Quarantine Fatigue and How To Beat It

Tired Woman with hand on her face

By: Kindra Perry, PsyD

What is it?

Quarantine fatigue is exhaustion associated with a newly restricted lifestyle as a result of COVID-19.

Why does it exist?

Initially adrenaline and the newness of COVID-19 motivated us and got us through. We quickly made changes, were vigilant with safe practices, and consistently kept up with available information. But over time many have noticed stress at an all-time high, more irritability, decreased motivation and productivity, depleted energy, anxiety, and a brain that is overloaded with information. Safe practices and self-care may have slipped or even be non-existent, and at this point, I think it’s safe to say we just want this to be over with.

What can we do?

In short, by reducing our stress, we renew and recharge ourselves, allowing us to function more fully. Some ways to do this are: 

Practice self-care

  • Use what energy you have to do at least ONE thing per day that makes you feel good (i.e. take a walk outdoors, cook, bake, take a relaxing bath, color, do yoga, watch a funny video or your favorite tv show, write down 3 things you are grateful for).

  • Practice mindfulness or other meditation. Mindfulness is the ability to be fully engaged in the present moment without judgment or over-reactivity can actually change your brain for the better!

  • Do breathing exercises. Belly breathing can slow heart rate and stabilize blood pressure. There are several free breathing/guided meditation apps available for download.

Connect with positive supports

  • Reach out to others to stave off isolation, loneliness, and even symptoms of depression.

Change the focus

  • Acknowledge the difficulty of the present moment.

  • When you find yourself struggling with the changes, go back to your personal reason why you are doing it.

  • Instead of focusing on the drawn-out nature of this situation, accept what currently is, and remind yourself it is temporary.

  • Find a silver lining or something good that has come out of COVID-19 in your own life.

Create a sense of control and stability

  • Stick to a routine; we are creatures of habit and our brains and bodies like to know what’s coming next.

  • Reset your mind with small tasks that can have a big impact (i.e. tidy up for 10 minutes, take a shower, make a to-do list).

  • Limit your news intake.

We're here to help

Be kind to yourself, and know that this is hard. Reach out for help if you continue to feel overwhelmed or need help managing symptoms.

There is no wrong door at Broadlawns – we’re here to help! Individual therapy via virtual care is available. A virtual care visit is a face-to-face video appointment with a mental health provider using a computer, smartphone, or tablet. Virtual care for mental health is available for patients of all ages, call (515) 282-5695 for an appointment.

Broadlawns Medical Center offers the most comprehensive delivery system for mental health services in Central Iowa. Our professionals are dedicated to excellence, compassion, and personalized care.