COVID-19 in Indonesia: Beware of Pandemic Fatigue

Various attempts to adapt to a new normal and restrictions have left most of us feeling exhausted. It cannot be denied that more people are experiencing  pandemic fatigue in Indonesia.

According to the World Health Organization, pandemic fatigue can be defined as the demotivation to follow recommended protective behaviors, emerging gradually over time and affected by a number of emotions, experiences and perceptions. In other words, the feeling of uncertainty of when the pandemic will end can cause a person to engage in a behavior that violates the health protocol, which will undermine the effort to minimize the transmission of COVID-19.

Physical and mental exhaustion over the pandemic can become increasingly dangerous or worse— fatal. As more people experience pandemic fatigue, more health protocol violations may occur.

The following are some tips to cope with pandemic fatigue:

1.      Remember that there are things that we cannot control

We can focus on doing the things that we can control such as wearing masks, or washing our hands regularly. Acknowledge that by doing this, we are protecting ourselves and people around us. If you are feeling irritated, impatient, angry, tired, anxious or stressed, accept that what you are going through is normal and understandable during this difficult time. Think that what you are experiencing is common and you are not the only one who is feeling this way.

2.      Understand your own needs

By understanding what we need during the current pandemic conditions, we can make it easier to take more appropriate actions and decisions.

3.      Consume news wisely

Read news from trusted sources and take time to evaluate and correct disinformation. Avoid deliberately searching or listening to negative topics on TV or on social media. If you accidentally watch upon a distressing news program, immediately turn off the media and switch to another activity such as reading a book, listening to music, or watching a more entertaining program.

4.      Practice breathing exercise

Although it may seem common, practicing breathing exercises is a simple way to reduce stress and anxiety.  Started by taking a deep breath slowly, then exhaling slowly. Do this breathing exercise at least three times a day. Breathing exercises can help managing your anxiety level of response to physical, physiological, and mental distress.

5.      Seeking a help

If you are beginning to feel pandemic fatigue interfering your daily activities, reducing your life’s quality, or disrupting your sleeping and eating patterns, then immediately seeking a help from a doctor or psychologist.

Above are some tips in dealing with pandemic fatigue. It is of utmost importance to remain enthusiastic and forbearing during this time, although we may not be certain of when the pandemic will end. If you are feeling irritated, impatient, angry, or tired, anxious and stressed, accept that everything you are going through is normal and understandable during this difficult time.

Many people are experiencing the same situation. You can take times for self-introspection and contemplate over the things that you want to do and its consequences.

Mensana in Corpore Sano, stay safe and healthy!