The excitement of working in our PJs is waning and self-isolation taxes our mental health. If you’re feeling irritable, stressed, anxious, less productive, or just on edge in general, be rest assured that you’re not alone.
Mental health experts recognize it as quarantine fatigue. It results from uncertainty, fear, and loneliness surrounding the pandemic. While adverse conditions may require medical attention, early detection and mitigation can help reduce its impacts.
Here are 4 simple steps to try.
1. Eat Right
A wise sage once said, ‘You are what you eat.’ What you feed your body ultimately nourishes your soul.
The WHO recommends products with shorter shelf life such as fruits, vegetables and reduced-fat dairy products. If you stock up on food with longer shelf life, give preference to frozen fruits and vegetables, whole grains, starchy roots, eggs, and canned protein. These options boast high nutritional value.
2. Build a Routine
The pandemic has disrupted our routines. A disrupted routine takes a toll on our energy as we use our limited willpower reserves to get even the most basic tasks done.
Cal Newport refers to a routine as The Rhythmic Philosophy; an essential tool to attain the level of deep work he describes in his book. It fixes energy leaks and allows us to do more work with minimum effort.
The key is to create your own quarantine routine. Once it sticks, it will tap into fewer willpower reserves. You won’t feel as drained or tired anymore.
3. Catch “The Sunshine Vitamin”
Vitamin D deficiency is a major culprit behind quarantine muscle weakness, pain, fatigue and even depression. Being homebound minimizes our exposure to the sun, which is a vital source of vitamin D.
Try catching the sun about 15-20 minutes three days per week. If that’s not possible, focus on adding a nutritional supplement or adding more vitamin D rich foods (oily fish, eggs, red meat) to your diet.
Our founder Kelsye Nelson uses a sun therapy lamp during gloomy PNW months. “I keep this lamp on my work desk. Just 30 minutes of exposure improves my mood and energy levels for the entire day,” said Nelson. “There are a lot of sun lamps for sale, but make sure you get one with at least 10,000 LU to ensure effectiveness.”
4. Practice Simple Mindfulness Exercises
Mindfulness exercises are a simple, yet highly effective way to deal with any stressful situation. It helps bring your wandering mind to a level of consciousness needed to stay present and effective.
Two of our favorites are starting the day with a mindful breathing routine and a yawning and stretching exercise for 10 seconds every few hours. They take less than one minute, but the benefits stretch into many hours.