COVID Fatigue — or Why I'm So Tired

Yet another reason why we can’t sleep. Great.


Sorry about that. I didn’t sleep too well last night. Midlife, menopause, so many to-dos — you name it, it’s keeping me up at night.

And now, seemingly overnight, there’s a new kind of tired seeping into my midnights: Coronavirus Quarantine Fatigue. It has nothing to do with how little or much melatonin my body produces or how well my circadian rhythm functions. Nor is it related to poor sleep habits, drinking or any of the usual suspects.

No, CQF — we’re close friends now, so I call it by its nickname — is fueled by the uncertainty, unpredictability and unknowns brought on by the never-ending pandemic. Because let’s face it, the novelty of the novel coronavirus has worn off by now.

According to researchers, this fatigue can manifest in a number of ways, including:

  • Irritability

  • Stress

  • Worry

  • Anxiety

  • Fear

  • Appetite changes

  • Loss of motivation

  • Feelings of apathy

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

What to do?

Well, none of these suggestions will surprise you but let’s recommit to them anyway:

  • Monitor your news intake.

  • Take time to acknowledge your feelings.

  • Take time to recharge. (Just taking action can break the pattern of feeling unmotivated and not being able to move.)

  • Do something new and different. Breaking with your new normal routine, even in small ways, can switch our mindset and get us unstuck enough to renew our motivation.

  • Try to look forward. It may feel like this moment will last forever — or that it already has — but it won’t. Telling ourselves that “nothing lasts forever” can be a helpful reminder.


For a Pause

  1. Stretch it out. This short series of static stretches can ease you into a calm state of mind so you can fall into bed with the “right” kinda tired. It’s here for you to try.

  2. Mix it up. Sometimes the smallest things can give you the biggest thrills. Like ditching bottled salad dressing for homemade. Yeah, we’re funny like that, but there’s something about homemade dressing that is a little bit thrilling and oh so satisfying.

  3. Breathe it in. You may not realize you’re doing it, but if you’re tense, chances are you’re not breathing effectively. This means you’re taking shallow breaths that produce too little carbon dioxide, causing you to retain tension as well as generate anxiety, irritability and fatigue. Even, relaxed breathing is your friend, especially during trying times and especially while you’re wearing your mask.

  4. Look at these cuties. Ferrets are cute but banned as pets because they can catch and spread disease to humans. But that might put them in good stead in helping to find a vaccine or treatment for COVID. We knew they’d be good for more than just an “Awwww….”

One More Thing…

Processed and packaged foods are making a comeback, with sales of Oreos, Nutter Butter and Fig Newtons soaring — and Doritos, Skittles and M&Ms mounting a comeback, too.

While the manufacturers may be excited by their news of booming sales, you know we Pausers won’t join in the celebration once we step onto the scale.  If you wanna snack, snack smart with these tips.

In your life expect some trouble.
When you worry you make it double.
But don't worry, be happy, be happy now.

Don’t Worry Be Happy, Bobby McFerrin

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