With so many aspects of our lives being transformed in a short time, stress and fatigue is a completely reasonable response. We need to acknowledge it as normal and forgive ourselves and each other for having these feelings and slipping up.
According to the CDC, stress and anxiety around COVID-19 may include:
- Changes in your eating habits
- Difficulty sleeping or a shift in your sleep pattern
- A strong sense of fear about your health or the health of your loved ones
- Having trouble focusing or concentrating
- An increase in your use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs
- Your chronic health problems getting worse
How can we continue to cope when it starts feeling harder and harder to stay home? How can we recommit to doing what’s best for the health and safety of ourselves and others?
Your Sleep Schedule is Off
Some of us are early risers and some thrive at night. Even if you aren’t dipping into the low single digits of dream time you still might feel a bit lacking with what you are getting.
Sleep boosts your immunity
If you seem to catch every cold and flu that’s going around, your bedtime could be to blame. Prolonged lack of sleep can disrupt your immune system, so you’re less able to fend off bugs.
Sleep help with weight loss
Sleeping less may mean you put on weight! Studies have shown that people who sleep less than 7 hours a day tend to gain more weight and have a higher risk of becoming obese than those who get 7 hours of slumber.
It’s believed to be because sleep-deprived people have reduced levels of leptin (the chemical that makes you feel full) and increased levels of ghrelin (the hunger-stimulating hormone).
Sleep boosts mental wellbeing
Given that a single sleepless night can make you irritable and moody the following day, it’s not surprising that chronic sleep debt may lead to long-term mood disorders like depression and anxiety. When people with anxiety or depression were surveyed to calculate their sleeping habits, it turned out that most of them slept for less than six hours a night.
If you’ve been giving yourself less than seven hours of sleep you’ve been missing out on the basic foundation to feeling full of energy. You owe to yourself to put down the electronics after a certain hour, tuck in and plug out to a good night’s sleep.
You are Stress Snacking
Food is our most natural form of medicine and a key ingredient in reducing our overall levels of stress, anxiety, and fatigue. It’s hard to keep the same routine when you have to physically distance from others, especially if you’re at higher risk of getting really sick from the virus. That makes preparing meals a special challenge.
Do your best to eat nourishing meals, like those rich in fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. Those foods can help keep your body and mind healthy during stressful times.
Cut down on foods that can ramp up anxiety, such as sugar, caffeine, and alcohol.
It’s important to enjoy small treats, but avoid going overboard. Try to limit excessive consumption of sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. Overindulging can lead to increased anxiety or sluggishness.
Feeling the urge to “stress snack”? Acknowledge your cravings, then take two or three deep breaths and ask yourself if you’re really hungry or just passing the time.
You are Re-watching/Re-reading Things
Are you finding all your favorite television and movie apps just aren’t keeping you interested? Are you on a rerun binge? Keep picking up the same book but not making any noticeable progress? That’s probably because your sleep cycle is off but even if it isn’t, it could be a sign your mind is ready for a rest.
Keeping your mind active can boost your mental health. Try watching movies, playing board games or learning a new language.
Technology can’t replace human contact, but it does offer great tools to help you stay connected, stay focused and overcome quarantine fatigue. There’s seemingly no end to the positive resources available – podcasts, articles, films, TV series, apps, social groups, games and more.
Brain Fog Sets in
Brain fog may not be a medical condition but its symptoms can prevent you from concentrating, recalling memories, and can lead to mental fatigue. Brain fog is the inability to have a sharp memory or to lack a sharp focus. You just really feel like you’re not yourself and you’re unable to think clearly. That can encompass a lot of different medical conditions and issues.
Sometimes, these blips happen often and disrupt life. Periods of ‘brain fog’ can come like huge waves and render you unable to think clearly for hours or days, incapable of performing everyday tasks or holding conversations.
Many people find the best way of coping with brain fog is by ‘pacing’ – balancing activity with rest to avoid becoming overwhelmed. This means finding a comfortable baseline of mental activity and splitting it up into small, manageable chunks with rest or relaxation periods in between.
There are a number of practical steps you can take to minimize the impact of brain fog. If you experience short-term memory loss, it might be helpful to keep lists of important activities or tasks, appointments, and things you need to do each day – and to refer to them often.
The steady drumbeat of seemingly negative COVID-19 news can be exhausting. Take control by limiting how, where and when you consume news. Commit to seeking updates only once or twice a day, and don’t be afraid to mute or unfollow accounts that feed your fatigue. If you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through posts, redirect yourself by putting down your phone, getting up from your computer or switching gears to more positive content.
Your Coaching Career
In light of current events, training or coaching people online from your home is timely and effective. We’re giving you all the training. Now is the time to get ahead of the curve.
If you’ve been thinking about going online, or if you tried before and just lacked the needed skills, this is the time to get everything you need to become highly successful. The Online Coaching Certification is your step-by-step blueprint to build a highly profitable online coaching business.
Spencer Institute certification programs are open to anyone with a desire to learn and help others. There are no prerequisites.
That’s it for now.