If you've been feeling extra drained lately, there's a name for that: quarantine fatigue. After months of being home 24/7 in order to stay safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19, many people are beginning to feel the effects.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, aside from feeling overall exhausted and drained of energy, quarantine fatigue can also have you feeling stressed, anxious, irritable, restless, on-edge, stressed, unmotivated—basically all the things you typically try to avoid. Unfortunately, dealing with quarantine fatigue can be difficult to shake because—well, we're still stuck at home. At least until further notice.
Behavioral health therapist and mind-body coach Jane Pernotto Ehrman, MEd, told the Cleveland Clinic one of the most important things you can do in order to feel like yourself again—even when you're quarantined—is making sure you're still taking the time to do things that allow you to recharge. Aka not just scrolling through social media or reading yet another stressful headline.
“If we don’t take action and recharge, we will remain stuck,” she says. “It’s important to relieve stress to re-energize and be more present.”
In order to recharge and combat quarantine fatigue, Ehrman recommends putting self-care back on your daily schedule. That can really be whatever you want it to be, but her suggestions? Spending time outside in nature, doing yoga, mediating, and taking a relaxing bath. Laughing also helps, so grab a funny movie or tune into one of Fitspot's live virtual comedy shows.
Luana Marques, PhD, director of Community Psychiatry PRIDE at Massachusetts General Hospital, also recommends making sure you're keeping up with your body's basic needs in order to stay in tip-top shape, which can be hard to do when you're feeling the weight of a global pandemic. To do that, she says to focus on proper nutrition, exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, and get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night, which can help everything from your mental health to your immunity.
The world is a very weird place right now, to say the least. But if you focus on your well-being instead of worrying about the future and things you can't control, you'll be much better off when you can finally leave your front door worry-free.