Understanding quarantine fatigue.

With the world waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine, the majority of us are still in quarantine mode – whatever that may look like. Whether it be working from home or staying indoors for days at a time, we’re continuing to adjust.

Healthline published an article taking a closer look at “quarantine fatigue,” giving us a better understanding of how it can impact our daily lives, including our emotions and motivation levels.

“There is an overstimulation from constant information influx and uncertainty as to what will come from this information, and this is tiring,” Jessy Warner-Cohen, PhD, MPH, a senior psychologist with Northwell Health in Lake Success, New York, told Healthline. “There is also fatigue associated with a lack of stimulation. Not having a change in environment is difficult. People are both in an understimulated and overstimulated state, and both can result in negative impacts on mood.”

If you’re struggling to keep up with these lifestyle adjustments, here are a few tips from the article that you may want to consider:

  • Maintain a regimen. Your routine may not be as rigid as before, but it’s important to maintain or develop a new way to start your day. For more tips on this, check out a separate article by Healthline on keeping routines. “Simple habits that we may have previously done – making the bed, blow drying our hair – are simple activities we can do to remind our brain that life is still going on despite the interruptions we are facing,” said Erin Wiley, MA, LPCC, a clinical psychotherapist and executive director of the Willow Center in Toledo, Ohio.
  • Do virtual exercises. If you’ve developed a more sedentary lifestyle since quarantine started, you may not be sleeping well at night. This can ultimately lead to fatigue during the day, according to Mary Fristad, PhD, ABPP, a psychologist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. To combat this, try to incorporate virtual exercise classes during your lunch hour or carve out time before or after work. Check the website of your local gym or favorite fitness studio to see if sessions are available online. You can also find free virtual exercise classes from popular studios like CorePower Yoga or Barry’s.
  • “Connect five.” Fristad also mentions that the idea of “connect five” could be helpful. What does that mean exactly? Well, every day, try and reach out to at least five people. It can provide support for all parties involved. If you’re not feeling up for a FaceTime or Zoom call, shoot someone a text or plan for a quick phone call.

 

Finding healthy ways to combat quarantine fatigue is important during these difficult times. If you’re looking for further resources, get in touch with an available helpline, such as the New York State COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline, which can be reached at 844-863-9314.

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