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What Is "COVID Fatigue"?

What Is "COVID Fatigue"? Can

Many of us are growing tired of months upon months of restrictions. Restaurants, parks, and shops open up just to close again. People are losing loved ones, getting sick, and dealing with the long-term symptoms of COVID.

All of this results in a common condition: COVID fatigue.

What Is COVID Fatigue?

COVID is a stressor. Our body’s typical response to a stressor is to fight, flight, or freeze. We developed this ability thousands of years ago when we needed a burst of energy to fend off a saber-toothed tiger attack, for example. It’s a short-term response that is supposed to happen for a few minutes.

However, COVID has put our bodies in a hypervigilant state for months on end. COVID fatigue sets in as our bodies are slowly unable to cope with the stress.

Symptoms include:

  • Physical and mental fatigue
  • Increased irritability
  • Reduced work performance
  • Inability to complete everyday tasks
  • Increased isolation

COVID fatigue can not only put us at emotional risk but physical as well. It causes us to let our guards down and stop engaging in COVID-safe behavior. We start to fail using hygiene techniques, maintaining social distancing, or abiding by mask-wearing protocols.

Here Are Some Ways To Cope With COVID Fatigue:

  • Get outdoors. Take a walk or spend time on the porch.
  • Exercise. A great stress reliever, find an at-home program to get some movement in each day. Even a simple walk helps.
  • Limit the news. Reduce your news consumption to a few sources you trust - or take a news hiatus.
  • Keep a routine. Have regular waking, meals, and work times.
  • Find creative ways to be social. Just because you’re physically distancing doesn’t mean that you can’t be social. Plan a Zoom date with family and friends. Drop flowers off on a neighbor’s porch to spread some cheer. Send a letter to a loved one.
  • Find time for self-care. Read a book, take a warm bath, have some calming tea, or listen to music. Find something that leaves you feeling refreshed and energized.

These activities can all help to calm the body’s fight-or-flight response, making it easier to cope with COVID and reduce fatigue.

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