This is the second part of my post “Hitting the Pandemic Wall.”
Just to remind ourselves: “Pandemic fatigue is a natural response to a prolonged public health crisis – not least because the severity and scale of the COVID-19 pandemic have called for the implementation of invasive measures with unprecedented impacts on the daily lives of everyone, including those who have not been directly affected by the virus itself,” according to the WHO.
Pandemic fatigue is a natural response to a prolonged health crisis, so there is nothing wrong with us if we are feeling irritated, impatient, angry, tired, anxious or depressed. These responses are perfectly understandable during such a difficult time.
We need to give ourselves permission to acknowledge that what we are feeling is 100% normal.
I don’t know about you, but as time went by, I became more and more lethargic. I just cannot be bothered to do much anymore. During the first lockdown, I tried to keep in contact with my friends by phoning them regularly. During the second lockdown, I felt much less motivated to do so. What do you talk about anyway, nothing much is happening.
Due to pandemic fatigue, we are losing contact with our friends. We keep in contact with our family and with our closest friends because we worry about them, but we feel as if we do not have the energy to pick up the phone – never mind set up a Zoom session – with the rest of our friends.
We are just too tired.
We become more and more isolated.
As was clear from the comments on the Anatole France’s quote in our Facebook group “We Live Purposeful, Meaningful and Fulfilling Lives,” we realise that we need each other. We are just too fatigued to do anything about it.
The turning point for me came when I realised how much energy I am wasting by reading and getting upset about the latest speculations regarding the pandemic. I now strictly limit the time I spend informing myself about what is happening, and I only read well-researched – random-controlled, double-blind – medical studies, as they become available.
I used the energy I had left to reconnect with my friends.
It’s not easy.
Also, it feels artificial because I literally have to make a list of the friends I have to contact for a decent chat each day, otherwise the day is gone and I am too bone-tired at the end of it to make the effort.
The good news is that I have stuck to my strategy for 2 weeks now, and I am starting to see some positive results. I have more energy. I feel less anxious and less depressed. Maybe you can try it too and let me know how you get on:
- Accept that the way you feel is normal
- Reduce the time you spend online (dramatically!)
- Reconnect with friends you have not contacted in a while
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