It’s more than 3 months now since the outbreak of the coronavirus. We all have been maintaining social distancing and staying indoors as much as possible for a long time now. But many people are now feeling physically and mentally drained. Experts at Santa Ana medical clinic call it “quarantine fatigue.”
In the beginning, we all thought it would be easy; we’d work in our jammies while staying with the family. Now it’s been a long time, and most of us want to go back to our offices. However, we all must recognize the importance of staying indoors and maintaining social distancing. It is also understandable that many of us have “hit the wall.” To deal with this, some people are now going out while taking all the “precautions.” But the situation is nowhere near “under control” or “normal.” And for our own safety, we must fight this urge to go out. And if you feel stressed or bored at home, there are a few things you can do to fight it.
In order to do this, many people are looking for ways to cope with quarantine fatigue. But before we get into that, we should first learn why it is affecting us.
What’s the Reason Behind Experiencing Quarantine Fatigue?
Quarantine fatigue may make you feel any of these –
- Eating less.
- Eating more.
- Hard to fall asleep.
- Less productive or unmotivated.
- Having racing thoughts.
When we first heard about the outbreak of the coronavirus, our focus was on staying safe and protected from it. But now, we are not able to see any end to it in sight, so our focus has become unclear. There can be a few reasons for that.
At the beginning of the outbreak, people started making changes to their lifestyles in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Most of us were in the panic mode and took all precautions an individual could take. We had a goal in our minds to stay alive. But now we have adjusted to this lifestyle, so the immediate terror is beginning to recede. This has left us with a growing sense of non-productivity and loss of excitement.
Lack of Human Connection
We are social creatures, and that’s why we all miss human contact. While it was fine for a few weeks, now this need is intensifying.
This Crisis Mode is Hard to Maintain
Many of us are in a crisis mode, which is becoming difficult to sustain now. There was a sense of urgency, quick decision making, and anxiety in the beginning. But the psychological state of crisis mode is not sustainable, and reality is setting in. This is leading to quarantine fatigue.
Everyone experiences this fatigue in a different way. But finding healthy ways to cope with this is important for our overall health. Whether it’s our mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual health. Keeping that in mind, I have prepared a list of tips that you can follow to cope with this quarantine fatigue. So, let’s get into it.
The Difference Between ‘Wants’ and ‘Needs’
While we are moving towards healing ourselves, the first step should be to learn about the difference between wants and needs. You need to ensure that you have covered your basic needs before you move to things that you want to do. Basic needs include things such as water, food, shelter, safety, exercise, and support.
Covering all the basic needs makes a huge difference when it comes to fighting quarantine fatigue. You can ask for some help from your friend, family members, or neighbor if you struggle in meeting your basic needs.
Explore What You Want
Once you are done with your ‘needs’, you can move to explore your wants. For this, you need to think about things that you would like to accomplish. Ask yourself some questions about whether you want to watch a podcast, read a book, or cultivate some different skills. Start making intentional space for activities that help you grow and give comfort. This will also help you break up the monotony of your daily life of quarantine.
Also, try to start making these changes slowly. There is no competition or fixed time table to finish this. You need to be kind to your mind in this quarantine. You need to be comfortable and manage yourself through these hard times.
Follow a Routine
This tip may seem obvious, but it is one of the most important tips for you. You should stick to a routine, especially this time when life is uncertain. You must go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, and include nutritious food to your diet. Do not forget to take care of your physical health, so, do exercise regularly. These healthy ways to fight quarantine fatigue will also help in boosting your immune system.
Take a walk in your garden or on your terrace to get some sunlight. This way you will be practicing social distancing while getting some sunlight. This will also boost your mood. You can also add the daily practice of mindfulness in your routine for better mental and emotional health. These ways you will also prepare yourself for the time after the COVID-19 pandemic ends.
Do Not Push Aside Your Negative Feelings
One mistake that you can make while coping with quarantine fatigue is pushing aside or ignoring your negative feelings. Acknowledging and validating your frustration and sadness will help you get more relief while you are coping with quarantine fatigue. You should also consider sharing these negative feelings with your partner, friend, or professional. One of the best things you can do this time practice journaling.
Set Manageable Goals and Seek Short-Term Rewards
You can benefit from short-term rewards by setting small and manageable goals. The uncertainty of the situation can cause anxiety and emotional imbalance, which can lead to a feeling of powerlessness. To deal with this, find something that is under your control, which can help you offer a sense of accomplishment. You can choose to clean your house, starting with your bathroom. Or learning new dishes to cook, there are a lot of online cooking lessons. There are a lot of things that can help you set small and manageable goals, which gives you quick results. This sense of small accomplishments can help in making a bigger difference.