What is Pandemic Fatigue? – Facty Health

The escalating COVID-19 pandemic created a perfect storm for stress, anxiety, depression and the newly described “pandemic fatigue.” People of all ages had to get used to new habits such as mask-wearing, social distancing and staying home, in addition to the fear of contracting the infection.

The World Health Organization defines pandemic fatigue as “a natural and expected response to persistent and unresolved adversities in people’s lives.” Feeling unmotivated and burnout are the main symptoms, but this condition is more complex and can have long-term consequences.

Lack of energy

Everyone experiences a lack of energy after a long day of work or too little sleep during the night. However, the lack of energy caused by pandemic fatigue is clearly due to the current pandemic. This fatigue is persistent and is felt regularly, even on weekends and after getting enough sleep.

Lack of energy is manifested by feeling tired and not refreshed in the morning and throughout the day. Even simple tasks like going for a walk or doing household chores are overwhelming.

exhausted man falling asleep at his desk

Lack of motivation

Lack of motivation is partly due to a feeling of exhaustion, but can also be a sign of excessive stress and depression. Feeling unmotivated is one of the biggest obstacles to achieving a goal, be it a personal one or a task at work. Lack of motivation makes it difficult to start, work on, or complete a project. Everything feels like an endless battle.

distracting unmotivated woman at work looking out the window

Mental fatigue

Mental fatigue goes hand in hand with physical fatigue. It is described as an inability to think clearly and problems with focus and concentration. Some people having a hard time paying understanding attention or information. Others find it difficult to make decisions, solve a problem, or remember things.

frustrated woman experiencing mental fatigue at work

feeling cynical

According to researchers Who evaluated pandemic fatigue, people feel cynical about the world around them, especially if the work is demanding, such as in hospitals.

Cynicism, distancing from work and feeling ineffective are the three main reactions to burnout. Cynicism is the attitude or tendency to be skeptical and have a negative opinion of other people or things they do.

cynical woman reading information on internet

A sense of incompetence

It is normal to feel ineffective from time to time as life has its ups and downs. However, it can become a problem if experienced for a long time. Feeling ineffective or even incompetent is another way burnout and mental fatigue manifest themselves. In this case, a person feels unable to accomplish a task, be it personal or work related.

Frustrated female employee in the office on computer

Sleep problems

A good night’s sleep is essential for both physical and emotional health. Research shows that correlate sleep problems of pandemic fatigue and stress.

Stress and sleep have a two-way relationship. Poor sleep leads to fatigue during the day and more stress. Conversely, burnout, anxiety and depression cause sleeping problems.

depressed man who can't sleep

Sedentary Lifestyle

A few factors have been implicated in increased sedentarism, including pandemic fatigue, undue stress, temporary closure of sports facilities, stay-at-home orders and emotional eating. Harvard researchers warn that: pandemic weight to deserve is real and increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions.

According to one study, participants’ weight increased by about 1.5 pounds per month.

lazy couple watching tv on the couch

Increased alcohol consumption

Pandemic-related fatigue and stress, along with social isolation and other restrictive measures, have significantly increased alcohol consumption. Alcohol abuse exacerbates physical illnesses and mental states, including those that lead to violence and abuse.

Alcohol abuse can also contribute to an increased vulnerability to COVID-19 and the severity of the disease, according to research.

woman home alone with wine bottle

Muscle aches and pains

Researchers found an association between burnout and muscle pain. Factors that contribute to muscle soreness include a sedentary lifestyle, weight gain, poor posture while working remotely, stress, fatigue and difficulty sleeping.

For some people, these muscle aches and pains are new symptoms related to the pandemic: low back pain, neck pain, muscle aches and other physical aches. Those who had muscle aches and pains before the pandemic may feel the pain worse.

woman with sore back in bed

How to deal with the pandemic fatigue?

Mental fatigue and stress can be improved with so-called recovering experiences such as walking in nature, watching the sky or a sunset and gardening.

It’s important to have a routine, including time to go to bed and wake up, work hours, an exercise program, and eating healthy foods at regular times. These simple measures can help improve sleep and boost energy levels. Stay in touch with family and friends, even virtually, if a face-to-face meeting isn’t possible. Don’t watch a lot of news and stay informed using reliable information from health authorities, not scare-mongering sites and accounts.

smiling woman listening to music with salad