Almost since the beginning of the year 2020, individual and collective measures that have to be taken and taken into account on a day-to-day basis have been repeated over and over again through all possible means of dissemination and thus try put a stop (not an end) to a global pandemic that has claimed thousands of lives around the world and accumulated infections exceed 2 million. New customs that have turned us into ‘Covid-19 Policemen’, always attentive to ensuring that nothing goes out of the norm in our environment.
Preventive actions that we have adopted to avoid falling physically ill , but which, paradoxically, have made us become psychologically ill over the months . Because fatigue, although it is a symptom suffered by those who contract this dreaded disease, is increasingly occurring in people who avoid getting infected. It may seem ironic, but it is more normal than we think. The problem is such that even the World Health Organization (WHO) itself has given it a name: pandemic fatigue .
This consists of ” the demotivation to follow recommended protective behaviors that appears gradually over time and is affected by various emotions, experiences and perceptions, as well as by the social, cultural, structural and legislative context “, defines the WHO itself . This constant vigilance for so long has ended up generating the opposite effect in many people: that they begin to lower their guard because psychologically they can no longer .
To this type of ‘exhaustion’ against the disease itself, we should also add other factors beyond the person himself, which is also derived from the pandemic itself. Concerns about job loss , economic instability, loss of a loved one, limitations in mobility as basic as leaving home, the impossibility of having some loved ones close … All this ends up being translated into negative attitudes, feelings and emotions such as physical and psychological fatigue, fatigue, irritability, sadness, anxiety, nervousness … and not only that, but it can also end up leading to behaviors contrary to the recommendations to prevent infections, which can end up causing not only a problem individually, but of greater magnitude.
How to reduce pandemic fatigue
Faced with this reality and increasingly common evil, experts have begun to establish a series of day-to-day practices that could help reduce this pandemic fatigue and its psychological consequences.
Normalize this feeling
The first step is to accept what is not happening and recognize to ourselves that it is totally logical to be like this . “It is normal that we can feel sad or stressed”, recognizes Javier Álvarez Cáceres, psychologist and anxiety specialist, for El País Semanal. The situation being experienced by the Coronavirus pandemic is not being easy. Therefore, the first and most important thing is not to fight against yourself and forgive yourself for not feeling the same way as before the pandemic was declared .
Psychological well-being is a priority
Society even in the XXI century has very internalized the care of the body on a physical level, but not so much on a psychic level . A muscle pain is easily recognized, it is known how to stop it and it is easy to go to a medical service to find a solution. Something that is not done when a psychological ‘pain’, before which it would be necessary to act in the same way. Therefore, one of the first tips is always to go to someone who knows how to treat this type of ailments : psychologists .
Although it is true, as mentioned in the previous point, helping yourself is also part of the solution. For this reason, it is vitally important that oneself also help with this psychological care on a day-to-day basis. One of the biggest evils when it comes to ‘pandemic fatigue’ is the uncertainty of tomorrow . When is this going to end? How long will I have to continue like this? Questions that have no answer and only generate problems. For this reason, now more than ever it is advisable to live in the present, in today, and make your day something pleasant and relaxed .
Psychological rest from the pandemic
With this we do not mean that we allow ourselves to live as if nothing was happening because, unfortunately, it continues to happen. But if you can do small things in our day to day that will prevent us from increasing that anxiety, nervousness and concern about what is happening . An example of this is temporarily disconnecting from the news around the Coronavirus . There is nothing wrong with not being aware of what is happening every day, especially when it comes to negative things. Nor does anything happen to disconnect from all those things in our environment where Covid-19 is always present , as is the case of conversations where everything revolves around the disease or its consequences.
Whether there is a pandemic or not, doctors have always recommended that in order to lead a healthy life, it is important to have a good diet and to do some regular exercise to keep fit . And this very well-being is one of the best ways to counteract pandemic fatigue . Because in the end, just as a good psychological state helps the body to be physically so too, this also happens the other way around.
Pandemic fatigue is caused by everything that takes place in our own head. Recurring thoughts that make us enter an infinite spiral; all our attention focused on that nothing that happens around us can put us in danger; the physical and psychological discomforts are accentuated … And what better way to remedy this than to occupy our mind in something that makes us disconnect from what is happening . For this it is also very important to have some kind of hobby or pleasant activity that we can resort to when we feel that our head is ‘going to explode’. Reading, painting, watching a series, a movie, exercising, cleaning … Any action that makes us get out of our thoughts will be perfect to reduce the negative effects of this pandemic fatigue.