Rebecca Girlinghouse, MA
WKPIC Doctoral Intern
Back in May, I began noticing the term “quarantine fatigue” being thrown around on the internet. As shelter-in-place orders were reaching 30 days in many places, people were beginning to feel drained, irritable, stressed, and restless and they were not sure how to manage it (Cleveland Clinic, 2020). While some have continued to shelter-in-place, others are facing the prospect of resumed quarantine as coronavirus numbers climb. Although the prospect of continuing to shelter-in-place may arouse feelings of distress or anger, there are several ways you can manage quarantine fatigue:
- News Breaks: Make sure to be mindful of how much time you spend watching the news. Although it is good to stay informed, being constantly berated by the conflict and tragedy surrounding the coronavirus can be exhausting and overwhelming. Especially, when you do not take a break from watching it and thinking about it (Cleveland Clinic, 2020).
- Be Kind to Yourself: It is alright to feel overwhelmed, irritable, sad, confused, or any other emotion during this time. People react to stressful situations in many different ways, because each person is unique. Make sure you give yourself the time and space to feel whatever comes up for you and know there is no “right way” to feel about this situation (Cleveland Clinic, 2020).
- Don’t Drown in the Negative: People have a tendency to develop tunnel vision for negative events. It’s natural. However, reminding yourself of the positives can help make you feel more balanced (Cleveland Clinic, 2020). One way to do this is to write a list of things you are grateful for either when you first wake up or right before you go to bed.
- Routine: Although this one can be tough right now, developing even small daily routines can help decrease anxiety and stress, as well as help you feel a little more grounded and in control (Gray, 2020).
- Move: When staying at home all day, it is easy to sit on the couch and get lost in work or all those good streaming shows. However, sitting all day can increase fatigue and feelings of hopelessness, and also make it more difficult to fall asleep at night. Therefore, even if you can just get out and walk around the block (while still social distancing), you will likely benefit and feel a little more energy (Gray, 2020).
- Socialize: I have heard many times that chatting with friends over video is not the same as face-to-face interactions. I would have to agree. However, for now, it is better than completely isolating, since this can increase loneliness, depression, and irritability. Continuing to find ways to connect, even if they are not optimal, is so very important, especially right now (Gray, 2020).
Cleveland Clinic. (2020, May 14). Are you experiencing quarantine fatigue?. Healthessentials. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/are-you-experiencing-coronavirus-quarantine-fatigue/
Gray, D. (2020, May 4). Yes, “quarantine fatigue” is real. Here’s how to cope. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health-news/quarantine-fatigue-is-real-heres-how-to-cope