An unintentional phenomenon is on the rise—pandemic fatigue. People are tired of staying at home. People want to be the social creatures they inherently are. People want their “normal” back.
This collective fatigue is making some people—consciously or unconsciously—disregard pandemic guidance such as social distancing and mask wearing. Others may be reaching a mental health breaking point.
Alarming data from a U.S. Census Bureau survey revealed the psychological toll taken by the pandemic. American adults were asked typical mental health screening questions. Twenty-four percent showed clinically significant symptoms of major depressive disorder, and 30% showed symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. Those rates were higher among younger adults (ages 18 to 29), women and people making less than $25,000 a year.
If you feel like you’re battling pandemic fatigue and losing self-discipline, stay the course with these coping tips:
- Try a new exercise. If you’ve been finding it harder to stay active, experiment with something new like walking, yoga or cycling.
- Try meditation. Mindful activities can help lower your stress levels and improve your mood.
- Try saying it out loud. Sometimes you just need to talk to someone about how you’re feeling, especially if you’re stressed, frustrated or anxious. Ignoring those strong feelings won’t make them go away.
- Try new recipes. You’ve likely already mastered the pandemic sourdough or banana bread, so roll up your sleeves and whip up something else. This is a good time to prepare healthier meals and use that time as a fun daily activity for you and your family.
Consider how you relaxed pre-pandemic, and try to get back to that lifestyle. If you find cooking, reading or listening to music relaxing, make time to keep that a part of your routine.
If you’re worried about your mental well-being, contact your doctor.