2020 has been a rough year for everyone. A global pandemic, state lockdowns, home-office, home-schooling, can be overwhelming for anyone.
With a constant bombarding of hard news and unexpected events, psychologist and psychiatrist have developed a term for this emotional state, “crisis fatigue”.
What Is a Crisis Fatigue?
According to Dr. Petros Levounis, professor and chair, department of psychiatry, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, we go through four stages in response to a crisis.
The first stage or the “hero” stage: “Here, everybody gets together and there is a lot of action of people trying to respond by doing what needs to be done during the crisis,” said Levounis.
Then comes the honeymoon phase, where people start noticing the bright side of things and feel good about them.
After this, comes the third phase, disappointment. “Invariably after that is the disillusionment phase,” said Levounis, “which is where we’re entering now… and that is when we face crisis fatigue.”
This phase can last several months, he added, with people feeling very bad during this time until they begin to work on recovering and rebuilding after the crisis passes, which is the fourth stage.
How Do I Know If I’m Facing Crisis Fatigue?
According to Dr. Levounis, the symptomatology of crisis fatigue can go in two different directions, either high anxiety or complete withdrawal.
Individuals with high anxiety or stress are irritable, and the minor challenge can burst into a crisis. On the contrary, people in withdrawal, show no concern because they have entered into a resignation mood.
Common symptoms include:
What Can I do About It?
Although you can not fight a global pandemic on your own, there are things that according to Dr. Petros you can do to uplift your mood.
Take a Social Media Break: Social media can be a really stressful place right now. Limiting your exposure can be ideal when you are trying to protect your peace.
Practice Things You Love: We understand that due to the pandemic many things are closed, however, that is not an excuse to stop doing what you enjoy. Dance in your living room, play music, prepare yourself a cocktail, order your favorite food, practice yoga.
Stay in Touch: Although grabbing coffee with your bestie is not an option now, calling them is still allowed.
Get In the Sunshine: Even a minimum of 10 minutes under the sunlight can work wonders for your mood and health. It is not possible to get outside, even getting close to a window does the trick.
Get Your 4 Pillars Met: Sex, nutrition, rest, and exercise are key to a plentiful life. Are you getting all of them met?
Remember, if after trying all of these tips you still feel unease and restlessness, we highly encourage you to seek professional advice.
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