We reached the one year corona-anniversary; and so far, this year does not feel much different from the last. Most of us are still working from home, trying to find work-life balance, and refrain from burnout. Staring at a computer screen for 8+ hours can make anyone feel drained, fatigued and checked-out. Pandemic fatigue is real, and it is intensified due to the harsh Winter season that many of us are experiencing around the world. How can we incorporate ways to overcome the feeling of pandemic fatigue?
Here’s the first step: take it one day at a time. We can get ourselves so wrapped up worrying about tomorrow, that we forget to live in the present. Navigating through your day one step at a time can seem stressful, especially for those who multi-task; but here’s a tip – make lists to prioritize items for the day or week; and remember, it’s OK if you cannot complete everything in one day. We’re all human, and we can be extremely hard on ourselves if our day pans out differently than anticipated.
If you need a little motivation to carry through working from home, then treat your day as if you’re physically in the office. Wake up, get “ready” for work as you would if you were going into the office. Approaching your workday with this perspective will encourage you to feel professional and productive.
Remind yourself to take necessary breaks from your computer screen. Even if the weather outside is preventing you from taking a walk, or having a change of scenery, you can incorporate ways to move around indoors. Stand up for a 5-minute stretch break and walk around your living space. Utilize the free library of at-home exercise videos on YouTube. Take your lunch break in a different room or area away from your workspace.
Ensure that your workspace has a relaxing vibe, instead of overwhelming energy. Keep your workspace clean and organized to prevent feeling overwhelmed and anxious. Surround your workspace with pictures that bring you joy, positive affirmations and uplifting quotes, etc. My workspace includes air-purifying houseplants, pictures of my family, and a quiet diffuser with essential oils – this diffuser is a great option for relaxation when I feel stressed, and it has a light function to brighten up my workspace.
If you’re feeling lonely while working from home, or if you lack human interaction, here are some options that might help. Incorporate background music during your workday, and choose playlists that match your mood. Listen to a podcast or an audiobook during your lunch break; or call/FaceTime a friend or family member during your lunch break.
Lastly, do not underestimate the need for self-care. You can apply daily practices and methods of self-care that best suit your needs. If you’re feeling extremely fatigued and burned-out, take a PTO day to dedicate to self-care. It is not selfish to incorporate self-care, as it is a priority for our mental and emotional health.
Remember, pandemic fatigue will not last forever. This feeling is temporary, and it will eventually diminish as time goes on. There are things that we can all look forward to, such as Spring – warmer weather and sunshine are vital to overcome pandemic fatigue! Make your mental and emotional health a priority and try the tips in this post to overcome pandemic fatigue.
This blog post originates from The Journey is Here, by Gianna Shikitino.