04 Nov Are You Experiencing Pandemic Fatigue?
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If you are feeling tired, anxious, irritable, and hopeless after having your life turned upside down for the past 8 months due to COVID-19, you may be experiencing pandemic fatigue. These are true feelings many people have from the effects of dealing with the unpleasant realities of life brought on by the coronavirus. Are you not sleeping well at night? Feeling afraid you will become sick? And are you sad and lonely about not being able to socialize the way you used to with family and friends?
You may have pandemic fatigue; however, now is not the time to relax and let you hair down because the virus has not done the same. The coronavirus is still out there and going strong. Several states throughout the country have seen a recent surge in new cases as well as hospitalizations. (Fortunately, death rates from COVID-19 are declining due to improved healthcare practices and new drug treatments.)
According to data from the Covid Tracking Project, 50,000 people in the United States were hospitalized with the disease on November 3–the highest number of hospitalizations the U.S. has seen since early August. This is due to colder weather driving people indoors, as well as more people having private gatherings in their homes. With the holidays and the regular flu season coming up, health officials are worried about an increase in more positive cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the coming months.
Healthy Ways to Cope
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stress during a public health pandemic can cause the following:
- Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones, your financial situation or job, or loss of support services you rely on;
- Changes in sleep or eating patterns;
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating;
- Worsening of chronic health problems;
- Worsening of mental health conditions;
- Increased use of tobacco and alcohol.
Here are some constructive and healthy ways to cope:
- Have a plan. This will give you some peace of mind because you will know what to do, just in case you or someone in your household becomes sick.
- Exercise everyday. This is so important and something you can do during the pandemic. Remember, exercise gives you a physical and mental boost and helps your brain release those feel-good endorphins. If the weather allows it, take a walk outside everyday or ride your bike. Otherwise, exercise indoors. If you don’t have exercise equipment you can exercise to free videos on You Tube. Use water bottles or milk jugs as weights.
- Take a break from the news. This includes watching the news on TV, reading about it on the internet, and social media.
- Relax and unwind. Find ways to de-stress including deep breathing, meditation, yoga, and walks in nature,
- Take care of you body. Make sure you get enough sleep (at least 7 hours), avoid excessive alcohol and eating too much–especially junk food and sugar.
- Stay connected. Stay in touch with friends and family on a regular basis through phone calls, texts, or e-mail. Positive, vital social connections are important to our overall health and well being.
- Safely meet. Find ways to meet people outside your household safely. If weather permits, get together at a park for a social distance walk or coffee date (bring your own chair and coffee).
- Take it day by day. This is an anxious time for everyone. Don’t add to the stress by asking yourself the “what if’s?”
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