The weather is finally taking a turn for the better. More of our family and friends are getting vaccinated every day. The days are getting longer. Companies are hiring… But with all of this hopeful news, why are we still feeling the blahs? In short: “Pandemic fatigue.” It’s yet another phrase we’d never imagine using before this year, but it seems to be plaguing us all as we speed toward month 13 of sheltering in place, social distancing, and mask-wearing — and we’ve got to fight it. A recent study showed that more of us are getting less done, yet feeling “constantly worn out,” and as the pandemic drags on, we’re actually exercising less and engaging in our hobbies less, too.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling some pandemic fatigue myself — and that I’ve been struggling to put my best foot forward and power through. That’s why I decided to reach out to some of my favorite people on the internet (you guessed it, the women of The HerMoney Private Facebook Group) to ask for some suggestions on how to cope with this incredible level of fatigue we’re all feeling. Many said they are capitalizing on the serotonin boost that comes from getting more daily Vitamin D.
Rebecca J. says she’s spending more time outside now that the weather is changing. “The sun and fresh air make a huge difference. Gardening is my big stress reliever in the spring,” she says.
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Wendy B. totally feels the fatigue creeping in after almost a year of working from home. “I finally realized I need to take a break away from my desk for lunch, or take my laptop to a sunny spot in my house for an hour to change my view and get a boost of vitamin D!” she says. I will definitely be trying this one.
Joy H. is tapping into her routine and working on getting outside whenever she can. But when she has a hard day, she says she doesn’t fight it. Instead, she accepts it, sits with it, and decides to start fresh with the next day. And while acknowledging those feelings and giving them a place is less exhausting than trying to pack them all up and pretend they aren’t there — ice cream is always good too, she says.
For others, it’s the little things in life. Kim S. says she just got her first haircut in over a year. “I’m looking at it as the first step to moving forward,” she says, and honestly, I love that positivity. Sometimes, all we really need is a fresh blowout.
Elizabeth G. has toned down her screen time, which has given her productivity and mood a real boost, she says. No more “doom scrolling,” she explains. And when she’s outside, she leaves her headphones at home so she can really tune into nature.
Some are looking to the future, like Mary M., who planned a little getaway for her vaccinated family. She now has an ocean view to look forward to, very soon.
And others are focusing on the here and now, like Vera C., who is focusing on her work with her university students. “Every time there is new enlightenment, and every time I can make them laugh, give them new hope and keep their sprits high,” she says, she gets a spurt of happiness — and that’s what’s getting her through.
Finally, focusing on health is a must to fight pandemic fatigue. Jill S. says she is focusing on her physical health and exercise routine. She’s working on a 10k training plan, even though there is no scheduled 10k she plans to run… She’s not doing it with a specific date on the calendar in mind. She’s doing it for her.
HerMoney.com’s Editor-in-Chief Kathryn Tuggle is also prioritizing exercise, saying, “When the pandemic first started, I began going on long walks around my neighborhood early in the morning, around 6am, but then slowly as I settled into my ‘new normal’ with working from home, I began to slack off and didn’t get out as much. But the truth is, if I keep up those walks long-term, I’ll burn more calories, start my day off with some positive energy, and potentially avoid having to ever pay for a gym membership, ever again.”
And April D. is working hard to eat better after putting her diet on the back burner for a year. She says she’s taking this time for a “reset” in the food/diet/eating department.
Maybe one of these methods will work for your fight against pandemic fatigue — or maybe something else entirely is bringing you peace these days. Either way, the end is nigh. And, as always, we got you.
MORE ON HERMONEY:
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- HerMoney Healthline: How To Keep Good Habits While Working From Home
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