Has the pandemic left you feeling exhausted?

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge us in new ways, you may find that you’re filled with feelings of sadness, hopelessness, anxiety and uncertainty. Maybe you’re wondering when the pandemic will finally end and you’ll be able to resume your normal life? This is when you might begin to feel tired of the personal protective measures that you’ve been encouraged to take since the start of the pandemic in 2020. Things like masking in public spaces, social distancing from others, avoiding social gatherings and spending more time at home or in isolation that can limit the enjoyment in your life. What you’re feeling is normal and a part of pandemic fatigue. This boils down to experiencing a gradual lack of motivation to follow recommended protective behaviours, and you may also feel anxious or hopeless. If you think you’re dealing with some pandemic fatigue, here are a few ways to cope.
1. Prioritise your sleep
Stress can impact our sleep, and stress and anxiety associated with the COVID pandemic have meant many of us are not sleeping as well as we used to. A survey of 2,555 people across 63 countries found 47% of people were experiencing poorer sleep than usual during the pandemic, compared with 25% before COVID hit. Rethinking your approach to rest and committing to good sleeping habits – even the ones that might seem like they don’t have much to do with sleep – can change your life.
2. Focus on the things you’re able to control
It could be as simple as ensuring you exercise for 30 minutes a day, putting time aside before bed to practice mindfulness and meditation, going for a walk outdoors a few times a week, or even focusing on keeping your house clean and organised. Taking small actions like these can make you feel like you have more control in your daily life during a time when there is high uncertainty.
3. Limit your time reading the news
Strive to find a balance between staying up to date on current events and ensuring you’re not consuming too much bad news. This can be done by setting a time limit on how long you spend on social media or the news apps on your devices or limiting yourself to a few credible sources.
4. Set healthy boundaries, and stick to them
Healthy boundaries are defined by you and what you’re comfortable with. Essentially, they’re the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual limits you set to establish your individuality and stability. They can include anything, from declining physical contact like hugs to taking time out for yourself to be alone instead of participating in social activities.
5. Know that you aren’t alone
Pandemic fatigue can feel different for everyone. The World Health Organisation recognises pandemic fatigue as something that many populations across the world are experiencing and trying to deal with. So, if you feel that you might be dealing with pandemic fatigue, know that you’re not alone. It’s a very natural response to a prolonged global health crisis. This is an incredibly difficult and unprecedented event you’re living through. Be kind to yourself and seek help if you need it.

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