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How to Deal with Covid Fatigue

Think back to 10 months ago, when Ontario first entered a state of emergency to take the beginning steps against Covid – how did you respond to the news? Were you worried when the lockdown first began? Or perhaps there was some excitement to try new things and make the most of your time? Or maybe you struggled and just did your best to hang on, wondering:
“When will everything go back to normal?”

It is easy to feel hopeless and stuck, especially if by now, you would have expected to come to terms with the lockdown and restrictions. In this difficult time, one of the most important things that you can do for yourself is to practice self-compassion. And no, this is not just telling yourself that everything will be okay. In fact, self-compassion is easily overlooked and is actually quite difficult to practice. The key is to think about the words you use to view and talk to yourself. Below are two questions you can start with to help practice this self-compassion.

1 – What have I done well today? 

You may find yourself being able to come up with many things that you failed at throughout the day than things that you have done well. One simple practice that you can begin to do is this: at the end of the day, take a few moments to think about what are some things that you did well. Keep this in mind though, that these things you did well do not have to be “accomplishments”, so to say. They could be something as simple as, “I bought some equipment I needed for exercise” or “I began to do research about a project that I want to begin”.  It is about intentionally shifting the focus from what you could not do, to focusing on what you were able to do. From “I couldn’t” to “I did”. And as you begin to think of more positive things that you have been able to do, this will begin to shift your perspective on not just yourself, but even those around you.

2 – What are my expectations

All of us carry expectations about the world and how things should be, and a lot of the times, falling short of these expectations leads us to judge ourselves. If you find yourself experiencing a lot of negative emotions, this is one area that you can look at more deeply, to find out what it is you are truly expecting, then ask yourself this question: “Is this a healthy expectation for me? Or do I need to tweak this expectation to something that is more appropriate?” For example, you may carry the expectation that your work is only successful when it is flawless. However, when you fail to meet this expectation, it can lead to self-blame, criticism and guilt. Instead, being able to recognize and shift your expectation (for example, your work is successful when you put your best effort into it, even if there are a few mistakes), can lead to healthier expectations and in turn, a healthier perspective of daily tasks and responsibilities.

I hope that these two tools can help you to continue to hang on and to discover some hope in this difficult time. Remember that if you are experiencing a lot of difficulties, it’s also okay to not do this alone. If you find yourself being stuck and unable to get yourself out from that hole, reach out to our psychotherapists, who are more than glad to walk alongside you in this difficult journey.

Written by Ambrose Ty, Registered Psychotherapist at Complete Balance. Learn more about Ambrose here or book an appointment with Ambrose by contacting us at 416-901-2873 or info@mycompletebalance.com.


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