You’re probably familiar with the term “fatigue.” The technical definition, according to the Oxford Dictionary, is “extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.” But this word has gained so much more meaning since the beginning of the pandemic more than a year ago.

It’s a general consensus that we’re inching closer to complete exhaustion from the situation Covid-19 has put us in, but despite this, many have put their mental health on the backburner. It’s only a matter of time before it boils over, if it hasn’t already. So how do we deal with it? For starters, we must first understand what exactly fatigue means in the context of the pandemic.

Listen to “Fatigue: Impact of Covid-19 on Emotional Well-being – Feelings Matter Episode 7” on Spreaker.

You’ve probably seen plenty of news stories of people breaking the health and safety rules, causing ruckus in the frustration of wanting normalcy once again. You might think most people are starting to slack off on these rules. However, the truth is the social responsibility of avoiding interaction with others is something most of us are heeding to, even this far into the pandemic. We typically only hear about the bad incidents though, because violations are more newsworthy than adherence. This is one facet of the Covid-19 fatigue; dealing with the pandemic safely while others seem to be lacking the same sense of responsibility. 

While our mostly collective adherence to social responsibility is good news, it also means that our mental health is on a collective decline. This stagnate feeling of exhaustion is even more likely in those who are single, unemployed, physically unhealthy, financially unstable, or have children. With this in mind, we should then begin to take on a new social responsibility: supporting those suffering from severe Covid-19 fatigue, and in turn, also helping ourselves.

Dealing with fatigue can seem like a daunting task, but there are some things you can do to ease the overall effect of Covid-19 fatigue:

  1. Reach out to friends/family – Especially for those who live alone, fatigue can have disastrous effects on your loved one’s mental health. By providing them with company, even if it’s a quick video call, you can give them the support they might not even know they needed.

  2. Practice radical acceptance – Even a year into the pandemic, you may feel inclined to maintain your pre-pandemic mindset and waste energy suppressing your negative feelings about the situation. By accepting the reality of the situation, and talking about it with friends or family, you can start to ask “how might we cope with this?”, instead of practicing avoidance.

  3. Support front-line workers – Whatever the job, our front-line workers are a large part of why our society hasn’t fallen into complete disarray in the wake of Covid-19. That also means they are taking an even greater mental toll, and by donating to causes that support them, we can return the support they have given us.

  4. Help out parents who may need a break – Those with children may be exhausted from taking care of them for prolonged periods, without any pauses. If you have a loved one in this situation, taking care of their kids for a day or two can give them the break they need to help ease their fatigue.

By helping out our loved ones and accepting the reality of the current situation, we can ease some of the pressure the COVID-19 pandemic has put on us. Offering a helping hand can make all the difference in these increasingly trying times. After all, the pandemic does not seem to be easing up, so we should continue to find comfort in those we love and support each other for the sake of everyone’s well-being.

By Olivia Choutupalli, Writer for Mindful Appy

Hi, I’m Olivia! I am a second-year student at the University of Florida pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Digital Arts and Sciences. Outside of the classroom, I am a passionate artist, dancer, and dog-lover!

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