Pandemic Fatigue could be what many of us are experiencing as we reflect on the challenges of the last year and a half. Our Mates4Mates National Clinical Manager and Clinical Psychologist, Georgia Ash, explains the signs of Pandemic Fatigue and offers some tips to help manage it amidst the ongoing uncertainly, isolation and lockdowns of COVID-19.
What started as a mixture of disbelief, uncertainly and perhaps a novel experience, has become increasingly exhausting as we navigate social isolation, extended lockdowns, remote work, and home-schooling. Having lived with the concern and isolation of COVID -19 for over a year, and with the spread of the virus and state-wide lockdowns still going strong in many areas around Australia and the world, it’s understandable that we may be feeling depleted.
I have seen first-hand the effects this pandemic is having on our mental health.
People experiencing Pandemic Fatigue can feel tired, restless, have low moods, high anxiety, and demonstrate behaviours such as self-isolation and withdrawal, even from people within their household.
- Georgia Ash, National Clinical Manager and Clinical Psychologist
For Mates managing depression, anxiety, addiction, and trauma, this can become even more challenging as engaging in useful coping strategies such as outdoor activities and socialising may be difficult to access.
However, it is important to remember that experiences allow us to constantly change and grow and the circumstances we currently find ourselves in will also change over time. Whilst this current pandemic may seem never ending, this too will change as will our feelings and thoughts about how we experience the situation.
Below are several practical ways you may wish to consider to help manage Pandemic Fatigue:
- Switch off: Keep informed of what is going on, but don’t do it excessively. If we flood ourselves with bleak news, it will inevitably begin to weigh on our minds and affect our mental health.
- Communicate: Communicate with kids about what’s going on, but don’t make it all about the pandemic. Always listen to their concerns and try not to dismiss how they feel about missing their friends and social activities.
- Exercise: Even if it’s in the living room or backyard, moving your body every day can have a profound effect on your mental health by increasing your mood through endorphins, reducing stress, and aiding in a better night’s sleep.
- Stay connected: It’s important to talk with people outside of your home daily but try to steer the conversation away from COVID-19.
- Set boundaries: Keep work to work hours. I know working from home can blur the balance of work/home life, so find a way to end your workday formally, whether taking a shower, changing your clothes, or shutting down the computer.
- Set goals: Have something to look forward to or work on. Now is the time to do things you have always wanted to do, whether it be an improvement around the home or learning a new skill, language, or activity. It is important to have goals to work towards.
To find out more about joining Mates4Mates, you can explore our website or call 1300 4 MATES (1300 462 837).