Virus Fatigue. It’s a very real thing, and yes, that is the official name for it.
The Covid vaccine is available, but in limited quantities and only to certain groups. The mass of the population won’t be vaccinated until this summer, and the thought of that is, well, just downright depressing.
It’s been almost a year since we went into lockdown and our lives changed like they never had before. None of us imagined it would last this long, which is one of the reasons we are struggling so much. It’s one thing to know what you are getting yourself into. It’s quite another to be hit with a complete unknown and also know absolutely nothing about how long it’s going to last.
Add to that the fact that we must wear masks everywhere we go, and now our lack of control turns into a lack of vision. We literally can’t see people anymore. We’ve always counted on facial expressions throughout our day – a smile from a cashier, a familiar face at a grocery store, the crinkle of the mouth that shows displeasure. Now we have eyes and only eyes. And half the time we can’t even hear what the other person is saying, as words are muffled, muted, indiscernible.
We are bored. Restless. Sick of being with the same people (married to us, born to us, and the like) all day, every day. We want to travel, have a change of scenery, go to a concert or a game, and just live life the way we always have, yet the virus – and all its restrictions – stretches on.
So to get you through the next few months, here are some practical tips for staying sane and maintaining a positive attitude.
Keep going to church, even virtually. My husband and I have watched church on TV every Sunday since the pandemic hit, and we’ve found it to be a wonderful comfort. We, coffee mugs in hand, attend church from our kitchen. We sing along, pray along, and comment on the sermon in a way we never could sitting amongst a crowd. It’s actually kind of nice. As much as I miss sitting with a congregation, we’ve found this experience to be more intimate, more special for just us two. And the message, the reminder of God’s great power, is much needed. It reinforces us and gives us an outlet and a source of hope, all at the same time.
Keep exercising! Since I am now working out at home every day, I have found workouts online that have kicked me up a level and introduced me to all kinds of new exercises. To get you started, check out FitForceFX, Women’s Health Mag, Jabs by Gina, and Trooper Fitness for free videos you can sweat to that will take off those Covid pounds and give you the endorphins you need to power through your day. And at the very least, WALK! Fresh air and cardio are a beautiful combination that will make you feel infinitely better.
Challenge yourself to learn something new. I am learning a new program and pushing myself with advanced Zoom skills to be stronger at my job. You can do the same, with whatever will strengthen your individual skillset. Or, explore a new hobby or game that takes your mind off work. Ever wanted to learn another language? Check out the DuoLingo app for free Spanish lessons. Keep your mind active with brain games that can all be accessed through apps on your phone, like Luminosity or Wordscapes.
Undertake a home project. You’ve probably tackled a few my now, but the bane of homeownership is that projects never really end. Look around with a discerning eye as you walk through each room of the house. Imagine if you were a stranger walking into each room. What would you notice? My mom, who comes to my house a couple of times a year, commented on the wear in my family room furniture that of course, I hadn’t noticed because I live with it every day. Bring in a trusted friend or family member to do the same for you. Ask them to be honest. Then make a list and start working on what you have the time and money to change. The sense of purpose and the satisfaction of the improvements will give you a feeling of accomplishment that will buoy your spirits.
And of course, do the things that make you happy, the things you can control. Attitude is everything during trying times, so surround yourself with what brings you joy and stave off boredom and redundancy by shaking things up.