressures of the day.
We create a lot of unnecessary suffering for ourselves by looking into the future or ruminating about the past. Mindfulness slows the mind and body down, changing it from a state of “fight or fright” to one of “rest and accept”. It brings your attention to the present moment and instead of simply responding, you can process situations more clearly and respond accordingly. Mindfulness also improves endurance and the ability to heal from stressful situations.
Mindfulness helps you to be present in the moment- Be in the ‘now’- imagine you’re seated in this chair, taking a deep breath and looking around. Try being present in the moment, breathing deeply, and appreciating what you have. The longer you do it, the less difficult it will become. For the time being, just take each day as it comes and be grateful for all that you have. While there might be much we cannot do or control, being mindful of what we can is the way forward.
- Positive thinking:
We may assume that our feelings are triggered by the situation, but our perceptions are actually caused by our thoughts about the situation. We can’t change circumstances, but we can change our attitude. Be patient with yourself and others. Remind yourself, ‘I’m doing my part.’
“Celebrating small wins has never been more important, and it could be just the boost we need to stop languishing. Start setting small challenges that will help you feel accomplished!” https://happiful.com/resources-to-help-you-languishing-to-flourishing
- Be kind to yourself:
Don’t expect perfection and don’t obsess over mistakes or missed opportunities. Nobody had prepared us for the COVID-19 challenges. We’re just making things up as we go, and it’s perfectly normal if you don’t really have all the answers or know exactly what to do.
- Talk it out:
Speaking about your feelings is extremely beneficial. It is enough to say it aloud sometimes and helps you to release pent-up tension. Not acknowledging your feelings will not make them go away. It’s like trying to hold a ball underwater – eventually, you lose control and it floats away and you have no control of where it travels. Any form of release; writing a diary, talking to a friend, playing an instrument, are beneficial.
- Recognize and accept your feelings:
Try not to dismiss or invalidate them. Rather, try to figure out what’s behind your agitation. Accept your feelings and if you can, embrace them. If you’re having trouble coping, get assistance from relatives, friends, support groups, and the health care provider. Let yourself feel what you feel, avoid trying to reject it.
- Get moving:
Exercise! It’s the single most effective way for us to cope. Any type of exercise, including a short stroll, is beneficial. When you’re anxious, it releases endorphins and releases more adrenaline. Getting up and about can be extremely helpful.
- Look back, but with awareness:
Don’t think too much about how things were or used to be, but think about the past year and how far we’ve come. Look at all the things we have been through and how resilient we and our community have become.
Remember- “This too shall pass!”
- Practice physical distance not social distance:
Maintain a healthy physical distance from friends and relatives by using apps to stay in contact with them. Participate in offline Meetups or join online communities. Even if it isn’t a replacement for the real thing, staying socially involved is more critical than ever.
Recharge, rest and take care of yourself! Have a great summer break.
Here are some really useful articles that have information and strategies that you might find helpful over the summer break:
What is Covid Fatigue?
Mindfulness During COVID
Helping your Family
CDC Parental Resources-Kit
Tips, Strategies, and Books
Coping Skill for kids