Coronavirus pandemic has caused quarantine fatigue in people. Most people felt such a condition is a myth. But, it is a real condition that has affected people who are self-quarantining at their homes. In March, several countries declared social distancing and other restrictions to prevent the spread of the infection. While the restriction has flattened the curve, it has affected people financially, mentally, and physically. Most people are at their wit’s end after staying at home for so long. This has resulted in mental exhaustion and many have shown symptoms of depression. What is the reason? Humans are created uniquely. They develop bonds and connect with others. Only with such actions can people grow and flourish. People tend to suffer when such bonds break. Are you facing such issues? Then, read ahead to know the reasons and how you can overcome the condition.
What Is Quarantine Fatigue?
It is the condition occurring when you stay in a lockdown at your home to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection. The restrictions surrounding your life during the period can lead to exhaustion and fatigue. Due to staying at home for a long period, you feel boredom, stressed, and lose your financial stability. It can cause several physical and mental issues. Most people consider the condition as a myth. But, the data shows the condition is real. Scientists observed that people who have stayed in their homes for more than a month feel the need to go out and travel longer distances.
With more and more countries extending the lockdown, the resolve of people staying inside their homes is wearing down. Many people are trying to access public spaces like beaches and parks. It is also observed that people are now traveling long distances in their cars. The uptick in the travel and more number of people trying to access public places point to quarantine fatigue.
Causes Of Quarantine Fatigue
Many countries announced lockdown to slow the spread of coronavirus infection. Unfortunately, self-quarantine at home is taking a toll on people as they feel more lonely and detached. It has triggered its health problems. Many scientists have provided evidence that people staying inside their houses have become antsy. It evident in the demonstrations by people around in several parts of the world to reopen the economy and allow them to work. Everyone just wants to get out and connect with others. This condition is referred to as quarantine fatigue. So, why do you face the condition? When you stay at home due to lockdown, it can make you anxious and stressed due to different reasons like:
No Clear Duration
Most disasters have a blueprint. You know when it started and predict its end (to a certain extent). It helps you rebuild your life quickly once the problem ends. For example, when you are faced with hurricanes or floods, you know when you can start recovering after the mourning period. But, the pandemic is different. With the coronavirus pandemic, you have no clear end in near future, unless scientists successfully develop a vaccine for it. Due to the indefinite nature, your tolerance starts to wear out. We are mentally strong and go through a lot when we understand the limitations of the disaster. It is easier to get through your work when you know you get a break after the day’s work.
With no clear duration, you can become stressed. It leads to exhaustion and fatigue. To overcome the issue, you can develop a schedule and try to adhere to it. The schedule must offer you a regular break throughout the day. At night, you can try some stress-relieving techniques for relaxing the mind.
Lack Of Support
When you face emotional turmoil, you need the support of your loved ones. A hug or crying together makes you feel better. It is because you feel someone is there for you. But, the lockdown has restricted coming together of people. Due to the lack of support, you tend to feel lonely and depressed. You need to find innovative methods to stay in touch. Use technology for connecting with others.
Lack Of Freedom
Self-quarantine has resulted in the disruption of your structured life. You have also lost the freedom of your old life. The lack of control over the environment has resulted in chaos. You like structured life when you know when you go to work, when you get back, and when you get alone time with your family. Most people like to get back to their life with spontaneity.
Fear To Go Out
While some people feel exhausted when they cannot go out, others feel fearful to step out of their homes. Shopping for essentials can make them fearful. It is because most of them feel vulnerable even when they are wearing a mask and following social distancing. Walking outside or performing yard work can induce fear in people. So, people always tend to think catastrophically, even for simple things. Such a mindset can cause exhaustion and depression.
Rise In Cortisol Levels
Why do you feel exhaustion during the lockdown period? Everyone feels like something big and dangerous is looming. It results in a rise in cortisol levels. So, your adrenal system becomes pushed to its maximum. This results in the difficulty to regulate and modulate yourself. The downside of the condition is that you tend to let your guard down, which can lead to poor decision making and less vigilant.
Fear Of Infection
The fear of getting an infection can stress you out. You may feel anxious thinking about the possibility of your friends or other family members having the infection. It can result in quarantine fatigue. According to the WHO, certain people may not show any symptoms of coronavirus infection but can spread it to others. Then, you also get stressed out when you read news regarding the pandemic online. The best method is to distract yourself from such an issue. Never spend too much time online checking the news or go online before you go to sleep.
Humans are social beings. So, they like to connect with others to make themselves feel good. The lack of connection can result in boredom. Instead of trying to dwell on the lack of physical interactions, you can fix activities online or connect with your loved one using the latest technology.
Another reason for the condition is the fear of running out of essential supplies. Most people feel anxious about how they can get the essential supply during a lockdown. Stocking up items can only work for a specified duration. With several countries extending the lockdown, the end remains unclear. But, you need to understand that most governments around the world try their best to ensure all the essential products are available to its citizens without any difficulty.
