Do you have Covid -19 fatigue?
I wasn’t sure what to call it; It’s not depression or anxiety. It’s this thing that’s hard to get your head around but you can feel it in your heart.
Do you know what I am talking about? You feel “off.” You aren’t yourself. You are sad but not depressed.
You may feel like you can’t complain because you aren’t sick, deathly ill or in the hospital from Covid-19. Others are much worse off than you are. So you suck it in, deal with it and put on a face for the world.
I am feeling it for sure. When a few of my friends recently shared their Covid fatigue stories with me, I wondered if this problem is more widespread:
Executive Covid Fatigue –
My friend Lynn (not her real name) is a company executive in an industry that is trying to stay viable. She is extremely stressed; she has had to lay off employees and is dealing with changing health department rules across the country to keep the business from shuttering. One day, feeling utterly exhausted, she laid on the floor in her living room and said, “I must have Covid!”
Fortunately, she didn’t have the virus but she did have a major case of the Covid Funk. Without seeing co-workers in person, or her friends and family, dealing with the stress of her business got her down. Her stress outlets — the energizers in her life — have been temporarily taken away. But she hates to complain because she still has a job and can work remotely.
Recently Retired Covid Fatigue –
My friend Tracie (not her real name) retired in her 50s from a Fortune 500 company. She was loving life in the rocky mountain west where the great outdoors was her playground. She loves to ski, hike, and kayak. Her great joy is to travel with girlfriends and to do things with her college age daughter.
With Covid’s “ stay at home to be safe“ mandate she’s not doing her part- time ski guide gig this winter. Since she isn’t working, she doesn’t have connections with co-workers, even by Zoom. Her neighborhood get- togethers are cancelled. She told me she’s “lost it” a few times and just broke down crying. She feels like she shouldn’t complain because her husband has a good job and she was able to retire.
Widow Covid Fatigue –
My friend Janice (not her real name) lost her husband a year ago. She’s long retired and cared for him for many years as he had Altzheimers disease. Since March, she’s been alone in her home and because she lives in California (a hard – core lock – down order state,) she has had minimal contact with people.
Janice is craving human contact! She’s invited friends to go walks around the lake near her home, but many decline because they are in their late 70’s. She can’t even go out for coffee, or out to lunch or have a small dinner party. While Zoom and Facetime help her stay connected, she’s feeling off – in a funk.
I’ve got it too! Fortunately, I have a great stimulating and interesting job and I can work from home. My husband and my dog keep me company; yetI have this weird feeling inside, too and I feel guilty for even feeling bad about it.
Putting a name to this feeling – it’s really a Covid Funk- will help.
Until we can be together again, the Covid Funk may be part of our lives for a while.
Let’s not let it take over our lives or turn into something worse. What can we do about it? When I thought about a “solution,” I remembered something I heard years ago in a workshop, “What you resist, persists.”
Applying this to the Covid Fund, I think we acknowledge the feeling that this time is challenging. Yes, there are others that have it worse that we do. Hopefully we won’t get sick with Covid (or anything else) but we have what we have – a funk.
Focus on self care.
My physician suggested since I work from home that I get outside everyday, even if for 5 minutes. She said to be sure to “move” since I have a desk job and to be sure to eat healthy foods. What other things can we do for self care? Take breaks. Call friends. Try something new: a home facial. Daily try to exercise and stretch.
Engage with others when you can such as with a walk around the lake or an outdoor sport like skiing.
Call in the professionals.
Do you feel it’s more than a funk?
- Get help from a professional counselor.
- Talk to your doctor.
- If you have an Employee Wellness program at your work, use it! Mine has all kinds of resources including 1 on 1 counseling sessions and wellness classes.
- Your church will have resources, too! Reach out and find out what is available.
Knowing you have Covid fatigue and feel funky – put some Funk on your music playlist
Sometimes when I am down or upset about something, I allow myself to stop everything and “feel it,” talk about it, or write about in my journal. I wallow in whatever it is — in a good way. A funk is different because you can’t really pinpoint the source – Covid Funk is a compilation of many things.
Turn the funk on its head by wallowing in a funny way. Listen to funk. The music is really good and will put a smile on your face. You may even get up and dance.
Try an old school Funk station on Pandora with Tower of Power, Con Funk Shun or Isley Brothers. Make up a playlist of modern funk favorites such as Cory Wong, Vulfpeck, Brasstracks, Slynk, Pure Colors, or Griz.
What you resist, persists.
Let’s recognize a funky mood when we see it – take care of ourselves and do our best to enjoy life no matter the circumstances. When you feel the Covid Funk, be sure to savor simple pleasures of life.
Watch a favorite old movie, light a fire in the fireplace and indulge in an afternoon of reading something entertaining, order in some favorite foods for dinner, reach out and call an old friend, send yourself some flowers, make a contribution to a charitable cause.