This is through increasing the risk of depression but also cardiovascular disease and perhaps even dementia.
Source: Public Health
You need to address loneliness through lifestyle and behavioural change before these long term health consequences can take hold.
The WHO and many leading healthcare systems acknowledge that Quarantine Fatigue and Pandemic Fatigue are real and requires action to overcome it.
Source: Cleveland Clinic, Mass General and Kaiser Permanente
Quarantine Fatigue / Pandemic Fatigue is a mixed bag of symptoms that can affect individuals in different ways. You need to figure out how it is affecting you and devise a targeted strategy to address it.
Even with a vaccine available it will still take time to roll out and for public health measures to have their full impact.
Source: McKinsey & Company
When life does start to get back to normal, it will likely be an altered normal that involves remote work, with huge employers such as Twitter committing to this long-term.
80% of health outcomes are down to factors in your control. Now we understand Epigenetics and the Microbiome, your genes and biology are more in your control than we thought, That leaves just 10% out of your control that is down to Healthcare!
Source: Advancing Health Equity in Minnesota
To address this most effectively, you need a comprehensive lifestyle approach. Our Nutrition, Exercise, Mental Health, sleep quality and relationships are all inexorably intertwined - you cannot change one without changing another.
The infographics below demonstrate the diverse and interlinked impacts of excessive fast food intake, exercise and poor sleep on the body.
Sources: Healthline, National Institute of Aging; (tap images to expand)
So rather than allow a negative vicious cycle to build, you need to focus on creating a virtuous positive one to optimise your health.
People who take greater ownership of their health have better health outcomes. In fact, the principles of Evidence-based Medicine have always included your values as an individual.
Source: AHA Journals
The General Medical Council has now made Shared Decision-Making a core part of guidance to doctors in the UK because the evidence shows that empowering you to actively participate in your health decisions increases your compliance with treatment plans and leads to fewer hospital visits.
Here’s the truth
You can conquer Quarantine Fatigue by waiting out until the pandemic is over.
However, the effects on your health may already be huge by then because no matter how quickly we get a vaccine, it is going to take at least a year or two before things go back to normal.
We are the ONLY people dedicated to solving this specific problem for people struggling with Quarantine Fatigue.
Before we get into the steps and how-tos, here is a quick background on who we are and why we started Hippocrates Lounge, for credibility reasons.
Dilraj [right] is a Doctor, Academic and Entrepreneur. He trained at the University of Oxford, the top medical school in the world, where he continues to publish with colleagues about Patient Empowerment. He is a Lecturer in Digital Health at the University of Warwick and uses Lifestyle Medicine to help patients reverse disease in his online clinic Hippocrates Lounge. Shocked that 80% of health outcomes are due to health behaviors, socioeconomic background and physical environment, Dilraj is focused on Health at Work. Time and again, he has found that wellbeing programs lack the outcome metrics expected in the medical and business worlds. Using lifestyle, behavioral and digital health, he is ushering in a new era of Preventative Health Care.
Sukh [left] has donned hats as a Management Consultant, Digital Product Manager and Peak Performance Coach. Educated at the University of Oxford, he thrives in fiercely competitive environments where performance is vital. He has repeatedly observed that individuals and organizations seek performance at the expense of health. This adversarial perspective is short-termist, focused on hours worked rather than effectiveness and leads to burnout. Tracking his own mental, physical and emotional state, he developed habits which enable him to operate at his peak without sacrificing wellbeing. His core philosophy is that cultivating positive habits aligns health, happiness and performance.
We started this company to help organizations and their people be happier, healthier and more productive. Without a foundation of health, no human being will be their most effective nor will they find satisfaction in life. A turning point for us was when our mother [middle] was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis [RA] in 2015. You may know that autoimmune conditions are typically managed using heavy immuno-suppressant and anti-inflammatory drugs. No cure is offered and the intention is to manage decline. By overhauling mum’s diet and lifestyle, however, her symptoms eased within weeks, without any drugs. After 12 months, all of her blood tests were normal and she was given the all clear. Her doctors claimed that she “never” had RA so this data was not captured in academic literature to inform future interventions. If mum had been on the immunosuppressive medications she would have had to shield and be completely isolated this year. Thankfully that’s not the case. But there are so many people out there for whom it is, who are suffering with Quarantine Fatigue / Pandemic Fatigue. And yet, a great deal can be done about it if you are given the right support.
