Updated 7.25.21 THE LEVEL – Worn out? We all are. Although it seems we should be more optimistic about the future given increases in COVID vaccine rates, it’s perfectly natural to still feel down. Everyone is feeling varying levels of pandemic fatigue, according to experts at Florida Blue, who warn that back-to-school, the upcoming holidays, and the post-holiday season may bring even greater strain associated with heightened stress.
Things may get (or seem) slightly worse before they get better.
“During times of constant stress, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed, confused, and even scared,” says Dr. Nick Dewan, Florida Blue’s vice president of behavioral health.
“It’s OK to ask for help,” says Dewan, who recommends that we:
Whether it’s a close friend, family member, or a trained clinical specialist, you don’t have to go through it alone. Talk to someone who’ll listen, help and support you. Many health plans have special COVID programs available for members. Some are even free.
CELEBRATE SMALL VICTORIES
Although getting out for an after-school walk, organizing the kids’ homework area, or cleaning just one shelf of the pantry may not seem like much, positive activity and progress are reasons for celebration, particularly during such stressful times.
“Acknowledging victories, no matter how small, can lift your spirits and bring feelings of hope,” says Dewan.
Look ahead. Whether you are looking forward to a better afternoon, week, or year ahead, planning for the future is extremely beneficial, according to health experts who say planning helps us cope with stress.
As we begin to look forward, it’s important to remain open to the possibility that plans are likely to continue to shift, according to Dewan.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
The pandemic’s Delta variant has exponentially elevated the importance of mental health, and the need to look after both our physical and emotional needs.
Balance is important, according to experts who recommend we eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep. It’s important to make time for hobbies and activities that provide the ability to maintain social distancing,
As we walk through the final stages of this epic crisis, it is important to remind ourselves there have been others. We are the descendants of its survivors. A good reason for hope.