Founder @ NowSourcing. Contributor @ Hackernoon, Advisor @GoogleSmallBiz, Podcaster, infographics
Americans have been reporting increased feelings of depression, anxiety, loneliness, and even hopelessness at least once per week since the start of the COVID pandemic. In fact, at the end of April, 3 in 4 American adults expected a second wave of the virus and supported continued social distancing.
However, compliance fatigue has grown over time. Although the stress and anxiety that come along with quarantining can feel consuming, you are still in control of your mental state. By hacking your psyche, you can at least teach yourself to cope under quarantine.
To do so, many Americans have returned to, or have even started, new hobbies encouraging creativity and self-care. Some popular hobbies Americans are currently indulging in are painting, photography, breadmaking, gardening, home exercise, mindfulness, and more.
Still, your brain may feel overwhelmed with responsibility. For example, you could be suffering from Zoom Fatigue. Excessive distance learning, work meetings, and hangout sessions can be overwhelming, amping you up rather than toning you down. The unnaturalness of on-camera interactions can often leave you feeling emotionally drained. Knowing this, it may help to simply move the camera away from your direct line of sight.
Similarly, you could be suffering from social media overuse. Push notifications can heighten the feeling of information overload by creating a sense of urgency and interrupting other activities, so turning off notifications may limit your exposure to only information you seek out. In fact, heavy social media use can worsen your anxiety even more. An additional 1.5 hours of daily use may double risks of feeling alone. As an alternative, seek out a reliable source for accurate, up-to-date info on COVID-19 elsewhere.
If you're unsure of how to recognize social isolation fatigue, the first sign of stress is panic buying. Today, Americans are hoarding supermarket items, so stores are quickly sold out of common groceries and supplies. During the pandemic's first week, ending on March 7, hand sanitizer sales were up 470%. During the second week, ending on March 14, toilet paper sales were up 213%. Be sure to only buy what you need, as you could contribute to your stress by overspending.
In times of fear and stress, our brains present conflicting reactions. Under social isolation, we have too much time to think - often leading to information overload. Find more ways to cope with social isolation fatigue below.