How to fight off quarantine fatigue

NOW: How to fight off quarantine fatigue


ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. -- While the country is re-opening, some experts are noticing that people are starting to loosen up when it comes to following safety guidelines.

It’s called quarantine fatigue, a South Bend licensed therapist said it’s the feeling of being emotionally and physically tired.

“We’ve been on high-alert for so long, and everything has felt like false alarms to a certain extent," Rhonda Gipson-Willis said. "People are starting to get really tired of that heightened state of alarm."

Gipson-Willis said the so-called “false alarms” are leading people to go about their “normal” social habits. Some of the symptoms of quarantine fatigue include a lack of motivation, a low energy drive, an increase in loneliness; especially when people are in isolation, increased anxiety; you can also become emotionally unstable, and have feelings of hopelessness. Gipson-Willis said quarantine fatigue occurs naturally.

“Our bodies aren’t set up to maintain a high-level body of stress for very long without trying to over-compensate, or compensate and make it a better situation for ourselves. And so there are things that we can do in terms of helping to mitigate those effects,” Gipson-Willis said.

She said the natural response to those symptoms is shutting down, but there are coping mechanisms that can help.

Gipson-Willis has come up with a four-step framework that she dubs COPE. It’s an acronym, and each letter stands for something.

COPE stands for center yourself, openly discuss your thoughts and feelings, pray and meditate, and take it easy.

Gipson-Willis said the best way to cope is it reach out for help, stay active, limit media use, maintain a routine, and meditate.

“Now is a really good time for people to really take it easy on themselves and extend grace to themselves and others. There are folks who are struggling and dealing with quarantine, the are some people who happen to be with family members and others who are alone. Check on each other,” Gipson-Willis said.

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