It’s day 200 plus in the world of COVID 19. We continue to experience the weight of uncertainty, the rules of wearing masks, and social distancing. It’s natural that you may feel burnt out, depleted, or just plain done! What you are experiencing is called pandemic fatigue.
Pandemic fatigue is a very real feeling of exhaustion because of COVID-19’s impact on our lives—from quarantining to lost jobs, in-person learning to online learning, social unrest, and the fears of getting sick. Daily life has been completely transformed and we are expected to manage a series of unprecedented dilemmas. All of these contribute to the fatigue many of us are feeling and how we are reacting as a result. As you begin to acknowledge that COVID-19 maybe here longer than you anticipated, you may find it extremely challenging to cope. Unfortunately, your typical coping mechanisms like connecting with others, exercise, and entertainment are no longer readily available. At this time, you may find it difficult to see past your current circumstances.
During times of difficulty, we focus on things that we can’t control or on what is missing. This type of thinking is negative and defeating. We need to change our mindset by focusing on things that are in our control and the good things that are occurring in our life. Instead of desiring change that is not always immediate or possible, I encourage you to practice gratitude. Being grateful is thankfulness in action. Gratitude can improve your mood, improve sleep, relationships, and self-esteem.
Here are a few ways to integrate gratitude into your daily routine.
At the end of each day, Ask yourself the following four questions:
What touched me today?
Who or what inspired me today?
What made me smile today?
What’s the best thing that happened today?
When things go wrong you can use the power of gratitude to release some of the negative emotions that you maybe feeling due to the failure or setback that you just experienced. ask yourself the following questions:
“What’s good about this?”
“What can I learn from this?”
“How can I benefit from this?”
“Is there something about this situation that I can be grateful for?”
As you continue your wellness journey, I want to conclude with this quote, “Regardless of what came before or of what has yet to come, what matters most right now is how YOU choose to respond to the challenge before YOU. Will you lie down, or will you fight? The choice is YOURS and I hope you choose to FINISH STRONG.”
Dr. Candice Norris-Brown