You guys, we’re not sure if you noticed…but we’re all SIX months into a global pandemic. Feeling tired? You’re not alone.
In fact, tiredness has become such a ‘thing’ that the word ‘fatigue’ has been placed at the end of more words descriptive of our feelings than ever before. First, there was “Zoom Fatigue”, then “COVID Fatigue” and now, as aptly coined by Rolling Stone Magazine, “Moral Fatigue.” We’re so tired, that we’re innovating explanations for it! So here’s what all this means and how we can use our understanding of it to protect ourselves from fatigue overload.
Let’s start with ‘Tiredness’, shall we? Oxford dictionary describes it as, “drained of strength or energy, fatigued to the point of exhaustion, obviously worn out by hard-use, or run-down.” Doesn’t sound fun, right? Well, “Zoom Fatigue”, “COVID-Fatigue”, and “Moral Fatigue” are all just derivatives of tiredness. “Zoom Fatigue” relates to exhaustion from being on video calls and technology in replacement of personal contact, “COVID-Fatigue” relates to the energy loss we’re feeling from the global upheaval surrounding us (and all that comes with that), and “Moral Fatigue” describes the fact that our brains are hard-wired to overthink every little action we make right now because rather than just opening a door, we’re contemplating how to do that safely – how to protect us, and others, from the fine line between health and potentially (very) serious illness. It is not an easy time, friends.
There have been SO MANY articles written about how to avoid “Zoom Fatigue” or “COVID Fatigue”, and a handful about “Moral Fatigue”. To narrow it all down, our team pulled our top 3 tips to avoid burnout.
OCC’s Top 3 Tips to Avoid Overall Fatigue – Zoom, COVID, & Moral Tiredness
- DO LESS. Avoid making too many decisions right now. Our anxiety is at an all-time high, but not everything is urgent and requires immediate ASAP attention. (Even if it feels that way.) Going easier on yourself is a part of acknowledging what your brain and body are dealing with in this unprecedented environment. Doing less, or ‘Dolce far Niente’ (pleasant idleness) is a method of practicing respect for yourself right now. And, we all deserve a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T, right!?
- LIMIT SCREEN TIME & SCREEN STIMULI. Between our computers, TVs, and cell phones, screens are EVERYWHERE. Technology is our go-to solution for communication, even pre-pandemic, for obvious reasons. This said it can be overwhelming. When you have a video call for work you’re super-close up to the person you’re speaking with, which is unnatural (and can feel awkward) in work settings, and there’s an abundance of things to look at, chats popping-up, emails coming in, and background at-home happenings firing on all cylinders at once. Choose a traditional non-video phone call (hands-free) or do what you can to limit or schedule on-screen interactions to a maximum cap per day.
- TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. We’re not going to sugarcoat it, it’s super easy to feel negative and stretched thin right now. We’re all being pulled in so many different directions and filled with questions that lack instant answers – never fun. Taking care of yourself looks different to every person. For some, it’s an at-home yoga session, for others, it’s a venting session with family or friends who are good listeners, or maybe, a warm meal and good movie. Whatever you need to do, whatever you can do, to feel safe and secure in this insecure time…DO THAT. In your own way, taking care of yourself practices gratitude for yourself and those around you – when we all need it most.
Whatever tips you take, from this article or others, there is no shortage of experts trying to communicate and connect on the widespread COVID-19 related issues we’re all facing right now. That alone, I mean, so many articles…that can feel tiring (information overload is REAL). At the end of the day, the important thing to remember is that we are, as human beings, faced with very real challenges right now that requires us to go easy on ourselves and do what we can to take care of ourselves (and, in doing so, take care of each other, of our communities).