“Quarantine Fatigue”; the New Buzz Phrase

By Jessica Okoniewski

Clinical Director, Springville location

Spectrum Health and Human Services

Tired all the time? More irritable than normal? Just down right “over this”? You may be feeling a bit unlike your normal self after spending the last 2 months cooped up in quarantine.

The newest research about COVID 19 has suggested that “Quarantine Fatigue” is real and impacting the general population.

The COVID 19 Struggle Bus

At the start of quarantine, you may have been doing fine but as the weeks go by people are feeling the effects of decreased social connectedness. The overwhelming amount of change brought on by COVID 19 has not been good for the mental wellness of many. You may notice yourself experiencing increased stress, anxiety, fear, worry, depressed mood, sleeplessness.. the list goes on.

Get Back on Track

The best way to combat stress and anxiety is to take control. It’s important to develop a new routine that works within quarantine restraints. Don’t try to fit the old schedule into this new world. We are all adaptive creatures and can make this work. If you put the effort in now, your psyche will thank you!

Helpful Tips from a Mental Health Therapist

Go exercise!

With gyms being closed, many people lost their main source of physical activity. But laying around for 18 hours a day before going to bed will do you no good. You can find countless at-home exercises online; yoga, Pilates, Zumba or, when it isn’t snowing, go outside! Hike, run, walk, bike, anything that gets the body moving. Your mind NEEDS this.

Reduce screen time!

The goal should not be to see how many screens you can get in front of your face at once (phone, tablet, computer). The increased amount of screen time leads to things like headaches and disturbed sleep. Put the phone down. The Tiktok dances are not even that good.

Get a new hobby!

The O.G. crafters are not experiencing the restlessness of quarantine like many younger populations are. Find a new hobby that does not include electronics. Learn to knit, cross-stitch, crochet. Plant a garden. Write a real letter to someone (honestly how excited would you be to get mail that wasn’t something you ordered from Amazon?). Cook. Bake. Read!

Give yourself a break (IMPORTANT)!

Constantly putting the pressure on yourself to “do better” is not helpful at all and is likely to make you feel worse. Give yourself the okay to have an off day, to exercise for 30 minutes instead of an hour, to have a cookie.

Finally, reach out.

If you are noticing that you are not getting out of bed, not showering, not eating or overeating, engaging in more unhealthy habits, feeling sad all the time, reach out to someone in your circle for support or find a professional! All local Behavioral Health agencies are still open!

We’ll get through this. Stay safe.

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Calm
HeadSpace
Healthy Minds Program
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