It has been more than six months since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The restrictions that have been established to emphasize safety can begin to wear on all of us, and while there is a normal desire to want to “get back to normal,” there is a new worry that is impacting senior loved ones: pandemic fatigue.
Pandemic fatigue is due to wanting to control the numerous overwhelming emotions we have been going through, such as anxiousness, fear, loneliness, and despair. It’s fatiguing and draining, and can display as:
- Problems with getting sufficient sleep and/or eating properly
- Trouble with focusing
- Withdrawing from people we love
- Becoming more argumentative or having a “short fuse”
- Feelings of stress, edginess, and diminished motivation
- Struggling with racing thoughts
The balance between maintaining the physical health and safety we accomplish by self-isolating, and the emotional health we realize through socialization and engaging in meaningful activities, is not very easy to navigate. We’ve provided some suggestions to help both yourself and the seniors you love:
- Acknowledge and accept your feelings. A variety of feelings are perfectly normal in a period that feels anything but normal. It can be helpful to name how you are feeling – even writing it down. Then see if you can refocus your thoughts to ways to help. As an example, if you are feeling out of control, direct your energy toward things that you can easily control.
- Improve your inner dialogue. It is natural to wrestle with numerous negative “what if” scenarios, which result in increased anxiety. Try integrating a positive slant to your thoughts; for example, as opposed to thinking, “What if I come down with COVID-19?” tell yourself, “I have been doing everything I can to protect myself and stay safe.”
- Stay connected. While social distancing and staying away from one another has become the new normal, it’s critical to maintain social connections in ways which are safe: telephone calls, emailing and chatting on social media, writing letters, and making use of technology for virtual get-togethers, classes, religious services, etc.
- Turn off the news. It is important to make certain you’re up to date regarding the latest recommendations, guidelines, and status of the virus, but it is also easy to quickly become overwhelmed with too much information. Try to limit your news watching to no more than an hour per day, and also make sure the source you’re getting information from is reliable.
- Take care of yourself. Create a routine which includes at least seven hours of sleep per night, half an hour of exercise each day, and a healthy diet. You will be aiding both your emotional state and your immune system by simply making good lifestyle choices.
Morning Glory Home Care is always here to partner with you in providing trusted, dependable in-home care in Belleville, IL and the surrounding communities. Our compassionate care team helps senior loved ones maximize emotional, physical, and social wellbeing, all in the comfort and safety of home. Whether the need is for just a couple hours each week of respite care, enabling family caregivers to rest and recharge, or as much time as needed, up through and including full-time care, contact us at 618-667-8400 to learn more about our top-rated in-home care in Belleville, IL and the surrounding communities.