“What is going on with my health?”
If you’re like most people. you probably only measure where your health is when you see your doctor. But more often that is when something is wrong. It’s more a measure of illness. Even if you are proactively measuring your health, you still won’t have an overall sense of the picture. No matter how proactive you are about your health, the likelihood is you have a fragmented picture with bits of data from various sources rather than an overall sense of your health status. You need the right tools to help you prioritise your health needs, whether they are mental, physical or emotional, so you can then form a targeted action plan to get healthier.
You need to use medically-validated health-related quality of life surveys to quantify your health status. These will ask your various questions about your health and give you scores across various domains such that you can see if your priority should be to improve mental, physical or emotional health first. That insight is powerful because whereas trying to be healthy can feel like you have to do everything at once, the right measurement tools help you clarify what your priorities are and to put them first. Applying this to Quarantine Fatigue / Pandemic Fatigue, you will know whether to prioritise mental state, sleep or appetite based on your individual health needs.
Regular health surveys enable proactive management of issues, including new or unknown ones
Medically-validated quality of life surveys improve you awareness of you mental, physical and emotional health status, independent of the specific health challenge. By repeating them every 1-3 months, you can see how the changes you have made in your lifestyle have impacted your overall health and continuously optimise.
“Why should I care to fix my health?”
Have you ever been asked the question “what are your health goals?”. Probably not. Clinicians are either too overstretched to get into this with you or they have not been trained to work with you that way. This means you never define goals for your health, everything you do to improve lacks an overall strategy and you are less successful as a result. We all know that when we are clearer on the outcomes we want to achieve we are more likely to succeed. This applies to work as it does to life and we need to apply it to health too.
Take the time to ask yourself what you are looking to achieve for your health and why. What will happen if it improves? What would you gain in your life as a result? What if it got worse? What would you lose? Getting in touch with your why is going to enhance your motivation and give you a clear direction to orient your health plan to.
Setting goals increases your likelihood of success by up to a third
This study shows that writing goals down increases success by as much as 33%. We can apply this to health goals as we would any other goals.
“What can I do to fix my health issues?”
As we’ve seen before, Evidence-based Medicine is about the research evidence and clinician experience; but it is also about your values as an individual. Most clinicians only have trained to focus on the first two elements, meaning you get cookie-cutter advice based on what should work for most people. Common things are common. So if you see a healthcare professional because the pandemic is affecting your mental state and appetite, you will probably be treated for depression using tablets or therapy. But this does not address your daily habits that are the root of your symptoms.
Instead we need to incorporate that advice with a thorough strategy that uses your daily behaviours to target your symptoms. If mental health is the primary way Quarantine Fatigue is affecting you, consider the evidence for meditation, breathing techniques, journaling and social media exposure on mental health and integrate the changes that seem most appropriate. But you need to consider each of your needs or symptoms in terms of how all of nutrition, exercise. sleep, mental state and your relationships can help, because they are all intertwined. For example, eating less inflammatory foods and regular exercise improve mental health and so should be part of your plan. The same principles apply to the other issues of Quarantine Fatigue and Pandemic Fatigue such as appetite, sleep and motivation too. You just need to be able to navigate the information that is out there in the context of your needs and values.
Making decisions based on your needs and values leads to better health outcomes
When health decisions are made incorporating your values, this is more likely to ‘activate’ you to take more ownership of your health, rather than being a passenger in the health journey. For every point you move up the activation scale, you are 2% more likely to stick to your plan and 2% less likely to end up in hospital. Taking ownership matters because the only person always involved in your health care is you. When you do this you are better positioned to address all of your individual needs and symptoms as well as their root causes.
“What is my daily action plan to fix this?”
