COVID fatigue is a real issue for many people as we get worn down dealing with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. UC Davis Health clinical psychologists have tips for coping with COVID fatigue:
Experts say exercise is the best thing we can do for coping with COVID-19. Even a simple walk can help. Exercise releases endorphins, which relieve stress and boost our sense of pleasure. Exercise also channels out adrenaline when frustration builds up. If the air quality is bad outside, try a yoga or workout video inside your home.
Finding someone – family, friend or professional – to talk to about your frustrations and anxieties is extremely helpful. Ignoring feelings or emotions doesn’t make them go away – eventually they will all come exploding out and you won’t have as much control.
Be compassionate with yourself and others. Feelings come from our thoughts about the situation, and although we can’t change the situation, we can adjust our thinking. Remind yourself, “I’m doing the best I can.”
Try being in the moment, breathing and looking around at what you have. The more you do this, the easier it gets. We put ourselves through a lot of unnecessary misery projecting into the future or ruminating about the past. For now, just take life day by day.
Don’t look too far down the road. Realize you will have good days and bad days, or good moments and bad moments. Realize these things can come in waves. It’s OK to say, “Right now, it’s bad.” Think about what you can do to feel better.
Don’t expect perfection and don’t wallow in mistakes or missed chances. Nobody prepared us for getting through a pandemic. We’re all making it up as we go, and it’s completely fine if you don’t have all the answers or always know what to do. No one does.
It could be walking with a friend, repeats of your favorite TV series or gathering a group of friends for a virtual trivia night. Even the smallest things can be fun to look forward to in the middle of uncertainty.
There’s a healthy physical reaction to laughing. Laughter can actually induce physical changes in the body and can even set you up for overall long-term health. If nothing else, put on your favorite comedy or read through the comics in the newspaper.
Don’t think all the way back to before the pandemic, but instead, think about the past year and a half and how far we’ve come. Look at all the things you’ve been through and how resilient you and your community have become.
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