This article was included in a NSW Health newsletter and was . For the latest information about COVID-19 in NSW, please visit NSW Government - COVID-19.

The COVID-19 pandemic is not over. As we move into 2021 with no end of COVID-19 in sight, many of us may be feeling fatigued and wondering how we will keep fighting the COVID-19 fight. 

Do you know the signs of pandemic fatigue? Do you know what to do about it?  

For many of us, 2020 was filled with challenges: from lockdowns, to physical distancing, to home-schooling, to job loss and financial stresses. Ongoing exposure to stressful situations, can leave us feeling physically and mentally exhausted.

What is emotional exhaustion?

An accumulation of ongoing negative or challenging life events can result in us feeling emotionally drained and may include emotional, physical and performance symptoms (source: Mayo Clinic).

Emotional symptoms include:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • feeling hopeless
  • feeling powerless or trapped
  • irritability
  • lack of motivation
  • nervousness
  • tearfulness.

Physical symptoms include:

  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • lack of appetite
  • sore muscles or muscle tension.

Performance symptoms include:

  • failing to meet deadlines
  • lower workplace commitment
  • more absences
  • performing work duties more slowly.

Tips to help you beat pandemic fatigue:

  • Build mental endurance: minimise your exposure to the stressor. In the case of COVID-19, be aware of your intake of news, and where possible switch off momentarily.
  • Practice mindfulness: be in the moment and don't dwell on problems or negative news of the day.
  • Take one step at a time: Don't put too much pressure on yourself and allow yourself to take a break if you need it.
  • Eat well: stay alert with a healthy balanced diet. Forego unhealthy snacks and temptations.
  • Stay energised: do regular exercise that you enjoy. This is a great way to clear your mind and boost your energy levels.
  • Rest: switch off from mobile devices or computers prior to going to bed. Give yourself time to relax and de-stress from the day to ensure you get a good night's sleep. 

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Current as at: Thursday 18 February 2021
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW