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"Quarantine Fatigue" | the New Buzz Phrase

"Quarantine Fatigue" | the New Buzz Phrase

May 12, 2020

Tired all the time? More irritable than normal? Just downright “over this”? You may be feeling a bit unlike your normal self after spending the last 2 months cooped up in quarantine. The newest research about COVID 19 has suggested that “Quarantine Fatigue” is real and impacting the general population. 

 

The COVID 19 Struggle Bus

At the start of quarantine, you may have been doing fine but as the weeks go by people are feeling the effects from decreased social connectedness. The overwhelming amount of change brought on by COVID 19 has not been good for the mental wellness of many. You may notice yourself experiencing increased stress, anxiety, fear, worry, depressed mood, sleeplessness.. the list goes on.

 

Get Back on Track

The best way to combat stress and anxiety is to take control. It’s important to develop a new routine that works within quarantine restraints. Don’t try to fit the old schedule into this new world. We are all adaptive creatures and can make this work. If you put the effort in now, your psyche will thank you!

 

Helpful Tips from a Mental Health Therapist

Go exercise! With gyms being closed, many people lost their main source of physical activity. But laying around for 18 hours a day before going to bed will do you no good. You can find countless at-home exercises online; yoga, Pilates, Zumba or, when it isn’t snowing, go outside! Hike, run,walk, bike, anything that gets the body moving. Your mind NEEDS this.

 

Reduce screen time! The goal should not be to see how many screens you can get in front of your face at once (phone, tablet,computer). The increased amount of screen time leads to things like headaches and disturbed sleep. Put the phone down. The Tiktok dances are not even that good.

 

Get a new hobby! The O.G. crafters are not experiencing the restlessness of quarantine like many younger populations are. Find a new hobby that does not include electronics. Learn to knit,cross-stitch, crochet. Plant a garden. Write a real letter to someone (honestly how excited would you be to get mail that wasn’t something you ordered from Amazon?). Cook. Bake. Read!

 

IMPORTANT - Give yourself a break! Constantly putting the pressure on yourself to “do better” is not helpful at all and is likely to make you feel worse. Give yourself the okay to have an off day, to exercise for 30 minutes instead of an hour, to have a cookie.

 

Finally, reach out. If you are noticing that you are not getting out of bed, not showering, not eating or overeating, engaging in more unhealthy habits, feeling sad all the time, reach out to someone in your circle for support or find a professional! All local Behavioral Health agencies are still open!

 

We’ll get through this. Stay safe.

 

Awesome Free Apps!  

Calm

HeadSpace

Healthy Minds Program 

MyStrength

 

Author: Jessica Okoniewski

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"Quarantine Fatigue" | the New Buzz Phrase

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Meditation For Beginners

May 4, 2020

It’s funny, if you ask someone if they would like to experience more peace in their life, their response is typically a resounding YES. However, if you ask that same person if they would consider trying meditation, their immediate reaction is most often NO.

Why is it that? 

Even though there is a 100% proven method of increasing peace, promoting deeper sleep, improving focus, and a laundry list of other powerful benefits, we say no to it?

What if I told you that one of the main reasons many people say no to meditation is because is too simple?

Have you ever lost your car keys and spent a half hour looking for them? You’re turning over couch cushions, looking in the bathroom, checking in the cupboards (why would they be in there), re-tracing steps, thinking, analyzing, furrowing your brow and shaking your head.  You begin to get frantic but then you pause, take a breath and sit down.  As you sit down, you feel a bulge in your pocket, a sudden and deep wave of relief comes over you as you realize the keys have been there this whole time.  As you feel the weight of the world coming off of your shoulders, you laugh out loud thinking “how could I have missed that”.

Our mind often over complicates things. Developing a practice of relaxing the mind prepares us for when something potentially stressful happens, like losing your keys before an appointment, meeting with your boss, or having your car break down. If we are practiced in relaxing our mind we can easily let go of unnecessary chatter and are able to quickly move to a solution.

Here’s how to practice:

1.     Prepare a timer for 5 minutes.

2.     Go to a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted.

3.     Sit comfortably with a straight spine.

4.     Take 5 deep breaths.

5.     Start your timer, close your eyes, and begin witnessing your inhales and exhales.

During this time, thoughts will come. It is common for your head to feel noisy. Some thoughts will be pleasant, some will be unpleasant, some will produce strong feelings of desire while others will produce strong feelings of wanting to run away.

This is the process and it is totally natural. Training your mind means to witness when a thought or feeling has a hold of you, coming back to the breath in the present moment, and letting it go. Remember that thoughts and feelings can sometimes be “sticky”, so no matter what comes up in meditation, let it go and come back to the breath.

Try extending your practice by one minute a day until you get to twenty minutes. You may feel unique pulls to quit with each new minute added. When it gets challenging, I advise to simply stay with the practice regardless what you think about it.

Cultivating this habit can be truly life changing. If you feel you could benefit from a more positive mindset, enhanced ability to focus,and improved mental health then why not take the plunge and give meditation atry

Besides your stress, what do you have to lose? I wish you the highest joy, now and always.

Namaste.

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