As the COVID-19 pandemic has led to coming up on a year of quarantine and strict social distancing guidelines, it’s normal for people to hit a wall from the physical and emotional toll of what has been coined “quarantine fatigue.” Many feel a growing sense of a lack of personal productivity, repetitive days and nights, and a loss of enjoyment of the things they once enjoyed with the variety of activities they were able to enjoy pre-quarantine life.
The pandemic has upended life as many people know it, by changing the way people live, work, and socialize. What’s worse is the fact that life as we used to know it isn’t likely to pick back up any time soon. Although vaccines are on the market, the rollout is slow and prioritizes those at the highest risk before the general population will be eligible. So, what can you do to cope when you can’t engage in your favorite activities and social interaction you enjoy?
It’s important to understand your feelings are normal. If you’re like most others, you’ve been cooped up for nearly a year and in the best-case scenario, you’re bored, or worse, financially distressed. Everyone is struggling because it’s unnatural for us to forego socializing for months on end. By acknowledging your feelings, it can validate your emotions.
But how can you reframe your thinking? Redirect your attention to what you can do rather than what you can’t do. Keep up with a stable routine so life feels more predictable and stable. That means sticking to the same sleep schedule, eating a healthy diet, and incorporating physical activity into your routine to fight the quarantine blues. Keeping up with a routine is a simple way of practicing self-care.
Take advantage of online classes to learn how to knit, sew, cook, meditate, or even start learning a new language virtually. These new experiences can make expansive swaths of free time feel less burdensome and more like a gift.
When Will Quarantine End?
Of course, everyone has limits, but the truth is that COVID-19 is likely, in fact, here to stay. Even as restaurants, movie theaters, and gyms, and other indoor activities slowly reopen at higher capacities, many experts believe life will never return to the way it used to be, or at least, not exactly how it was. As hard as things are right now, remember that nothing lasts forever, and we will get past this crisis eventually, even if the new normal doesn’t look how it used to.
What If I’m Having a Quarantine Crisis?
Be kind to yourself and recognize you are not alone. If you feel overwhelmed, consider seeking professional health. If you’re struggling and in despair, reach out for help. Don’t hesitate to call a loved one to catch up. If the need is more dire, contact your doctor or a crisis hotline. Remember, you are not alone, and these hotlines are free, confidential, and staffed 24 hours a day. Consider taking time for therapy, and even if face-to-face appointments are unavailable, consider telehealth to speak to a psychotherapist. This will help you understand your unresolved issues and grow as a person.
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