Four Tips for Combatting Pandemic Fatigue
Has your get-up-and-go gone up and went? Turns out it's not just Zoom fatigue we're experiencing after a year of online classes and virtual meetings. The sluggishness you may be feeling may have more to do with a mental and emotional state called languishing. Last week The New York Times published an article about the general lack of vitality that many are feeling after a year of the global pandemic. This feeling of stagnation is one we presume a lot of us can relate to because there is actually a collective experience of "the blahs" occurring in our communities.
This issue of Healthy Living is devoted to natural approaches and activities that can help us move through this feeling of pandemic fatigue and find renewed energy and joy naturally.
What is languishing?
Have you had trouble focusing? Even with the promise of vaccines leading to the possibility of a return to more normalcy (whatever that is!), do you still find yourself not entirely excited about 2021? Do you just sort of feel devoid of joy and as if you have no direction? You may be experiencing languishing as a result of the emotional long haul of the pandemic.
Languishing is a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you’re dragging through your days, caught in the fog. Languishing can also be seen in psychological terms as the void between depression and flourishing. When we're languishing, our motivation is flat, we have trouble focusing, and our productivity may be compromised.
So what can we do about it?
At Mederi Center, we're all about taking a holistic approach to health and healing. When it comes to our psychological health, that means we want to look at ways to support our well-being that involve the mind, body, and spirit.
Let's start with the mind.
Meditation is one activity that can support a calm and content state of mind. There are many meditation styles and practices. Not sure where to start? Search the internet or your app store on your smart phone for resources to support your practice. Scientifically proven benefits to meditation include a reduction in stress and anxiety, improved self-image and a more positive outlook on life, a longer attention span, a possible reduction in age-related memory loss, and others.
Next, let's work with the body.
Try jump-starting your day with a short workout routine. Again, there are many apps that make it easy to create a routine. Or put on some music you enjoy and dance or jump on a rebounder for high benefit, low impact fitness. Even 5-minutes of light cardio and strength-building exercises can enhance your energy as you go about your day and help move your mindset and emotional state in a more positive direction.
Add in adaptogenic herbs.
Since much of our treatment philosophy revolves around supporting the body's inherent capacity for healing and well-being, many formulas in our patient protocols include adaptogenic herbs. These herbs help to enhance vitality and work with the healing life force of the body, which can mitigate the lack of drive or energy that often accompanies languishing. Examples of adaptogenic herbs include eleuthero, schisandra, rhodiola, and ashwagandha.
Taking care of our spirit.
There are many ways to look at supporting the Spirit, including cultivating a relationship with a higher power, or the God of your own understanding. When we can do that, our sense of equanimity grows and with that, an ability to respond with clarity and ease to any life situation that comes our way... including pandemic fatigue.
For suggestions on practices that nurture the spirit, including styles of prayer, cultivating gratitude, spending time in Nature, or engaging creative pursuits, check out our Mederi Care Approach to Spirituality and Healing.
The pandemic was a big loss which brings layers of grief around what life used to be for us. To transcend languishing, try starting with small wins, like picking one activity or practice mentioned above to focus on for a period of time. Even a small step toward rediscovering some of the energy and enthusiasm that you’ve missed during all these months will bring big gains.
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