Signs Of Quarantine Fatigue
Due to the lack of contact with others and the disruption of your daily routine, you feel under immense stress. So, quarantine fatigue can trigger stress, which can cause the following signs:
- Worry and fear regarding your health as well as the well-being of your loved ones
- Changes in eating pattern
- Disruption in normal sleep pattern or have trouble sleeping
- Have difficulty concentrating
- Worsening of chronic health issues
- Mental health conditions worsen
- Increased use of drugs, alcohol or tobacco products
Observe your child for behavioral changes as every child/teen responds to stress differently. So, you need to check for the following signs:
- Excessive irritation or crying in young children
- Showing signs of distress like sadness or worry
- Returning to earlier behavior they have outgrown 9like bedwetting or toilet accidents)
- Unhealthy eating habits
- Changes in normal sleeping habits
- Acting out or irritability in teens
- Avoiding online classes or performing poorly
- The trouble with concentration and attention
- Avoiding activities that they enjoyed in the past
- Unexplained aches and pains in the body (like a headache)
- Use of recreational drugs, alcohol or tobacco products
When you see such signs in anyone you love or yourself, then you need to take proactive steps to manage the condition.
How To Overcome Quarantine Fatigue?
During the initial phase of the lockdown, people used to consider quarantine fatigue as a myth. But, it is now evident that the condition is a reality. It is taking root in many people around the world due to the lockdown extension. Once you discover the problem with yourself or your loved ones, then you need to take adequate steps to deal with it healthily. The condition can make feel exhausted or fatigued at the end of the day without any significant physical activity. This occurs due to many reasons as explained earlier. The sudden change in the routine and the unpredictability of the future triggers the condition.
Due to such thoughts, you feel anxious. It is particularly common in people who are facing financial difficulty during the lockdown. The extra demands to complete any tasks throughout the day also results in the condition. For example, people who used to work in the office have to now complete their jobs in a home setting with several distractions or they have to manage their children, which adds up to an exhausting schedule. So, how to deal with it? Here are some tips that will guide you to get out of the trying period without losing your mind.
Overcoming Quarantine Fatigue In Adults
Adults think differently from children or teens. So, they need a more mature approach to deal with quarantine fatigue. Try the suggestions offered below:
The Crisis Will Pass
You need to remember that this crisis time will also pass. For centuries, people have endured one crisis or the other. But, human will power can overcome the difficult times. The dark time never lasts forever as there is light at the end of the tunnel. So, never mind the short-term discomforts and try to think about positive outcomes. Right now, social distancing is the best possible solution for avoiding the spread of the infection. So, you need to make yourself prepared to face small discomforts for a long-term good outcome.
Live One Day At A Time
Strategic planning is good for your future. Planning is always considered as a positive attribute. But, during the pandemic period, ditch future planning. Try to think about your life in a twenty-four period. Instead of thinking your time in weeks and months, you need to make it more manageable by shortening it to days. You have to set a good routine and follow it. Here are some tips:
- Get up every day at the same time.
- Take a shower and follow good hygiene even when you stay at home.
- Put a good outfit and make yourself look appealing to feel confident.
- After your workday, you need to log off.
- In the evening, sit back and relax by binging on movies/TV shows or read a book.
Following a routine will help you distract your mind from negativity and improve your positive outlook on life.
Take Up Journaling
Many of the companies have allowed their employees to work from home. It has offered you a lot of free time as you can complete the job at home without commuting to the office. Instead of dwelling on negative things, you can take up positive activities like journaling. It is a great tool at the crisis time as you can express your thoughts. It will help you release the pent up anxiety, stress, and other concerns. You can write your thoughts every day and go back at the end of the week to read them. It will help you develop a pattern instead of consuming yourself in the chaos. This activity will help you regain the reins of your life and make you feel powerful.
Make New Friends
You read it right! Now you may think it is a crazy thought as it is impossible to make friends when you are in a lockdown or following social distancing. Staying at home does not mean you cannot make new friends or start new relationships. You have the assistance of diverse communication and digital tools to reach out to at least one person who remains outside the immediate circle of your friends/family members. Try to expand the circle and connect to others through kindness. Use all communication mediums, including social media platforms in a positive manner.
Think About Life Plan
Not satisfied with your current life? Then, this is the right time to reevaluate your life choices and goals. You have ample time to think about your personal, professional, and spiritual goals. Set small goals for the three aspects of your life. By creating proactive plans for your immediate future will distract you from the current discomfort. If you are unhappy with a certain choice you made before the pandemic, then you can make to switch up your way of thinking once you resume the daily activities of your normal life.
