How to handle quarantine fatigue

Social distancing is one of the most effective ways to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Staying apart has saved lives.

Progress toward reopening can be slow and have setbacks. As a result, many may have bouts of quarantine fatigue. Many of us are teleworking and taking care of family while staying at home. It can all be stressful and may cause:

  • Increased irritability

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Eating more or less than usual

  • Feeling run down

  • Experiencing a lack of motivation

To get through these times, it helps to have some coping mechanisms.

Tips to thrive

If you're feeling restless and weary, the American Psychological Association and other experts offer these tips to cope with the mental health effects of the pandemic and social isolation:

  • Remember you play an important role. You have more control of the pandemic than you may think. You are helping to slow the spread of the virus by social distancing. You are making a difference. So try to focus on the good you're doing.

  • Take a few deep breaths. When you feel worried or upset, take a few minutes, breathe in deeply, and try to relax your body and mind.

  • Get a move on. Move your body either in the comfort of your home or outside while social distancing. Exercise lowers stress and lifts your mood. Visit our “Get Fit. Don’t Quit!” website for at-home workouts.

  • Reach out. If you can't be with loved ones, stay in touch with calls, video chats, or social media. Staying connected (even virtually) is even more important right now.

  • Keep a gratitude journal. Each day jot down a few words about what went your way. When you examine your journal, it may help you find hope and positivity.

  • Limit the news. It's important to stay informed. But constant COVID-19 news can fuel your fears. You can turn to public health agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for reliable updates.

  • If your stress becomes overwhelming, call your doctor. It's also important to check with your primary care provider if you find yourself using alcohol or drugs to cope.

And remember, we're all in this together.