Psychologist shares tips for overcoming 'pandemic fatigue'

For years, Emory School of Medicine and Grady pscyhologist Dr. Nadine Kaslow has helped her clients navigate personal and national crises.

This pandemic, she says, has been especially tough on people.

 "I think many, many people are really struggling right now," Kaslow says.  "They kind of got through what they thought would be the worst of it, except it just keeps going on and on and on and on, and there is no sense of an end in sight."

There is a name for it: "pandemic fatigue."

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"I think part of the challenge is, usually, if I have fatigue, then the next person can step in, and, when they get fatigued, maybe I can step back in,"  she says.  "But, now everybody is fatigued."

Kaslow says the most important thing we can do now, is to find ways to re-energize and pace ourselves.

"I know so many parents, especially moms, are saying, 'I am getting lost in all of this, between doing my job and taking care of family responsibilites and schooling my children, there is no me time,'" she says.  "The most important things are to love your children and take care of yourself and your family.  Kids will learn, and they will do okay.  They will manage socially.  Children are so resilient."

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You can build up your own resililience, Dr. Kaslow says, by seeking out things you enjoy, even if you are only able to do them for a few minutes a day.

It can be something simple, she says, like calling a friend or going for a walk.

"Sometimes, when we feel really tired, we just sort of sit, like couch potatoes," Kaslow says.  "But, the truth is, if we move, if we get out and about, out in the world with nature, just moving can actually help us feel less tired, not more tired."

If you're anxious, mindfulness apps can help you relax, she says, and a new study shows yoga may be really helpful for reducing generalized anxiety.

"It's a way to be mindful, and pay attention to our bodies," Kaslow says.  "It helps us physically.  There's movement with it.  I also think there is a lot of  compassion that comes with yoga. I do really feel with all of us we need to be compassionate towards ourselves, accepting of ourselves, and compassionate towards other people.  That's going to really help us get through the long haul."

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