It’s been more than six months since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The restrictions which have been set up to emphasize safety can begin to wear on all of us, and while there’s a normal longing to want to “return to normal,” there’s a new concern: seniors with pandemic fatigue.
Pandemic fatigue stems from attempting to control the numerous overwhelming emotions we have been going through, such as anxiety, fear, loneliness and isolation, and despair. It is exhausting and draining, and can display as:
- Problems with getting sufficient sleep and/or eating appropriately
- Problems with focusing
- Retreating from individuals we love
- Becoming more argumentative or having a “short fuse”
- Feelings of anxiety, uneasiness, and lack of motivation
- Struggling with racing thoughts
The balance between preserving the physical health and safety we achieve by self-isolating, and the emotional health we realize through socialization and participating in meaningful activities, isn’t simple to navigate. We have provided some tips to help both you and the seniors you love:
- Accept and acknowledge your emotions. A wide range of feelings are completely normal in a period of time that feels anything but normal. It can be helpful to name how you are feeling – even writing it down. Then make an effort to refocus your thinking to approaches to help. For instance, if you are feeling out of control, focus your energy on things that you can easily control.
- Modify your inner dialogue. It is natural to wrestle with numerous negative “what if” scenarios, which result in heightened anxiety. Try incorporating a positive slant to your questions; for instance, in the place of thinking, “What if I come down with COVID-19?” tell yourself, “I have been doing everything I can to protect myself and remain safe.”
- Stay connected. While social distancing and staying away from one another has become the new normal, it is crucial to keep up social connections in ways which are safe: phone calls, emailing and chatting on social media, writing letters, and using technology for virtual get-togethers, classes, religious services, etc.
- Turn off the news. It is important to make certain you’re up to date regarding the current recommendations, guidelines, and status of the virus; however, it’s also easy to quickly become overloaded with too much information. Try to limit your news watching to no more than one hour per day, and make sure the source you’re gaining information from is trustworthy.
- Take good care of yourself. Create a routine that includes at the very least seven hours of sleep per night, thirty minutes of exercise per day, and a healthy diet. You’ll be helping both your emotional state and your immune system by making good lifestyle choices.
Absolute Companion Care is always available to partner with you in providing dependable, trusted elder care in Baltimore and the surrounding communities. Our elder care services are provided in the comfort and safety of home, helping older adults increase emotional, physical, and social wellbeing. Whether the need is for just a couple hours each week of respite care to permit family caregivers to rest and recharge, or as much time as needed, up through and including full-time care, contact us at 410-357-9640 and let us know how our professional elder care in Baltimore and the surrounding communities can help.