Week 7. 49 days of shelter in place, social distancing and life in general being disrupted.
I saw a post on Facebook the other day sharing an article entitled “Zoom Fatigue”. I didn’t read the article but the title resonated with me.
weariness from bodily or mental exertion.
a cause of weariness; slow ordeal; exertion: the fatigue of driving for many hours.
Physiology. temporary diminution of the irritability or functioning of organs, tissues, or cells after excessive exertion or stimulation.
7 weeks in and the “novelty” of doing things differently is beginning to create bodily AND mental exertion.
HOWEVER – before this turns into a doom and gloom post or something that incites a flurry of comments, lets recognize that we ARE fatigued AND we can do something about it.
7 weeks is a long time for anything to stay the same.
But what CAN we do differently?
For us, we take a break from screen time on Saturday and Sunday. We don’t really need to be on the screens on the weekends, so we take a break. Oh sure, we watch TV, but for the most part, we take a break from phones and devices.
We look for opportunities to connect in other ways. We’ve taken a lot of bike rides around our immediate neighborhood and town over the last seven weeks. We spend a lot of time outside, working in the yard – landscaping, taking down trees, burning the wood in the fire pit.
We haven’t read as many books as maybe we should have but I’ll work out a plan for that, too.
We cook. A lot. Thanks to meal delivery services like Hello Fresh, Dinnerly, Home Fresh, and Marley Spoon. We get three meals delivered each week.
Now that we know the school year is ending on a virtual note and we do not know when or if summer camp will start, maybe we will start a puzzle.
The point is this – when we feel fatigued, we rest. We take a break.
We do different things.
Did you know that switching activities helps your brain take a break, too.
Let’s face it, our brains have had enough. Mental fatigue is a thing – just like mental load. Too much of anything is exhausting.
So, we take a break. We rest.
Because when we get fatigued, mentally and/or physically, we get sick.
We must maintain our mental and physical health during this time of crisis.
Sometimes, it’s known as a “mental health day” where we binge-watch our favorite TV show. Sometimes, it’s a “mental health hour”, sometimes it’s a 30 or 15-minute break. Whatever you CAN do to “reset” – that’s what you do.
There will come a time when we can vacation again and take a real break but for now, we do what we can with the resources available.
- Sleep – sleep is the remedy to fatigue. Make sure you are getting as much sleep as you can at night. Have time for a nap? Do that, too.
- Yoga – Yoga has been an excellent way for me to relax and de-stress. Granted, yoga at home – with some distractions – is not as relaxing as yoga at the studio but I have found that a 7am class on Zoom that works out ok. So thankful for my friend Mert doing this early in the morning!
- Nutrition – too much caffeine and too much alcohol and too much junk food is NOT good for your brain. We are seven weeks into this crisis. We can all find different ways to manage our stress other than too much of the stuff that isn’t good for our brains. Maybe its time for detox?
- Exercise – ok. I almost didn’t add this because this is really NOT my favorite but at least GO OUTSIDE. Work outside, talk a walk, go for a bike ride. Being outside ALWAYS makes you feel better.
- Meditation – this is NOT something that I do, but something that I know my friends do. There are apps you can get for your phone and also check YouTube. My friend Scott Cuzzo creates coloring books that would be a perfect complement to meditation.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galations 6:9
Yes, we need to fight the fatigue. Do things a little differently. Give our brains and our bodies a break.
But, we do not give up.
In time, we will “reap the harvest” of this time in shelter in place. I’m not even sure what that is yet, but I’m sure that when I look back on this time a year from now, I will see it.
In the meantime, it’s OK to rest.