I remember first hearing the word quarantine fatigue and thinking oh, a new catchy word, kind of like ‘Fetch’. Are we trying to make this a thing a la Mean Girls or is it an actual thing. Well folks, I’m here to say it’s an actual thing. Lately, more often than not, I’ve found myself exhausted from doing absolutely nothing. And so cranky, even the slightest upset would send me spiraling into a fury. It sparked concern for me, initially, because I’m the kind of circus act that has at minimum, 5 plates being balanced at once and I’m usually smiling about it.
The thought of crankiness and laziness just didn’t sit right with me so I did what so many do… I tried to force my way through it. I’d love to say that worked but if it were that easy, I wouldn’t have sat down to right this blog post.
Quarantine fatigue hit me hardest in late July. I’m not sure why… If I had to guess, it was because summer seemed endless but not in a good way. While work initially slowed from covid, it began to rapidly pick back up in mid-July and the balance just wasn’t there… Everly wrapped her last month of preschool (ever) and while Easton has been on a pretty good schedule, the thought of saying goodbye to my alone time hit hard. Next came the distance learning announcement from our school district that sent my hopes and dreams for a pseudo normal fall season crashing harder than a wine glass on concrete.
After sulking in my own defeatist attitude and misery for the first week of August, I’m finally feeling like I’m rising up out of my slump. I definitely don’t have any of this figured out but the fatigue seems to be at bay so I thought I’d share a few tips with you, in case you’ve been feeling the quarantine fatigue too.
To start: turn off the news… break from social media for a few weeks… unfollow or “hide” those who are blasting all things covid 24/7. Heard of doom scrolling? Yep, I was super guilty of this. I was either pissed at the news or pissed at something I read online and none of it was my usual “healthier” reaction to the news. Turning it off really helped me shift my mood. Not to say I’m uneducated on current events, more so to say that you can stay informed without doom scrolling and without allowing it to filtrate your mood and daily well being.
One thing we’ve been doing that is helping a ton is trying to sprinkle in little bits of new and exciting things. That will look different for everyone but for us, it seems to be home projects and trips. We booked a camping trip at the end of the month and I’m looking forward to this particular trip more than I have any other trip in my life. The thought of escaping the mundane-ness that has become our day to day is beyond thrilling. For the house projects, currently, I’m working on our master bedroom right now and it’s definitely been the outlet I needed. I was bummed at first because so much of the things I’ve been sourcing are back ordered due to Covid delays but I shifted focus to the things I have available and now we’re back on track! Ryan is finishing up the garden space and then I have plans to craft a little distance learning space, maybe in the studio or maybe outside, still have not decided. In addition, we’ve been working on a timeline to update our bathroom (this has been in the works for over a year) which is super exciting!
Another thing that has helped me break the quarantine fatigue is to plan a daily outing. I know this won’t work for everyone, especially those most at risk for covid, but for our family, breaking out of the house once a day is crucial. We’ve been going for walks, heading to the beach, and our local park to play soccer and baseball. This has also been a mood booster for the kids!
Finally, get dressed. Yes, I said it. Yes, it’s hard to do, but it is a game changer. Wake up, wash your face, put some dry shampoo in your hair, maybe even a curl or two. It has made me feel like an entirely new person over the past week. I was living in leggings and house dresses, which is fine, but also, it wasn’t fine. I wasn’t really taking the time to take care of myself outside of my normal face routine. Letting my hair go without washing one extra day became four extra days and before I knew it, I was feeling beyond lazy just off my appearance alone. Giving myself 15 minutes of love every morning putting myself together and putting on “real” clothes has made such a big shift in my mood. I can’t recommend this enough!
So there you have it… I’m not sure if I’m “over” quarantine fatigue totally, I still have days where I want to take an 8 hour nap, but for the most part, I’m feeling like me again. All this to say, quarantine fatigue is no “fetch” it’s catchy, almost as contagious as covid itself, and almost equally as tough to get over.