2020 was an unusually tough year, there is no denying that. We’ve endured an unstable job market, economic crises and of course, the pandemic! Amongst this unrest and no definitive end in sight, some of us might have felt a real feeling of burnout coupled with intense emotions. This is known as Pandemic Fatigue.
So what are the early signs of Pandemic fatigue? The hallmark signs are feeling anxious, sad, frustrated, helpless and irritable. In addition, you may also notice that you’re feeling nervous, having trouble focusing or are unable to stop those racing thoughts.
Read along to know how you can re-energise yourself and combat Pandemic Fatigue while keeping yourself safe at home –
❤️ Accept your feelings
Challenging situations bring to the surface a mix of emotions. If you feel any of the symptoms mentioned above – like irritation, impatience, anger or anxiety – accept that these are normal responses and are understandable during such a difficult time. Acknowledge them and name them instead of bottling them up and stuffing them down.
Take time to check in with yourself every morning and before you go to bed. Reflect on how you are doing. If you feel overwhelmed, refocus your mind and ask yourself what things you can do to feel better. Protecting your mental health is just as important as caring for your physical health. So in case your feelings are getting in the way of your daily activities, reach out to a healthcare provider.
One of the simplest ways to reduce stress, anxiety and fatigue are breathing exercises. Whenever you feel tired or anxious, breathe in deep and tell yourself that there is no immediate threat. Our bodies aren’t designed to be on high alert all the time. Hence, even a couple of minutes of simple deep breathing at least three times a day can slow down your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. This alleviates stress, restores balance and gets your heart rate back to normal.
Human beings are social creatures by nature. We don’t fare well in isolation. But these are times that require us to stay isolated in our homes for months, which can be stressful. Although we have to limit our physical contact with people, there are several ways we can connect with them socially.
Phone calls, video chats, webinars, and e-learning are ways you can still meet new people and interact with them while staying safe.
🔋 Restore your energy
These difficult times demand a lot of our energy, and that is why we need to carve out breaks to replenish ourselves. Set daily reminders to take breaks during the day. In order to take care of ourselves in a restorative manner, we need to do things that are deliberately calming to us. Activities like cooking a meal, practicing meditation or just breathing in some fresh air can instantly calm you and restore the batteries of your energy. Remember, work-life balance is a necessity, not an option.
📱 Limit your screen time
Social media is great when you want to stay in touch with old friends, look at pictures of animals or learn something new. But more often than not, we fail to realise that social media is designed to keep our attention glued to it as much as possible. Some of us may even be ‘Doomscrolling’ (the tendency to continue to surf or scroll through bad news) without realising.
The only way out of this is to limit your usage of social media. Schedule 3 5-minute check-ins during a workday so that you can concentrate on what actually matters. Try staying away from the news for a day or two and see how you feel. During this time, listen to music, read a book, go for a walk or pick up a hobby that makes you happy.
🌿 Practice active self-care
Another way to replenish your energy levels when you’re feeling the much-dreaded Pandemic Fatigue is to practice active self-care. Any activity that involves movement will work. If you love running, take 30 minutes daily to run. If you love a certain sport, play it. If home workouts are your thing, do it. Whatever you do, make it a daily priority.
Having said that, remember that finding a balance is crucial. Going on runs but not taking time to check in on your mental health will only worsen what you feel. In addition to moving, make sure you’re getting enough sleep and maintaining a nutritious diet.
On February 18th 2021, the Codex team will be hosting our next Workplace webinar series on ‘How to Mind Your Wellbeing While Working Remotely’ along with experts from Spectrum Optimise and Spectrum Mental Health.
Our speakers will share tips on the following topics:
➡️ How to create a healthier work-life balance
➡️ How to implement easy ergonomic changes into your workspace
➡️ How to better understand the connection between mental and physical health
Lots of great prizes available to attendees, including a basic home office pack and company ergonomic webinar. Spaces are limited so RSVP your spot today here.