Only if you are really proactive about your health may you have broken down your treatment plan into daily habits. Even if you are proactive you may not have systematically worked on making those habits as easy as possible to integrate. Most often, you are given a treatment plan by a clinician and you have to go away and figure out the rest.
What we need to be doing now you understand your health needs, goals and strategies is to break that down into a daily habit checklist that you can stick to. When you know that you can also implement strategies to make each habit easier to integrate, using James Clear’s 4 Laws of Behavioural Change:
Habits are the tailwind helping us towards our goals
A great analogy for the importance of habits is to think of an airplane. Our willpower is the engine. You can rev it up to go faster but that burns up your fuel. It has finite capacity. Habits can be either the headwind that hinders you or the tailwind that helps you to reach your destination or goals. But unlike real winds, we can change habits over time. Progress is made with consistency, through economic use of our fuel, rather than putting your pedal to the metal and burning out. This is how we chip away towards our health goals over time.
“How do I know when I’ve fixed it?”
Normally you have to go by how you are feeling and wait until your next doctor’s appointment or test results to figure out how your health is progressing. This does not give you a continuous overall picture of your health nor where it is heading.
Now you have a healthy habits plan you can track everyday how you are sticking to that plan. Every 7-28 days you can then check in on your Quarantine Fatigue symptoms in terms of their severity and frequency. Finally, every few months you can repeat your quality of life survey from step 1. What you will now see is how your habits are impacting your intended health outcomes and you will be able to continuously improve until you get there.
What you do not measure, you cannot improve
If you do not measure your health, you are not able to generate the self-awareness which drives action towards your health goals. A study following over 1000 people found that people who weighed themselves once a week or less did not lose weight while people who weighed themselves 6 or 7 times a week averaged a 1.7% weight loss.
This will likely take you several months and you will not be sure that you are using the right surveys or implementing the right habits for your symptoms. Your outcomes with this are unclear and you can rack up huge expenses buying tools that should help.
They are too overstretched, especially during the pandemic, to spend enough time with you to set your goals, analyse your lifestyle and break it all down to a habit action plan. Access to healthcare is already down 20-40% but you need support now. This will cost a lot of time and money with variable results.
This is a risky strategy because things may not ever go back to our previous normal and are not likely to start looking more like normal until late 2021. Your loneliness, Quarantine Fatigue and Pandemic Fatigue are affecting you now and will worsen with time if you don’t act soon.
Again, this is for people struggling with loneliness who want to conquer Quarantine Fatigue so you can stay healthy, resilient and productive throughout and beyond the pandemic.
Before, when you wanted understand your health status and priorities, you had to arrange to see your doctor for a raft of tests. But now, you can use The Vital Check, a validated quality of life survey, to get an overview of your health without having to wait forever for a expensive doctor’s appointments and tests. Do you see how much cheaper that is?
Before, when you wanted set health goals, you wouldn’t know where to start or you would try and do too much at once. But now, you can use our Health Goals Exercise to help you define your aims for your health based on what matters to you rather hoping you will find hours with a clinician who will listen and figure it out with you. Do you see how much better that is?
Before, when you wanted to personalise your treatment plan, you would have to figure it out on your own between doctor’s appointments. But now, you can use personalised recommendations from our Quarantine Fatigue programme so you no longer need to spend months piecing it all together. Do you see how much quicker that is?
Before, when you wanted to break down your treatment plan into daily habits you can build upon, you would have to invent your own structure. But now, you can learn about healthy habits, immediately add them to your daily checklist and track your progress in one seamless system. Do you see how much easier that is?
Before, when you wanted to track how your treatment plan is working, you would have to go by your symptoms and wait until your next test results. But now, you can track your habits, symptoms and quality of life in our app and optimise your plan accordingly, without having to worry that you don’t know where you’re at with your treatment. Do you see how much thorough that is?
Now if you wanted to get this job done before using a mixture of Healthcare and Self-Help, it would cost you £1,000s in appointments, tools and your time you could be spending on yourself and your loved ones.
We start at just £120 per year.
Here’s what you get by signing up with our Quarantine Fatigue Programme:
We are only able to offer this introductory price for our first 1,000 users, so make sure you act now before the price goes up!