While the majority of discussions surrounding the pandemic and its effects are focused on the symptoms and side effects of the virus, not many are discussing the potential impacts that it has had on our mental well-being, and brains, in particular.
From lockdowns and loneliness to uncertainties and eulogies, the pandemic has brought about unrivalled repercussions, some of which have yet to even be researched and quantified.
With little to no research being pursued on the long-term impacts of the pandemic on our brain, and an abundance of anecdotes regarding individual experiences of hesitancies, turmoil and depression, neuroscientists are calling for more research on the subject.
If you’ve been feeling the residual impact of the pandemic, unable to re-energise to your pre-pandemic self, exhausted but unsure why you’re not alone.
One of the most commonly reported side effects regarding the impacts of the pandemic on our overall well-being has been exhaustion, otherwise referred to as “COVID Fatigue”.
We as humans are habitual by nature. When forced out of our routine with little to no say on the matter, our bodies and minds are forced to find ways to cope. Over time, finding ways to cope with such uncertainty from the pandemic and all of its restrictions becomes exhausting, constantly trying to return to a state of homeostasis (balance) with little to no success.
The good news is that there are solutions and strategies that one can implement to help through this exhaustive phase of life.
The first step to feeling better? Acceptance that feeling burnt out is normal after the challenging two years you’ve just undergone. The next step towards feeling better? Action.
What Can You do to Feel Better?
In order to potentially relieve some of this emotional turmoil, it’s important to try and find new routines that will break the pattern, all the while accepting that the journey may not be perfect; and that’s okay.
While the journey will be different for everyone, start by prioritising your sleep schedule; go to bed and wake up the same time each day, turn off your screens, block blue light, and set the mood to encourage a good night’s rest.
Next, make it a point to move each day doing something that you love and enjoy, whether it’s a walk in the fresh air or an at-home yoga session; whatever works for you!
Other forms of self-care include making sure to drink enough water, managing workload to minimize stress, eating nourishing foods to help with energy levels, and engaging in creative mindful activities such as journaling.
The pandemic has been hard enough on us, so let’s not be so hard on ourselves.