If you’ve been feeling a little depressed, grumpy, irritable, or more tired than usual lately, you’re not alone.
After recently reading an article by Shape about the concept of “Quarantine Fatigue”, it dawned on me, that I (and probably many of us) have been experiencing some of the common symptoms. I finally realized I had been experiencing Quarantine Fatigue after having the overwhelming urge to nap mid-day (for several days in a row), which was perplexing to me, as I’m not typically a napper, and usually am a high-energy person.
If you’re feeling like you’re stuck in the movie Groundhog Day, where every day is the same and it’s making you less-than-happy, below are 5 uplifting ways to help you overcome Quarantine Fatigue and boost your mental and emotional wellness.
What is Quarantine Fatigue?
As stated in the article, “Quarantine fatigue is being absolutely done with the isolation, the lack of connection, lack of routine, and loss of the sense of freedom to go about life in some pre-quarantine way that feels unrestricted; it’s being emotionally exhausted and depleted from experiencing the same day, every day,” said Jennifer Musselman, L.M.F.T., psychotherapist, leadership consultant, and PhD-C at the USC Doctoral Program for Change Management and Leadership.”
Practice Self-Care Each Day
To help you get your day off to a great beginning, I recommend starting your morning with a 20-minute meditation. This can help you clear your mind, set positive intentions for the day, and get mentally focused on energizing thoughts. It also gives you time to practice self-care by focusing exclusively on your mental and emotional well-being, which is one of the keys to staying happy during this quarantine period.
If you live with other people, I suggest waking up earlier than your household, so that you can enjoy this quiet time alone, undisturbed. Create a designated area of your home to do this practice – such as a cozy chair in your living room or even outdoors on a patio.
Guided meditations are an easy way to train your mind to meditate. I recommend the Miracle Membership by Gabrielle Bernstein (which includes access to a digital library of different 5-20 minute guided meditations to listen to) or the Louise Hay YouTube channel, which includes a few hundred hours of guided meditations.
Vary Up Your Exercise Routine
Whether you enjoy taking walks around the neighborhood or in nature, or you love doing at-home workouts, one of the best ways to overcome Quarantine Fatigue is to vary up your exercise routine. For me lately, that has meant following different YouTube fitness videos each day. Not only does it give your body the opportunity to work different muscles, but it also gives your mind something new and novel to focus on.
Fitness experts always recommend varying your workouts, as our bodies get used to the same old exercises, which results in weight loss plateaus and burnout. By varying up your exercise routine, you not only give your body a physical challenge (which will help you reach your fitness goals faster), but you also get the mental benefit of doing something new and different, which makes it more fun.
Spend More Time Outdoors
Another way to overcome Quarantine Fatigue is by spending more time outdoors. Whether you have access to nature or can just spend time hanging out on your patio, getting outside in the sunshine not only uplifts your spirits, but it also oxygenates your body and gives you a happiness boost (by naturally increasing your Vitamin D levels). Just remember to wear sunscreen!
As reported by Harvard Health, “According to one government estimate, the average American spends 90% of his or her life indoors, and as we get older we become even more inclined not to venture out.”
To boost your physical and emotional well-being, getting fresh air outdoors is one of the easiest actions you can do to beat the quarantine blues. As shared in a Huffington Post article, “Research shows that spending time in fresh air, surrounded by nature, increases energy in 90 percent of people. “Nature is fuel for the soul,” says Richard Ryan, researcher, and professor of psychology at the University of Rochester. “Often when we feel depleted we reach for a cup of coffee, but research suggests a better way to get energized is to connect with nature.”
Make Meals at Home Feel Special
I have to admit, recently I’ve been stuck in a cooking rut. Each day I basically whip up the same, tried-and-true dishes (because, quite frankly, I’m over the idea of cooking at home). But, while this has been easier than playing with different recipes, it’s also become boring and unexciting.
To help you overcome Quarantine Fatigue, a couple of days out of the week, try your hand at a fun new recipe, set the table, put on some real clothes (which means get out of those leggings you’ve been living in), and make your meal at home feel special.
By doing this, it will help create a sense of novelty, which makes the experience of cooking at home more enjoyable.
Dine Out at a Restaurant
If you live in an area that has re-opened restaurants, take advantage of it! Even if you only dine out at restaurants on weekends, the sheer act of getting dressed, hopping in your car, and going somewhere (where you don’t have to cook for the 100th time) feels like a special occasion. At this point, any outing (aside from grocery shopping) feels novel and different.
To boost your mental and emotional well-being, dining out at a restaurant has the added benefit of being in a social atmosphere, which can enhance your sense of happiness, especially if you’ve been feeling socially isolated during the quarantine.
For more mental and emotional wellness tips, check out the Personal Growth section on Inspirations & Celebrations.