Use Technology To Your Advantage
To overcome quarantine fatigue, you need to use technology to your advantage. Until scientists develop a vaccine for coronavirus infection, you need to maintain some degree of physical distancing. So, social distancing will become the new norm for the foreseeable future. In such cases, you need to find a better method to stay in touch with your loved ones. Instead of physically visiting them, you can use technology to connect with them virtually. Using digital tools like WhatsApp, Zoom, Skype, or others, you can stay in touch with each other. The robust tools will offer relief from social distancing. Imagine if the outbreak occurred ten years earlier, then you will feel more isolated from each other.
Apart from making video calls to your loved ones, you can also try innovative options to stay connected. You can organize virtual parties to keep things interesting. You also several challenges coming up on social media platforms. Choose the one that you can complete at home like cooking, singing, or complete an exercise. It will make you feel alive and socially connected.
Focus On Surviving
With the coronavirus infection triggering havoc in people’s lives around the world, you need to focus on surviving. Instead of worrying about striving for perfection in all areas of your life, give importance to self-care. You may feel emotionally exhausted due to the physical distancing and lack of social connections. Try to forgive yourself and reduce the self-expectations in other areas of your life like diet, parenting choices, work productivity, or exercising habits. Remember, you are human. So, it is impossible to maintain perfection in the crisis hour. You are doing the best and will survive the worst. Such pep talk with self will help you face the crisis better.
Get Some Exercise
If you have space, then try to include exercise. Including exercise with not just make you fit physically, but also strengthen your mental health. It is a great option to relieve stress caused due to self-quarantine. You can include some simple workouts that you can perform at home without disturbing social distancing. The physical activities will keep you healthy. Some countries have allowed walking in parks and spending some time outside. So, you can engage in a bike ride or socially-distanced walking or running. If spending time outside is impossible or you have space constraints, then you can get some exercise when you declutter or redecorate your home. You can watch videos on YouTube for finding and executing the best home improvement projects.
Stimulate Your Mind
You need to keep your mind stimulated to avoid dwelling on unwanted things. It will keep you distracted from thinking about the lockdown and loss of freedom. You can keep your mind active with anything other than pandemic-related. It will boost your mental health. So, you can try various activities involving yourself and other family members with the following activities:
- See movies with family
- Play board games
- Take up a new hobby
- Learn a new language
- Try and master a new skill
The main focus is to avoid anything related to coronavirus that can make you depressed. The key is to stick with distracting methods to overcome quarantine fatigue.
Supporting Your Child To Overcome Quarantine Fatigue
Children react to stress in a different manner compared to adults. So, the steps needed to overcome quarantine fatigue in children need different approaches. Here are the ways to support your child:
Talk To Your Kids
Your young or teen children have never faced such a crisis in their short life. So, they may not know the seriousness of the disease. It is your responsibility as a parent to make them aware of the COVID-19 outbreak and its risks. Answer their questions regarding why they need to stay away from parks, their school, or friends. Share the facts regarding the coronavirus infection in a manner they can understand its seriousness well.
You need to offer reassurance to your kids. It is important to make them feel safe. Let them know that it is normal to feel upset and it never shows their weakness. You need to share your own experience with stress to them. It is to help them understand that it is normal behavior. They must never feel ashamed of the fear or anxiety they face. It will also help them learn the coping strategies and techniques from the elders.
Limit News Exposure
While the visual and print media is trying to inform you regarding the facts related to coronavirus infection from around the world, it can only aggravate the stress your children feel. So, you need to limit the news coverage related to the infection in visual, print, and online media. It is because children tend to misinterpret the information they hear. So, they will feel fearful or frightened regarding something they have no understanding of.
Keep Up Your Regular Routines
You need to keep up their regular routines. Many of the schools are closed due to the pandemic. Many of the schools are now conducting online classes for their students. If your child has no online classes, then you can create a schedule to help them become engaged. The schedule must contain learning activities, fun activities, and relaxing activities.
Become A Role Model
Your children learn from you. So, become a role model for them by adopting positive habits. You need to take breaks, include exercise in your routine, get plenty of sleep, and include a healthy diet. Use digital technology to connect with your loved ones and include your children in it. Let them connect with friends or teachers using the latest technology.
Irrespective of the age of the person, the lockdown affects everyone. Depending on how you manage, the lockdown effects may vary. With a positive attitude, you can help yourself and your loved ones overcome quarantine fatigue.
Humans are wired to interact with one another and come together physically. But, social distancing has put a damper on it. It has resulted in aggravating the already existing loneliness in modern life. So, the lockdown due to the fear of coronavirus infection has caused quarantine fatigue. With the best techniques using digital technology, you can overcome the loneliness. It becomes easier to connect with people for mental well-being. The risk of prolonged isolation is looming over the heads of people. So, you need to take proactive steps to overcome the problem without put social distancing at risk. It will help you avoid several mental issues like anxiety and depression. Without proactive steps, the long isolation can put your physical as well as mental health at risk.View Article Sources