Many CJFS services have been modified due to COVID-19. For current information contact us at jfs@cjfsbham.org or 205.879.3438

"COVID Fatigue" is Real

by Amy Neiman, LMSW

My daughter came up to me the other day and said “Mom, we are going to be in COVID for my whole 10-year old year.” She is probably right.

If you are like me, you found the quieter life that showed up somewhat unannounced seven months ago strange but manageable. The weather in March and April was beautiful. Maybe you got some closets cleaned out or chores completed. This quarantine life was going to be just fine.

As the months have dragged on and winter is rearing its head, I have started to feel weary of this way of life. I heard the term “COVID fatigue” used, and I must admit I am feeling a bit of it. I am lonely. I am missing people. I am missing gathering for my book club to discuss everything but the book. I am missing laughing in a restaurant. I am missing singing and creating art at CARES.

It looks like we are going to be living with the novel coronavirus, and our separation, for some time. I decided I would start a list of things I could do that might make these next few months less lonely for me, and I thought I would share some of them with you:

  1. Reach out to a friend – Pick up the phone and call a friend. Try FaceTime if you have a smart phone. Schedule a Zoom call with a group. My college friends and I Zoom once a month, which has been a fantastic way to keep in touch. Last night, we had a virtual wine tasting.
  2. Get outside – We are lucky in Alabama because our weather in the fall is not too cold, so getting outside is not only doable but enjoyable. Walk around the block or pick up some leaves. Believe it or not, I convinced a couple of my kids to go with me on a pinecone hunt. (That is a story for another day).
  3. Pick up a project – Now is a great time to learn something new. At my house, we were all thrilled when someone (not saying who) dropped learning the ukulele in favor of learning how to knit. On the weekends, I have been going through boxes of old letters and photos. The comments about my previous hairstyles have been ruthless.
  4. Start a gratitude journal- Each day, take a moment to think about what has been good. Say it out loud or jot it down in a notebook. It can be super simple like “The cat sat in my lap today” or “I had the best apple.” You might be surprised at how many nice moments you can find in a day.
  5. Eat good food – Speaking of apples, there are a lot of studies that link our mental health with the foods we choose to eat. Fall is full of wonderful fruits and vegetables such as apples, pears, sweet potatoes, and Brussels sprouts. Enjoy some of fall’s bounty.

Maybe you have your own ideas for managing the loneliness of this time. If so, feel free to share them with us at jfs@cjfsbham.org.

 

If you are troubled by loneliness or dealing with any other emotional issue, counseling from CJFS may help. CJFS offers individual and group therapy for people of all ages -- in person, by phone or via video apps such as FaceTime and Zoom. Insurance is accepted. To learn more, contact Clinical Director Marcy Morgenbesser, marcy@cjfsbham.org or 205.879.3438.