Believe it or not, it’s been a year since the coronavirus pandemic changed our lives and locked us inside for months at a time. I don’t know about you, but it’s been freaking me out that we’ve hit the one-year mark. It feels like it’s been much longer and much shorter at the same time. If you’re feeling a little tapped out on Zoom calls, staying indoors, and carrying hand sanitizer and face masks with you at all times, know you’re not alone. Pandemic fatigue refers to the general feeling of exhaustion surrounding the pandemic, whether it be feeling exhausted from being inside, working from home, or Zoom hangouts. 

Humans are social creaturescor

The very nature of dealing with the pandemic has forced us to become more isolated from others in order to manage the spread of the virus. Although this isolation is needed for the pandemic, it goes against what we need as humans. We need to connect with each other and share a smile, a hug, or just feel the energy of another human in the same room. This physical isolation from one another can certainly affect our moods. Personally, I can’t wait to hug everyone once I’m vaccinated and it’s safe.

We’re in the home stretch!

Typically when we go through a tough time, we have certain things we can use to help us cope. Going shopping, going to our favorite restaurant and treating ourselves, going on a weekend trip with our friends—obviously these things haven’t been possible during the last year. We are dealing with an incredibly tough time, but we don’t have any of our normal coping mechanisms available. Sure you could still go shopping, but you have to wear a mask, be mindful not to touch your face, and use hand sanitizer when you’re done. I’ve found that even simple tasks can feel overwhelming.

Although we’re all feeling burnt out and slowed down, it’s crucial that we don’t give up on pandemic restrictions and rules yet. We have to stay vigilant to make sure the caseload remains low until everyone is able to be vaccinated. President Biden has said that every American will be able to be vaccinated by May. That’s so close! We’re in the home stretch! 

Activities to prevent fatigue

In the meantime, when the exhaustion from living in a pandemic for the past year hits, there are a few things you can do. With the weather warming up, go outside! Go for a long walk or even just sit outside and feel the sunshine on your face. Go sit somewhere other than your home. Physically leaving and being able to safely enjoy fresh air will do you some good.

Stay active if you can. Even if that just means going for a walk, moving your body will help refocus your energy and hopefully put a little pep in your step. A lot of people are offering workout classes via Zoom as well. Get into it!

Call a friend and share how you’re feeling. As I mentioned, you’re not alone in feeling pandemic fatigue. Call a friend and share your thoughts, see how they are doing, or even talk about anything other than the pandemic. Take a moment to connect. 

Get your vaccine when you are eligible! This is the best way to get things “back to normal,” or a new post-pandemic level of normal. Check your state’s eligibility guidelines regularly!

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