World Health Organization (WHO) defines pandemic fatigue as “demotivation to follow recommended protective behaviors, emerging gradually over time and affected by several emotions, experiences and perceptions”. The organisation says COVID-19 Fatigue is a “natural response” to a prolonged global health crisis.
After almost a year of living in a pandemic, some of the side effects of Covid-19 fatigue include feeling the stressors of the lay-offs, deaths, and illnesses while being denied our typical coping methods (social gatherings such as Carnival, marathons, stage shows, and all-inclusive parties.) With curfew now being 8:00 pm, dining out becomes a challenge, even something as simple as going to the movies has been canceled due to restrictions.
“It manifests itself in an unwillingness to follow guidelines and recommendations. It’s led to an island-wide spread of emotional exhaustion that now has a name, called “pandemic or COVID fatigue.” Whether social distancing with friends or mask-wearing; a decreased effort to remain informed about the pandemic; and, the possession of lower risk perceptions related to Covid-19.” Zoya Yaseka stresses.
Some of the symptoms of pandemic or COVID fatigue
Some of the symptoms of a pandemic or COVID fatigue include increased irritability, low mood, depression, trouble sleeping or oversleeping, overeating or undereating, feeling run-down, and lack of motivation.
Social isolation can affect individual’s lives by a greater reduction in their physical activity, which might increase the chance of infection by reducing immunity.
Zoya Yaseka, gymnast turned model and life coach has a solution for how to cope with the effects of COVID fatigue. Her programming, based in mindfulness, promotes balance of the mind, body, and soul. Specifically, during this time she has seen an increase in the number of people seeking to calm the chaos of the times through physical and mental well-being exercises
She says: “Whether you are working remotely or still going into work every day, stored stress begins to physically affect your body. It also weighs heavily on our mental and spiritual health. Physically stretching your body, alone or with someone you trust is something we can all do to bring more balance to our lives during these times”.
Technically, stretching allows for easier and deeper movements while building strength and stability. Stretching your muscles and joints also leads to a greater range of motion, improved balance, and increases flexibility.
She further suggests:
Be mindful and practice gratitude. “Be mindful of your mind, body, and spirit. In the moments where you begin to feel frustration choose instead to practice gratitude. Know that doubling your mask, choosing to practice social distancing, even limiting how often you leave the house can all help slow the spread of the virus. Know that doubling your mask, choosing to practice social distancing, even limiting how often you leave the house can all help slow the spread of the virus. By choosing to do your part you are making a difference.
Zoya adds: “Something as simple as having a basic morning stretch routine can give your body help strengthen your immune system. Even if you don’t have time to do a long and intense workout in the morning, some simple stretching can help set a positive tone for your day.
For example, if you’re reading this I challenge you to practice some mindfulness with me. Tomorrow morning try this when you open your eyes.
Without saying anything, Acknowledge the blessing it is to be alive. Smile as you let out your morning yawn. Take a moment to lay in your bed. Place one hand on your heart and one hand on your stomach. Breathe deep and give thanks for another day of life. Take four deep breaths before you allow yourself to sit up.
Practices like this help set the tone for a more mindful day by choosing to be present before falling into the mindless motions of a typical day”.
Reach out. If you can’t be with loved ones, check-in with calls, video chats, or social media.
Practice self-care. Wash hands often and eat a balanced diet that includes plant-based meals, even if it’s just one day a week. Get adequate sleep and stay hydrated. Also, get some sun and get active—exercise lowers stress and lifts your mood.
ABOUT ZOYA YASEKA
Zoya Yaseka is a former gymnast with over 15 years of experience as an elite coach and gymnast. She recently moved home to Jamaica to help share her learnings as a life coach through her mindfulness resource Prescription For LIFE. For more information, follow Zoya Yaseka on IG or visit www.zoyayaseka.com
ABOUT YAHSUH FITNESS ‘ FLEXIBILITY CLASS WITH ZOYA YASEKA
A well-stretched muscle is able to have a full range of motion. This improves your ability to do even the most basic functional abilities like reaching, bending, or stooping during daily tasks. Stretching can also be a great way to get you moving in the morning or a way to relax after a long day, especially after sitting for long hours. Zoya Yaseka offers combined stretching, and mindfulness techniques to improve balance and mental wellness, either in person or via Zoom. Email [email protected] for details.