Illustration Credit: Shuttershock/Magura

All Play and No Work: How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Lockdown Fatigue

2020 was a strange year. Not once, twice, but three times, the country had been placed into a lockdown and it was very easy to fall into the trap of ‘lockdown fatigue’.

Motivation, productivity and energy levels all fall, leaving us feeling exhausted and surprisingly burnt out. Much of this has come from a change to our daily routines. Our sleeping patterns have gone out of the window, leaving many of us twiddling our thumbs and looking for the energy to actually do anything.

This is why it is important for us to try and find new ways to keep ourselves busy during lockdown — and avoid the same pitfalls we faced the first time around.

One of the biggest problems with ‘lockdown fatigue’ was the dramatic change to our routines; going from a structured day with work, to nothing in the space of 24 hours. In order to combat this, try to structure your day in such a way that it gives you an incentive to get out of bed and not just sit down in front of the TV all day.

Set an alarm as if you were going to work and schedule things throughout the day to add some form of structure to your life. Plan it as if it were an average work or a school day, setting allotted time slots for certain activities, allowing for lunch and comfort breaks. It might not be much, but at least it should stop the days merging together as one and hopefully alleviate some of the monotony.

As with many households, it is likely that there is a list of jobs that needed doing which got pigeonholed until you found the time to do them. There has never been a better opportunity than now to complete some of those jobs!

Does a room need decorating or cleaning? Set targets for how much of that room you would like to get finished each day, or even just take the time to plan how you would like it to look. This will enhance productivity and by the time you see the end result, it could spur you on to find more jobs to do.

One of the biggest things we lose out on in lockdown is social interaction due to staying at home to prevent spreading the virus. This means that we have lost our lunch dates or just coffee breaks with close friends; and this lack of contact can lead to a sense of isolation.

Thankfully, with the advent of apps such as Zoom, Whatsapp and even Facetime, we are now closer to each other than we have ever been. Try reaching out to at least five people a day, checking in on them to make sure they get everything they need and offering support if required. Consequently, this could allow you to ask for help if you are struggling.

Most importantly, the increased social interaction — despite not being anywhere near these people — should put you in a more positive mood and increase your energy levels.

Have you ever wanted to learn a musical instrument? Maybe you wanted to learn another language or even to improve your cooking skills. All of these things are now possible with the additional time on your hands.

Bring some focus to your day by trying to develop a new skill, turning the negative into something more positive. It doesn’t have to be anything difficult, but by setting a target to learn something new you can stimulate your brain and challenge yourself in a way that you may never have done before. It might not be ideal, but it’s all about making the best out of an exhausting situation..

We all fell into this trap before. We overdid it on the takeaways and found ourselves struggling to fit into our favourite jeans by the time we were able to go back to work. Try planning your meals by incorporating healthy foods into your diet. Fresh fruit and veg are a must; and by eating healthier you will have more energy for the rest of your day.

Throw in some exercise and you should hopefully be able to burn off some of the excess energy that would normally be reserved for a busy work day. Take the dog for a walk, or just go for a quick run around your local park to release some endorphins. These simple changes should encourage you to relax more and make lockdown more bearable.

Let’s all be honest, we’ve all felt burnt out by constant stop-start lockdowns and it is hard to find the motivation sometimes. However, with a little bit of effort we can all make life that bit less stressful and more enjoyable. If you need a helping hand, why not speak to one of WellBe’s life coaches and they can help you create Healthy Habits and give you a boost.

Written by Scott Fitzpatrick
WellBe is spearheading the way to a brighter future for corporate wellness. Our innovative portal is scientifically designed and tailored to each individual employee to improve their wellbeing. We specialise in a range of services from coaching and therapists, to meditation and reading materials. Our aim is to reduce workplace stress that costs UK businesses £42 billion per year. Get in touch with us by visiting our site wellbe.global for more information.

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