How to not let coronavirus pandemic fatigue set in, battle back if it does

Constantly hearing “wear a mask,” “wash your hands,” “use hand sanitizer” and be socially distant can be too much.

We’re social animals, who all have our own opinions and beliefs, but in a time where a pandemic like COVID-19 could or is overwhelming medical facilities and is dominating almost every aspect of your life, it can be too much to handle.

Some have already or will be reaching a breaking point.

Just remember, you are not alone as the days stretched on to weeks that stretched on to months and that could last even longer, experts at The Cleveland Clinic said.

You may be feeling overwhelmed and confused about all the mixed information you are getting from the media, your friends and on social media.

You may be even questioning yourself, wondering if you are overreacting or worse yet, not reacting enough.

Masks are a big part of the second-guessing that people may be experiencing, according to The Cleveland Clinic.

Some are dead set on wearing a mask anytime they are out, others are not abiding by the guidance or even the laws that have been established.

And both sides of the mask-wearing debate can be vocal about their beliefs.

“Humans have a need to feel right and that they are doing the right thing. When we see people engaging in a wide variety of behaviors -- particularly when it comes to physical safety, well-being and health -- it can cause self-questioning for people, even when, according to their values and science, they’re already doing the right thing,” Dr. Scot Bea, a psychologist at The Cleveland Clinic, said.

You may also be experiencing fatigue, or just being done with all the restrictions that can make you develop a need to do things that you know increase your risk, conflicting with your normal behavior.

Pandemic fatigue could include feelings of, according to UCLA Health:

  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Loneliness
  • Hopelessness

You may also be angry or frustrated.

You may be eating or sleeping more, not able to focus, lack motivation, withdraw from people and not able to stop racing thoughts, UCLA Health said.

“If they are feeling fatigued, pinched, deprived of things that they have either enjoyed or valued, some people may take greater risks because the virus is invisible and sometimes the consequences of the virus can be downplayed, meaning more people might ignore it,” Bea said.

So how do you battle the conflict within yourself as well as when you’re out around people?

Bea said stand firm and believe in yourself. Also, set boundaries that agree with your beliefs. It is OK to say no if a gathering has too many people, but explain it is the fact that it’s your health your concerned about and that it doesn’t correspond to how you think about them or the health or safety of others. The decision is about your personal safety and that alone.

You can also work through the coronavirus fatigue by exercising, UC Davis Health said. Any type of exercise will do and will release endorphins and remove adrenaline. It also helps to talk about what you are facing. Be mindful and be thankful for what you do have, not what you’re missing out on, UC Davis also suggested.

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