After almost of year of being in quarantine, I for one sometimes find myself staring into space wondering what time it is, what day it is, what month it is…I think you get the picture. While in quarantine I oftentimes feel like life is just going on one big loop in which I do the same things every single day to the point where sometimes even my perception of time is thrown off. This is what quarantine fatigue looks and feels like for me.
The realities of Covid-19 and all that’s come with it are certainly enough to cause stress and fatigue. Add being confined to the same indoor space majority of the time and it’s there’s no surprise that I and a lot of my loved ones have found themselves feeling burnt out (and a bit out of sorts) from quarantining. Over the almost 12 months since quarantine first went into place, I’ve found some interesting ways to cope with quarantine fatigue, especially while being a college student and working.
Schedule Spontaneous Virtual Hangouts With Friends
Now, I know the words “schedule” and “spontaneous” don’t seem to really go together, but hear me out. For me and so many other people, one of the hardest things to deal with during quarantine is the fact that you’re doing the exact same things almost every day. I still have things to do every day, such as work for classes and tasks for jobs, on top of extracurricular responsibilities; but with in-person events and activities limited, I miss out on the spontaneity of life that comes with just physically moving throughout your day.
One way I’ve managed to schedule those spontaneous adventures with friends back into my life (because we still have to get our required tasks done!) is by coming up with a list of virtual activities to do with my friends and then every other week or so, we randomly pick an activity to do from the list. I’ve found that this really has helped me mentally, because the scheduling aspect always gives me something to look forward to, but I never actually know what’s to come. We just keep adding things to the list, and you never know what you’re going to be doing that week with your friends until you’re doing it!
Find A New Hobby, Or Rediscover An Old One!
Hobbies were something I used to have a long, long time ago, before life seemed to just get too busy. However, I recently realized that hobbies are an essential way to not only enjoy yourself, but also manage and reduce stress. With one of my goals this year being to prevent burnout rather than respond to it, I decided to try and find some new hobbies to take up, such as painting, while also returning to some old loves of mine.
Having something that you do purely for the sake of your own enjoyment and peace can really aid you in coping with being in quarantine. A hobby is something that you can control and also takes your mind off of whatever thoughts or feelings you might experience related to quarantine. Mentally search through what brought you joy and peace in any past stage in life and try it out again! Or try something out that you never had the time or space to do before. Whatever it is, make sure that you prioritize choosing something that will bring you joy.
Spend As Much Time Outdoors As Possible
Last, but most certainly not least, I definitely recommend spending as much time as you safely can outdoors. Even when it’s bitter cold I have found that my mood improves if I go outside for just 5 or 10 minutes. Vitamin D is like magic, with the power to improve your mood instantly (at least it definitely has in my experience). I like to take a few minutes at least every other day to just enjoy being outside and breathing in some fresh air. Normally, I do this while walking to CRCE to take my Covid test or walking to go get coffee and taking the long route home. Whenever and however you can, get outside and enjoy the simplicity and beauty of nature.