It Takes a Village: How We Can Address Pandemic Fatigue
Article written by Ruth Jeanne
The lifting of mask mandates and removal of restrictions are characteristics associated with a post-pandemic world. In addition, isolation guidelines are less strict now that more people have received the vaccine. In the past few months, offices, schools, and establishments have resumed operations to welcome employees, students, and customers.
While the country is already in its post-pandemic state, however, our minds may still be experiencing its effects. A few of these include immense exhaustion, low energy levels, and disrupted sleep schedules. These are signs of pandemic fatigue, which we will discuss below along with how it can be addressed.
What is pandemic fatigue?
The World Health Organization defines pandemic fatigue as “an expected and natural response to a prolonged health crisis.” It is the state of being worn out because of the precautions and restrictions implemented during the global health crisis. Another cause of this is the limited social activity that people have experienced for several months.
In addition to the aforementioned, other signs of pandemic fatigue are anxiety, lack of motivation, loss of purpose, and irritability. If left unaddressed, these can lead to reckless behavior, depression, and numbness. These are things that can seriously harm our physical and mental well-being, so pandemic fatigue must be confronted.
How can we address pandemic fatigue?
Training future-ready health professionals
Pandemic fatigue can be alleviated with a mental health worker who can help sort your thoughts and feelings. However, the country is currently experiencing a shortage of these professionals, leaving 60% of adults with diagnosable mental illnesses left untreated.
In response, colleges and universities are creating more healthcare programs that can produce talented professionals that are work-ready for today’s changing healthcare landscape. Students are encouraged to explore the intricacies of mental health at school with classes on abnormal psychology, positive psychology, and how mental illness affects society, added to the curriculum. As a result, they are better prepared to mitigate the mental effects of pandemic fatigue on affected individuals such as depression. These health professionals also normally end up working in community centers and clinics to help reach a wider range of people in need.
Supporting nonprofit workers
Nonprofits are part of the reason why many people received assistance during the height of the pandemic, alleviating the effects of pandemic fatigue for many individuals. Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes, for one, distributed groceries to those who were unable to get their needs due to shortages or fear of the virus. This resulted in nonprofit workers themselves becoming victims of burnout and pandemic fatigue. It produced a cycle of them being unable to help others who are similarly experiencing the same thing.
Fortunately, nonprofit leaders, like those from Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes, have taken steps to ensure that their workers can continue to serve the public. This includes providing their daily meals, giving paid time off, and offering wellness classes like yoga. Following this, nonprofit workers are better motivated and capable of continuing to help other people, especially those experiencing post-pandemic mental effects.
Encouraging each other to reach goals
As individuals, we can also help ourselves and those around us by lessening the effects of pandemic fatigue. According to a psychiatrist, those who are working towards goals are coping better in terms of pandemic burnout. It gives them something to look forward to, allowing for feelings of novelty and excitement. The goal doesn’t have to be too big either. It can be anything from planning a trip to trying out a new hobby. It also helps to encourage other people like your friends to set goals so you can go through the journey of achievement together. This makes things less lonely and even promotes social interaction, which can benefit those experiencing the negative effects of the pandemic.
Pandemic fatigue should not be left unattended. Fortunately, there are several ways it can be addressed and many people continue to make it possible. If you liked this article, visit our news section for more.