More exhausted than normal after spending eight hours... stuck inside? You're not alone.
If you're logging eight hours and still feeling sluggish, start here.
Get outside if you can.Not all of us are lucky enough to have a garden and, depending on where you are, there may be strict restrictions on the time you spend outside your home. That said, daylight and nature are integral to your wellbeing right now. “If you can get outside, get outside,” says Pinkham. “If you can’t, then at the very least keep your windows and blinds wide open; make sure you’re getting as much fresh air into your room as you can, as much daylight into your system as you can. If you’re always sitting in a darkened room watching TV, you’re going to feel sleepy.”
RELATED: How to Safely Get Outside During QuarantineConnect with others.Feeling disconnected from the world could also be making you feel depleted. “Find ways to stay connected with colleagues and friends with Facetime. Organize virtual cocktail parties. Play games like Words with Friends,” Dr. Levine says.
A sense of connection will help, but be careful of being on Houseparty all day long. Try to set limits on how long you spend socializing, so that you don’t end up spending all your free time staring at a screen, and so that you don’t expend too much energy taking on other people’s worries as well. This could leave you feeling even more tired and emotionally depleted.
Be mindful of screen time.Here’s your reminder to be careful what media you consume to protect your mental health. “Stay informed but moderate the time you spend listening to news reports and make sure that you stick to,” Dr. Levine says.Try an energizing meditation technique.
We don’t know how things will turn out, and that uncertainty is scary and draining. “Look at what you can control and what you can’t,” Pinkham says. “Resist the temptation to ignore or distract yourself from what’s worrying you. It’s normal to be anxious, don’t feel bad about that, but there are things that you can do to get it out of your head.”
One way to do that? Mindfulness is a powerful tool to manage stress, so you may find meditation extremely helpful right now. One mindful exercise that only takes a few minutes isbreathwork. “Make a conscious effort to focus on your breathing at regular times throughout the day,” Dr. Ramlakhan says. “Slow down and lengthen your exhale; inhale long and low into your belly and repeat this a few times. You’ll find this a much more effective pick-me-up than coffee.”
RELATED: How to Practice Mindfulness, Even When You're Anxious As HellLook on the bright side.We’re living through a crisis, there’s no way around that. But if your mind is consumed with the state of the world 24/7, you won’t be able to cope. “Find the silver linings,” Dr. Levine says. “With more time, you can take up a new hobby or pastime” — whether it’s baking, knitting, or picking up an instrument you haven’t touched in years. Be conscious about noticing the things that bring you joy, and make them a priority whenever you can.
Be kind to yourself.Remember: We're not working from home under normal circumstances, we're at home, stuck inside, trying to work during an incredibly stressful time, Pinkham says. Try problem-solving by asking yourself what you can do to feel less tired. “After that, accept that you probably aren’t going to feel [like] yourself at the moment,” Pinkham says.
RELATED: The Pink Full Moon In Libra Wants Us to Be Kind, Especially to OurselvesDr. Levine agrees: now is not the time to tick off every item on your to-do list. “Allow yourself some slack,” she says. “This might mean taking a short nap if you really feel tired or doing the laundry tomorrow if you’re too fatigued today. It’s normal to have energy peaks and valleys during a long-term crisis like this.”
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