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3 Ways to Cope with COVID Fatigue

by | Feb 17, 2021 | Aggie Life, Culture

From prolonged social isolation to a lack of an end-in-sight as cases continue to rise, COVID fatigue has played a major role in exacerbating daily stressors. As a result, this collective fatigue can trigger careless behavior, ignorance of health guidelines, and a desire to give up. UC Davis Health psychologist Kaye Hermanson acknowledged this shared struggle. “This is unprecedented and it is unpredictable. It’s all the things we hate as human beings. We want to know, ‘when is it going to end? How do I get through this?’ This is just one of those really difficult situations where we just don’t know, and we don’t really do well with unpredictability.” She suggested coping strategies to alleviate fatigue.

Compassionate cognitive reframing

When negative thoughts arise, try to acknowledge that feelings emerge not necessarily from the situation but from thoughts about the situation. “Although we cannot control the stressful situation,” Hermanson said, “we can reframe negative thoughts in ways that are more constructive, compassionate and helpful to ourselves.”

Be aware of where and with whom you spend your energy.

Reach out to those who lift your spirits the most and simultaneously be aware of those whose company may worsen stress. Too much of the wrong person or too much time spent on social media and news can deplete your mental energy over time.

Take note of the little things.

Acknowledge that often many more positive things than negative things happen in your day. Paying attention to the little things that make you happy can lift your mood. “Even on our worst days,” Hermanson noted, “there is always going to be a way to find a silver lining.”