Unfortunately, the Pandemic is going nowhere fast and so neither is Quarantine Fatigue. Ask yourself these 5 key questions to stay on top of it and avoid Pandemic Burnout.
1. “How is my health? How is Quarantine Fatigue affecting it?”
This is not a case of going to see a doctor when something is wrong, because this can often leave you with a fragmented picture rather than an overall sense of your health and where your priorities should be to improve it. It is definitely worth getting access to your health records, often available to you via your smartphone nowadays, but beyond that you need something a bit different.
You need to use medically-validated surveys that quantify your health-related quality of life. These surveys give you scores across various aspects of your quality of life that help you to understand if mental, physical or emotional health should be your priority. Whereas being healthy feels like we need to overhaul all of our lifestyle at once, these surveys can help us break it down by order of priority. You can also use surveys that quantify a specific issue, perhaps a long-term condition like Rheumatoid Arthritis or Diabetes, such that you have an overall and a condition-specific picture of your health.
You can even do this for Quarantine Fatigue.
Take the 2-minute assessment here
You can repeat these surveys over time, say every 1-3 months, to measure your progress. This way you can make healthy changes between surveys and actually measure how impactful they have been!
2. “Why does my health matter to me? Why do I want to beat Pandemic Fatigue?”
Has your doctor ever asked you this? Or what your health goals are? Most likely not. Often due to a lack of time or because this is not something they have been trained to do. But this is a hugely missed opportunity because we know in other spheres, setting goals can improve success rates by a third.
Ask yourself where you want to get with your health and why. What will happen if it worsens? What would you lose in your life as a result? What if it got better? What would you gain? Answering these questions gives you a clear sense of direction to conquer Quarantine Fatigue as well as strong motivation to get there.
Wondering if Quarantine Fatigue is affecting your health?
Take the 2-minute assessment to find out
3. “What can I do to fix my health issues, including Quarantine Fatigue?”
Evidence-based Medicine comprises research evidence, clinician experience and your individual values. Oftentimes the first two are focused on more than the latter, meaning if you see a healthcare professional about how Pandemic Fatigue is affecting your mental state, you will most likely be treated for depression using tablets or therapy. But this does not address your daily habits that are the root of your symptoms.
Obviously we shouldn’t ignore professional advice, but we can massively enhance its impact using our lifestyle and habits. If Quarantine Fatigue is mostly affecting your mental health, you can look at the evidence for meditation, breathing techniques, journaling and social media exposure on mental health and make the relevant changes. But make sure you also consider how you can use nutrition, exercise. sleep and your relationships, because they are all intertwined. For example, eating less inflammatory foods and regular exercise improve mental health.
It is really important for you to actively participate in your health in this way because we know it improves outcomes. When you are more active in your health care, you are more likely to stick to your plan and less likely to end up in hospital.
4. “What is my daily action plan to fix my Pandemic Fatigue?”
To achieve any health goal, you need to break your plan down into your daily habits. This bit is down to you and not typically something your doctor does with you. You then need to plan how to make it as easy as possible to integrate those habits. If you decide that daily walks will help your mental state against Pandemic Fatigue, set reminders when you plan to go, keep your walking shoes by the door and give yourself a treat when you get back. My habit plane and James Clear’s 4 Laws of Behavioural Change give a good overview of how to approach this.
5. “How do I know when I’ve beaten Quarantine Fatigue?”
Obviously there is how you are feeling. But there is plenty more you can do to detail that picture rather than waiting until you next see your doctor. When you have done all of the above, you can track your progress on multiple levels:
- Are you doing your daily habits? [Step 4]
- Are your Quarantine Fatigue symptoms improving month by month? [Step 1]
- Is your overall health improving your quality of life? [Step 1]
With all of this, you can see exactly how your habits are helping you towards your health goals and keep refining until you get there. It may seem like a lot of effort, but what you do not measure, you cannot improve. For example, weighing yourself more frequently is associated with greater weight loss.
Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered, click here.
5 questions becomes your 5-step plan to conquer Quarantine Fatigue
So there you have it, asking yourself 5 simple questions enables you to:
- Quantify your health and understand your priorities;
- Set health goals that keep you motivated;
- Figure out lifestyle changes to make that suit your needs;
- Break down your plan in a daily habit checklist; and
- Track your habits, symptoms and overall health.
All of which can help you conquer Quarantine Fatigue. And if you are feeling overwhelmed with all of this, don’t worry. There’s a simple first step: