The last two years have been an emotional rollercoaster. We’ve collectively experienced every emotion imaginable; anxiety, anger, overwhelmed, and maybe most profoundly burnout and fatigue. As a result, many are experiencing what is being described as “COVID Fatigue.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines COVID Fatigue as:

“A natural and expected reaction to sustained and unresolved adversity in people’s lives”

This means COVID Fatigue is natural and something we all went through at one point or another. However, that begs the question, why do so many feel a lack of motivation? COVID Fatigue can be linked back to the feelings we felt at the start of the pandemic. The constant fluctuations of emotions over two years will lead to feeling emotionally exhausted.

How does one distinguish COVID Fatigue from typical day-to-day fatigue?

Here are some signs to pay close attention to differ the two.

  1. Feeling less effective at school: The pandemic repeatedly affected students and teachers. The constant flip flop of returning and closing schools, the adjustment to online learning, and having to quarantine because of a reported COVID case. With no set routine for two years, it can be challenging to be an effective student as the one used to be.
  2. Having frequent anxiety about the future: Feeling anxious about the future is expected. However, constant worrying about the state of the world is a more extreme type of anxiety.
  3. Feeling clinically & emotionally exhausted: The two most common feelings associated with COVID fatigue. First, it’s the overall sense of feeling numb and drained about the world around us. It is also a physical manifestation of long-term stress, akin to chronic fatigue syndrome.

How does one effectively fight against COVID fatigue?

Here are some strategies that you can use as a starting point.

  1. Stick to a daily routine: Daily routines help narrow focus onto specific activities. Those said activities often have a significant effect on your stress level.
  2. Exercise: Experts have been reinforcing the benefits of exercise for mental health for years. Physical activity releases endorphins which relieve stress and boost your overall mood.
  3. Express your frustration: Talk about your anxieties with a trusted friend or family member; chances are they’re feeling the same.
  4. Plan things to look forward to: Plan a walk with a friend, set a night to watch your favourite show, plan to start a new hobby. Anything that will excite you, big or small. In fact, small things are proven to be just as if not more motivating and are easier to achieve on a regular basis.
  5. Take it one day at a time: Take every day one day at a time; all things come to an end, COVID included. One day, sometime maybe sooner than you think, the fog will lift and you will feel like yourself again.