Page 20 - Senior Times South Central Michigan December 2020 - 27-12
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Page 20 Senior Times - December 2020
 PANDEMIC FATIGUE: HOW TO MANAGE COVID-19 BURNOUT
By: Glin Winsor, Pratice Manager, DayOne Family Healthcare
is so much in the news, they start to ignore it. Others who are so tense, they snap and get angrier. And others who get anxious and depressed. These feelings can cause us to start to bend the rules and downplay the ever-present risks.”
Now that it’s sinking in that COVID-19 may be here longer than we thought, you might find it really hard to adapt and get
out of the funk you are in. The trouble is, how do you still take the pandemic seriously when you can’t even cope appropriately?
  Another day, another day-in-the-life of COVID-19.
Recognize the Signs
 Every morning when you turn on the news or scroll social media, there’s more uncertainty and disheartening news. Then add in all the new rules you have to add to your daily routine, like masking in public and social distancing. At first the pandemic was a good excuse to wear your pjs all day while you worked from home, but even that has lost its fun – you actually kind of miss clothes that zip or button.
After day 200-whatever, it’s only natu- ral that you may feel burnt out, exhausted, or just plain over this “new normal.” If you are feeling any of these, you may be suffering from pandemic fatigue.
In March, many of us felt the sense of urgency related to the virus and did our part to stay home and slow the spread. Fast for- ward to present, and that sense of urgency may have waned a little.
We’re all trying to figure out how to navigate a new normal with COVID-19. With this comes new feelings, but how do you know if you should be concerned about these feelings? According to the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stress and anxiety around COVID-19 may include:
• Changes in your eating habits.
• Difficulty sleeping or a shift in your sleep
What is pandemic fatigue?
Coping with Pandemic Fatigue
If you recognize any of these symptoms, your next step is to take action and find ways to improve your mental health.
Pandemic fatigue is a very real feeling of exhaustion as a result of COVID-19’s impact on our lives – from quarantining to lost jobs to the fears of getting sick. All of these play into the fatigue many of us are feeling and how we are reacting as a result.
“I’m meeting with patients and hearing that they are much more stressed out,” Dr. Singh said. “The added problem is that they can’t use their normal coping mechanisms. Things like connecting with others, exercise, and entertainment aren’t readily available these days.”
“It’s important to recognize that things might suck right now and that you wish you knew what would happen six months from now, but you don’t – no one does,” Dr. Singh said. “Call that out, acknowledge it, and move to the next phase of what you can do right now to make things better.”
“Some of what we know from previ-
ous quarantines and research is that there are things that predict who will do worse and who will do better during one,” said Gagandeep Singh, MD, a psychiatrist at Banner Behavioral Health Hospital in Scottsdale, AZ. “We see some who say there
The thing is, we are animals with biolog- ical needs and we need to take care of our- selves emotionally, physically, and mentally. Dr. Singh shared some tips to help build resiliency and feel more in control.
Reframe Your Thinking
pattern.
• A strong sense of fear about your health or
the health of your loved ones.
• Having trouble focusing or concentrating.
• An increase in your use of alcohol, tobacco
 or other drugs.
• Your chronic health problems getting
worse.
 Acknowledge Your Feelings
While it seems things might never get bet- ter, don’t brush those feelings under the rug.
You may be sick and tired of staying home, washing your hands excessively, and wearing a mask, but remind yourself of your sense of purpose. Realize that by wearing a mask in public and staying home when
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