After a year of adjusting our daily lives to the coronavirus, it’s okay to still not be feeling 100.
Covid-19 has us all feeling more anxious than ever these days, and has given rise to a new condition called “pandemic fatigue.”
Pandemic Fatigue is the exhaustion you may be feeling after months of spending extra time and energy dealing with our new pandemic lifestyle and all the struggles it’s brought on. Lost loved ones, lost jobs, missing out on experiences and life milestones, like graduations, weddings, and funerals.
It’s more than likely you’re feeling worn out given the big and small strains we’re all facing. Basically, you are sick and tired of worrying about COVID-19 and everything that comes with it.
Being mentally and physically exhausted tends to lower resilience and boost feelings of dread and helplessness. Because you’re exhausted and your ability to cope may be lowered, you’re less motivated to do anything about those negative feelings. So you end up feeling more on edge, anxious, and exhausted by all of those feelings.
Now that we are starting to see a light at the end of this Pandemic Tunnel what can we do to get our groove back?
I sat down with Donna Piper, MA Trauma Expert & Energy Practitioner to get some tips on how to relieve pandemic fatigue and how to boost those serotonin levels back to a happy place.
Q: The pandemic has created unprecedented stress and anxiety for everyone no matter what their age. What are a few things we can do? How to relieve the pandemic fatigue?
DP: Be gentle and kind with yourself. Stress, anxiety, uncertainty all come from not feeling safe and secure. Let’s face it, this year revealed to us the truth that we are not in control of anything outside of ourselves. There is nothing wrong with you. Take all the should of’s, could of’s, have to’s out of your vocabulary.
Q: Are there any techniques help push those bad feelings and anxiety away?
DP: Start by slowing down. Taking conscious breaths is the first step. As you become aware of your breath, just simply observe,/watch it. Notice if you are breathing just in your chest or into your abdomen/belly. If you can begin to breathe into the belly with ease (not force) then you tap into your parasympathetic nervous system that you are safe, and tells the sympathetic nervous system (fight/flight/freeze/fawn) part of your system to stand down.
Also just slowing down your movements – daily tasks – showering, washing dishes or even walking. Bringing awareness and a slower pace to your movements helps signal your system that you are safe.
Drink plenty of water and eat regularly. Water helps your physical body, but also helps your cognitive functioning and processing of feelings. Stimulates obviously stimulate the body and if your system is already stressed this is just like filling a full glass of water with more water. So if you can limit the amount of caffeine that would be ideal. But don’t make this a stressor. Take small steps. If you can’t eliminate either of these things then simply try to add more water. Also eating regular meals means consistency and our bodies LOVE consistency. It makes us feel safe knowing we are going to be nourished around the same times everyday. It also helps with hormones, sleep, etc. all things that get disrupted when we are under stress.
Q: What about exercise? Many of us have fallen out of our normal fitness routine.
DP: Any type of movement will do. Find a workout that you ENJOY! If you don’t like any exercise and you are anxious, doing simple shaking movements are great. This ensures your body won’t use all the energy produced by the sympathetic nervous system and helps calm the body and the mind.
Q: How about those moments we feel extra anxious?
DP: When we slow down, take care of our bodies with food and movement we start to see our emotions and thoughts more clearly. For example, if you start
constantly checking your phone, but aren’t waiting for a call or email, it is just a compulsion. Take a moment and ask yourself why? Then how am I feeling? Find in your body where you are physically feeling this feeling. Allow yourself time and space (just a few minutes) to feel the feeling. Try to stay present in your body and observe how you feel with curiosity. Once the feeling is felt then it is released.
Q: So diet, exercise, being present. Got it. Anything else to help keep yourself centered?
DP: Baths are great for calm and releasing. Mineral salts and essential oils help soothe the body. I really like Breathe, Frankincense, and Lavender essential oils to breathe in.
Carving out time for yourself (even if it is five minutes) to slow down, stretch, deep breathe, etc. allow your system to reset. Baths give you that “alone time”.
Creativity also eases anxiety – painting, dancing, singing, etc… finding a hobby that you enjoy brings joy.
Laughter really is the best medicine. Laughing, just start laughing, or watch a video or TV program that you know will make you laugh pulls you out of being in stress mode
Click to SHOP RELAXING Bath must-have’s: