Lockdown fatigue: I have heard this term several times over the past few weeks, and when it was first used it in a recent conversation, I thought wow, that word describes exactly how I am feeling right now!
But then again, I also suffer with HUGE anxiety and pretty stressed at the moment, so tbh what I am feeling could be a number of things :’)
Either way, I done some research into ‘lockdown fatigue’ and the Australian Psychological Association had some pretty interesting things to say about it, which I thought I would summarise here to share with you.
What is lockdown fatigue?
‘A state of exhaustion caused by the long-term effects of COVID-19 and the changes it has caused to every aspect of your life’.
We have to acknowledge that we have been in a worldwide pandemic for well over a year now (at the time of writing) and it is seriously having a knock on affect on our mental health and wellbeing, whether we realise it or not.
What are the causes?
It has been reported that the common causes of lockdown fatigue are things like: the unfamiliarity, restrictions, self isolation and the whole host of things that would not occur in daily life that have come about because of COVID-19.
We have also been cut off from normal human interaction and we are not able to do what we want. I’m sure many of you can resonate with me when I say I am just tired of being cautious with everything and everyone, receiving inconsistent messages from leaders, constantly worrying about what to do and what comes next, the list goes on.
I have to admit, I have worked very hard to manage my own anxiety, depression and OCD and the whole pandemic has been a really testing and challenge experience for me. Like with life, there have been many ups and downs during this past year and my mental health.
I believe, whether you have previously suffered with your mental health in the past or not, there is still a huge knock to everyone’s mental health during this time. Everyone is different, and this might be showing up differently for you.
What does lockdown fatigue look like?
Lockdown fatigue can look like anything from: feeling irritable, sad, depressed, anxious, fear, burnt out, find it difficult to focus/concentrate, lack of motivation, etc.
How to deal with lockdown fatigue?
The American Psychological Society provided some useful tips within their article, on how to deal with lockdown fatigue:
- Recognise and accept that we want to go back to normality, but it is only possible when it is safe
- Acknowledge how you are feeling
- Try to be less critical of yourself and your feelings
- Be kind to yourself and others
- Create and try to stick to a routine
- Take regular breaks from tasks/work you are completing
- Stay connected, make the most of technology
- Take time to relax and switch off
- See if you can move away from worrying about the things you cannot control
- Seek help when needed
- Fuel your body well
- Regular exercise
- Sleep well
- Fresh air
Managing Lockdown Fatigue: American Psychological Society, 2020
Need extra mental health support?
I have listed below some helplines, if you find yourself really stuck with your mental health and not sure where to turn.