Self-Care and COVID Fatigue

There’s a lot that’s been going on since I last posted. Here in Texas we had the Texas Winter Storm, Texas Winter Freeze, some are calling it the Coldapocalypse. Whatever you wanna call it, it was an unpleasant experience to be without power and water for hours and days on end not knowing when

you would get power back when the temperature was freezing. Simple things like a hot shower, drinking water, and the ability to flush the toilet were the top things on the list. Oh yeah, the ability to feed your family, just basic survival were the only things that mattered.

All this during the pandemic. Speaking of pandemic, as soon as we survived the Winter Storm, and most of the population got back power some of the residents were still dealing with a water crisis. But it didn’t stop Governor Abbott from lifting the mask mandate and opening up businesses to maximum capacity like we had all been cured of COVID-19. What???!!!

But what should I expect from the same man that did the most aggressive reopening of our state after the initial lockdown back in April of 2020 when the pandemic first hit the U.S. Our numbers of infection shot up like crazy back then. I guess he doesn’t remember that.

I truly understand COVID fatigue, we’ve come up on a year of dealing with the pandemic. I am experiencing it myself which is why I haven’t posted in awhile, please accept my apologies, but I am not playing around with anyone’s lives by not posting. I implore you to continue to follow COVID-19 guidelines, by wearing your masks, washing your hands, and social distancing. Get the vaccine as soon as possible, stay safe.

I encourage you to continue your self-care practices, like a daily attitude of gratitude, start or continue a meditation practice, and an exercise program. “Pandemic fatigue is a threat to our public health…there is a way to engage with our loved ones and recharge our batteries, so to speak, that keep us and those around us healthy.” Said Ellen Eaton, M.D. in the article How to Overcome COVID-19 Fatigue by Savannah Koplon.

A year ago, I remember seeing lots of commercials and different posts about people baking bread and getting into different trends like knitting, or other crafts. According to this USA Today article, “in March of 2020 alone, online knitting communities saw a more than 50% increase in social media followers and more than 180,000 people were talking about sourdough on social media in just a single day that month. But for most of us, those creative powers have now stagnated. Google Trends analyses show online interest in sourdough has fallen to a quarter of what it was a year ago. We are done trying to entertain ourselves. We have what professionals are calling pandemic fatigue. We're tired of our “new normal” and — to a dangerous extent — exhausted from the constant anxiety.

We are currently dealing with emotional exhaustion according to the article. The author suggests these things to keep us motivated: (1) to stop looking at the past and how long it’s been since the pandemic started, (2) set short term goals to stay energized to increase health and happiness, and (3) tempt yourself with short term rewards.

Self-care really is for the long haul. There is no right or wrong way to do it. You have to find what works for you. Whether you have a lot of time or a short amount of time. You can use what you have and make it work for you. A five minute meditation or 5 minute dance party can do wonders, just like a 30 minute soak in a tub with your favorite aromatherapy, or 15 minutes of sitting in silence. Find what works for you and use the time you have. Then come up with a routine and build from there.