Pandemic Fatigue: Self Help for CoVID-19 Depression
While #StayAtHome during COVID-19, have you suffered from tiredness, exhaustion, lack of motivation or depression? You might have experienced a Pandemic Fatigue. Yan, who is a no stranger to this form of exhaustion, lays out 5 ways that helped him deal with that. I MISS PEOPLE.
This global pandemic has been eating away all of our 2020, and the extreme measures that the world is taking to minimize the death toll comes at its own price: not only are businesses collapsing and people are losing their jobs, staying at home can be very isolating and depressing. Today, more than ever, we’re coming to value the human, physical, connection. Something that was obvious to us before March 2020 is now becoming so basic and necessary, even in a world where we can communicate with each other through technology.
In August, our family moved (Alex will argue ‘ran away’) to Palm Springs for the month, just to pass some COVID-19 time in a different way other than being locked with the kids. We rented this big house with a pool, that we hope will make up for some of the plans we’d made for ourselves and our kids this summer. Our friends from New York were here for two weeks, which was great, but now that they’re gone, the isolation is much more noticeable.
For those who don’t know, I’ve been dealing with social anxieties for years, even in non-Coronavirus days. For years I’ve been in therapy searching for the meaning of friendships, trust and “chosen family.” And especially since I moved to the U.S. it’s been difficult since it’s harder to make friends when you come from a different culture and language. And the more I age the more I find it difficult. In this sense, the pandemic has been ‘convenient’ for me – at least in the beginning – because I didn’t have to deal with my social anxiety, but after a while it became depressing. Because no matter how challenging it may sometimes be, we need each other! As human beings, we are social creatures, no matter how you look at it. And I personally believe that we come to this world to study and work on relationships. Humanity is all about connections.
What Is Pandemic Fatigue?
According to WebMD the definition of Fatigue is “a lingering tiredness that is constant and limiting, an unexplained, persistent and relapsing exhaustion.”
I’m not a doctor, but I do know that fatigue can be a symptom of countless conditions, including CoVID-19 isolation. But I’d like to focus on what is now called Pandemic Fatigue, meaning, the exhaustion that’s the result of the mental state or depression stemming from isolation and social distancing.
My “day job” is web development and digital presence management. Since I started this business officially in 2017, I’ve worked mostly by myself, from home. Most of my work with my clients is done via emails, so you can imagine that even before the pandemic there were days where I spoke to no one until I picked up the kids from school.
What I found out rather quickly after establishing a full work day schedule, is that when I’m at home, I tend to become exhausted about 1.5 hours into the morning. I found that the isolation and staying in one place played a huge part in this. I struggled to find a way to go through a full working day without wanting to nap all the time, and after all sorts of trials and errors it turned out that if I left the house in the morning, and worked from a Starbucks and then the library, I could go through the whole day without that annoying fatigue.
The point? I know how staying home all day can directly effect fatigue, and the fact that we can’t go anywhere or meet anyone makes it even worse. So I was trying to come up with five things to do that I think can help anyone cope with Pandemic Fatigue. I’d love your thoughts, additions, etc.:
1: Limit your news intake
This is something that I figured out only when I worked in the entertainment industry in Israel, and no matter where you go in the world, you should remember this: News is about ad sales. It’s about making you click on the article or stay and watch and contribute to the rating/traffic rate so the channel you’re on will get more money for placing ads. And it’s been scientifically proven that scary and horrible news is “stickier” than anything else, keeping us glued to whatever channel broadcasts it. I think it’s about human nature’s fascination with our own extinction.
People who don’t watch the news are happier people. Full stop. I’m not saying you should be ignorant to what’s happening in the world, I’m only saying choose a non-dramatic, reliable news source, and limit it to once a day. Trust your social media friends to talk about what’s happening in the world, they’re going to do it anyway (and, probably, ignore most of what they’re saying!)
2: Take care of your body
Moving your body is critical to stave off exhaustion. That’s why working out is recommended by basically everyone. I mean, have you managed to find a dumbbell or any other home gym equipment? No. Because everyone is desperate to move their bodies. “Gym” is essential for your mental health, and if you haven’t heard about the body-mind connection write me. Seriously.
But gym is not the only way to take care of your body. There’s also food (eating dough, meat and cheese increases exhaustion because they takes the body longer to digest), and all sorts of body healing and skin treatments that you’ve always said you’d do but didn’t find the time: moisturizers, lotions, face masks and cream for every body part you can think of — all can enormously contribute to the body loving of self. (I have tried at least half a dozen masks samples that I had lying around in the past month).
#3: Connect with others
Don’t give up completely on connecting with people during this time. Just because we can’t *be* together doesn’t mean we can’t talk. I’m also imagining that people are more open to just chatting on Facebook (or Grindr?) more than ever, and it’s a good time to maybe find new friends.
#4: Try Self hypnosis
OK, I swear by this one. This shit works, I’ve been saying it on the podcast and I’m saying it again. Just put on your headset, and go to YouTube and search “Hypnosis for Money” or “Hypnosis to find love” or “hypnosis for confidence” — whatever floats your boat. Pick one and stick to it for thirty days. And watch what happens in your life.
#5: Make a schedule
Hi, my name is Yan and I’m a schedule neurotic. I also married one. The best thing about creating a schedule, is that you set time for everything. It’s also keeps you from being bored, or gives your body time to get tired. In some ways, this sets you up on some kind of auto-pilot, if you keep your schedule, and know that everything in it, including connecting with friends and hypnosis, has a goal of making your life better and hopefully get rid of the pandemic fatigue completely.
#6 (extra credit): Develop a Corona Vaccine
If you have some spare time and you are an epidemiologist, I highly recommend this one!