How to cope with COVID-19 pandemic fatigue

COVID-19 has changed life as we know it on a global scale, and we’re all tired. We want to be able to hug our families, be with our friends, or go to our appointments and feel safe.

You’ve probably heard a lot of people say they’re ‘so done’ with COVID-19. You might have even had this thought yourself. You are not alone. The feeling of being exhausted by COVID-19 and ‘done’ with everything related to COVID-19 is called COVID-19 fatigue.

As tough as it’s been and as real as COVID-19 pandemic fatigue is, now is not the time to give up. It’s incredibly important to continue following health and safety measures for our health and the health of others so that the pandemic will come to an end.

Methods to cope with COVID-19 pandemic fatigue

While you can’t fully eliminate COVID-19 pandemic fatigue, there are ways you can cope with it.

Build enjoyable routines

Routines can help reduce stress and guesswork. If you already know what you’re going to be doing in the morning and evening, you don’t have to worry about planning/decision-making as you go.

There’s also something comforting about having a routine that is predictable during uncertain times. There’s not a lot we can control right now. Our household routines provide us with some stability.

Embrace your feelings in a safe space

This pandemic is challenging and generates a lot of emotions. You may find it overwhelming and frustrating trying to express yourself. You may also choose to try and suppress your emotions because facing them feels so challenging.

Find a safe space in your home where you can express your emotions freely and safely. This may mean writing them down, listening to a certain type of music, or even talking to yourself out loud. Here are a few ways you can safely express challenging emotions.

Treat yourself with self-care activities

We all need some special treatment – that includes special treatment from ourselves. Self-care is doing something that is purely for your own health and well-being. Here are some ideas to help you get started on your self-care journey.

Practice positive affirmations

In stressful times like a pandemic, it’s easy to get caught thinking negatively all the time. This can be particularly true if you are experiencing disruptions to your treatment/recovery.

Try to disrupt that negative thinking by practicing positive affirmations. Look in a mirror and recite some positive things about yourself or your situation.

If you need some help getting started, here are some positive affirmations you can try.

Take care of yourself with exercise, healthy diet, and mindfulness

Exercising, eating healthy foods, and paying attention to your mental health will make you feel your best. When you feel your best, you will feel more equipped to handle COVID-19 pandemic fatigue.

Talk to others

While we may have to limit our interactions with others, that doesn’t mean you can’t find creative ways to stay in touch with your friends and families. There’s video calls, emails, texting, and phone calls.

When you do talk to your friends or family members, don’t be afraid to talk about what you’ve been experiencing. Ask the other person whether they are in a position to listen to you talk about what’s on your mind. If they say yes, let them know how you’re feeling.

Make sure you respect the other person’s boundaries and needs when you’re having these conversations.

Minimize your interactions with news and social media

While it’s important to stay informed about COVID-19, health and safety measures, and vaccination updates, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the information.

Choose a couple of reliable, reputable sources for COVID-19 information, and limit your news and social media time if it’s causing stress.

Ways to motivate yourself to keep following COVID-19 safety protocols

The COVID-19 pandemic will come to an end. While it’s hard to see that right now, the more we commit to the safety measures, the sooner the pandemic will be over. Here are some tips to help you stay motivated.

Focus on why you’re following safety measures

The safety measures are in place to protect you and others. If you’re having trouble staying motivated to follow them, think about the people you are protecting by following the rules. Your family and friends (particularly those with health issues that are high risk) need people like you.

Follow your local or provincial public health authority protocols

There’s a lot of changing information as the COVID-19 situation develops. This can be confusing and frustrating. As a result, there is also a lot of misinformation being shared on the internet.

Your city or province will have a health authority that publishes the most reputable, up to date information. Use their guidelines for safety measures.

Keep necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) in key areas

When Canadians are in public spaces, we have to use personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and plastic visors. In order to make sure you always have access to PPE, hand sanitizer, and other safety tools, keep them in key areas. This includes your entryway and your vehicle.

You can even make up little kits in plastic zip bags with everything you need to grab and go.

Set goals for after the pandemic that you can work towards now

After the pandemic, there will be more opportunities to visit people, go on trips, or just spend time out in public. If you have something you want to do, once the pandemic is over, start working towards it now. For example, if there’s a place you want to go, you can start saving money for it now during the pandemic.