Fatigue is a common symptom for individuals who test positive for COVID-19; however, "COVID fatigue" is a symptom that seems to be impacting everyone, regardless of viral infection. According to WHO (World Health Organization), COVID fatigue is about feeling demotivated and exhausted with life's demands (or disruptions) during the COVID crisis.
Although vaccines and treatments promise that someday life will return to some normalcy, as the days, months, and years of uncertainty continue, a growing number of people are experiencing "COVID Fatigue or Burnout."
Although COVID Fatigue/Burnout can look different from one person to another, some of the common symptoms include:
- feeling emotionally exhausted and distrustful about the world around you,
- feeling like you can't seem to concentrate or be productive,
- having a deep sense of anxiety about the future, or
- being less willing to follow health guidelines to protect yourself.
So if you are currently feeling some of the symptoms of "COVID Fatigue/ Burnout," know that you are not alone AND that there are things that can help you fight off COVID Fatigue/Burnout.
Here are a few strategies from mental health experts in articles published by Healthline & UC Davis Health:
Keep your routines – Public health experts explain that sticking to your daily routines, especially sleeping, eating, exercising, and socializing, can help maintain good mental health.
Strengthen ties with your most important relationships – We were not created to do life in isolation from other people. Lean into healthy relationships to receive and give support to one another.
Be aware of unhealthy behavior risk – Mental health experts note that stress is at its highest level when there's uncertainty, and coping can be challenging. Many people turn to unhealthy coping tools, so consider healthy behaviors such as meditation and exercise instead of turning to food or alcohol.
Build your resilience – Resilience is defined as the ability to bounce back from challenging circumstances, and it is something that can seem intuitive, but it is also learned. Three strategies to strengthen your resilience include:
- Believe in yourself – Remind yourself of all you've successfully overcome in the past.
- Pay attention to the present moment – Mindfulness is an essential habit to help focus on the realities of today and not the uncertainties of tomorrow.
- Exercise – It has been proven that moving your body helps improve your body's and mind's resilience.
It's important to remember that you are not alone. COVID Fatigue/Burnout is real, and many people are dealing with it. For more resources around mental health, contact the Mental Health Association of Central Florida (mhacf.org)