It’s been almost a year since Malaysia commenced its first national lockdown. At that point, we all found ways to cope with the stay-at-home order. Then, just as things were looking brighter, the deadly third wave broke out. From CMCO to RMCO to EMCO, we’ve been through it all. Now, on the verge of another lockdown, the rakyat seem to be struggling with an additional condition – pandemic fatigue.
We’re all just a little tired of SOPs, working from home and avoiding social spaces. Human beings were never meant to live this way, so who can blame us for feeling burnt out? This virus is still gripping our nation, and we have to find more coping mechanisms to avoid succumbing to the Covid-19 fatigue.
Here are a few tips you can apply to your everyday routine in dealing with this condition:
- Prioritise self-care
We’re all so used to going 100 miles an hour in this rat race to keep up with everyone else. Well, this rat race did not account for a pandemic, though. Mental well-being has a great impact on our quality of work and motivation. If you’ve been feeling anxious, tired, depressed, or just generally out of it, you’re probably experiencing burn out.
Take a step back, breathe, recognise and accept all your emotions. Avoid trying to fight these feelings by forcing yourself to work – it won’t work out. Create a safe space and carve out a couple of hours a day to let your mind settle. Practice breathing exercises, meditate or maybe read a book with a cup of hot chamomile tea (this always works!). Watch that Netflix show you’ve been wanting to, have some comfort food and most importantly, stop being hard on yourself.
Self-care can be the greatest cure to pandemic fatigue.
- Get your exercise on!
So, most of us probably dread the ‘E’ word. However, keeping active can be extremely useful in getting past a bout of burn out. Avoid pressuring yourself by keeping a regimented workout schedule. Instead, try setting aside some time in your day for a relaxed workout session, perhaps a bit of yoga or Pilates.
You’ll find that keeping your body active will not just burn calories, but it will also burn away fatigue. If you find yourself struggling to get some exercise, maybe gather friends and arrange for a group session. For example, every day at 5pm, engage in some physical activity and once this is done, you can update each other through texts or phone calls. This is a great way to get some exercise in.
- Create distractions and cultivate new hobbies
With nothing other than work and chores to do during the week, we’re bound to suffer a condition worse than fatigue: BOREDOM. This is where distractions and hobbies could come in handy. Play a game of Among Us with your friends, start painting or adopt some plants. By engaging in activities outside of work, our minds are able to discover new things and find renewed interests.
With these new hobbies and activities, we can look forward to indulging ourselves at the end of a tiring school/work day. This could diminish the effects of pandemic fatigue.
- Stop the ‘doomscrolling’!
How many of you are tired of scrolling through headlines like: “70 Deaths in the First Week of 2021”, or “Record High Cases in A Day”?
Whilst it’s important to stay updated, it can also really drain you to constantly read such news. Social media is tailored to keep you addicted so consciously try to avoid the bait. Keep tabs on the number of minutes or hours you spend on social media and try reducing this bit by bit, every day. In a few days, your social media time would have significantly reduced (along with your pandemic fatigue!).
If you find yourself scrolling through social media, try to follow more positive news accounts to brighten up your thoughts. We’re all probably running high on cynicism so this may help cultivate our optimism instead.
- Stay Connected
Due to the restrictions and rising cases, we’ve all seen a lot less of friends, family, and even our office colleagues. This lack of social contact can be quite jarring. But thanks to video call apps like WhatsApp, Zoom and Google Meet, we’re all able to still stay in touch.
Host ‘game night’, Netflix parties, catch up session with friends and family, or even a Zoom New Year’s party with colleagues. In these times, staying in touch is so important to keep sane and healthy. Social contact can help reduce feelings of depression, anxiety or sadness.
This new norm may not be the most ideal but it is definitely a great alternative to going months without chatting and spending time with friends and family. Indeed, a great cure to fatigue!
This guide is meant to ease pandemic fatigue so don’t stress yourselves out by trying to do all of it at once. If you don’t feel like exercising everyday, don’t! If you feel like wedging out on your couch all day, binging The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix, go ahead! Tailor this guide to your needs.
Now, get off your phone or computer. Try one of these tips out, and see if you feel even a fraction better than you did before. And just like that….
You – 1, Pandemic Fatigue – 0!!