Life Fatigue

The groundhog was right. Yet, ten years of Arkansas snow in one week is a bit extreme. Long, dreary winter days make me want to curl up in a warm blanket and read a good book. Feeling motivated during cold, dark days has always been a challenge for me, but this winter has pushed me to my limits. With excessive snow piled on top of a year of pandemic fatigue, these winter blues feel more intense. I cannot imagine what many families in Texas are feeling!

There is a burnout that some people are experiencing after months of stress, uncertainty and the constant need to adapt to new situations. Many have experienced devastating losses during the past year – extreme illness, the death of a loved one or loss of a job. Even for those fortunate enough to stay healthy and not experience work disruptions, life has not been simple. There has been a frequent need to pivot in order to complete routine tasks. This has often required juggling the competing priorities of work, school and family. If you are having symptoms of exhaustion, anxiety or depression, you’re not alone.

A few coping ideas

While there is light at the end of the tunnel with a reduction in COVID cases, hospitalizations and deaths, along with improved vaccine distribution, we still have months ahead of us in this pandemic. Below are a few coping tips:

  • Find Ways to Sustain Community – It is important to find ways to maintain meaningful connections while still social distancing. Outside gatherings are great when the weather allows, but you can also set-up an online game night or a group FaceTime/Zoom gathering.
  • Get Moving – Exercise releases endorphins and is one of the best ways to improve your mood. Moderate exercise, like a walk around the neighborhood or a yoga video, can have a big impact in a small amount of time. My daughter helped me see the benefit of exercise first-hand last week. She felt anxious and was having difficulty sleeping. I realized that with the cold weather our family had stopped our neighborhood walks. As soon as she added moderate indoor activity, her mood and sleep improved drastically.
  • Be Compassionate with Yourself – Don’t expect perfection and don’t wallow in mistakes or missed chances. Just do the next right thing. We’re all in a tough place and trying to figure it out as we go, so show yourself some grace.
  • Practice Gratitude – In December, Ralph wrote an insightful article on the benefits of gratitude in our lives. During these tumultuous times, reflecting daily on what is good in our lives willboost moods and make it easier to stay positive.

Remember to check in with friends and family, particularly those who are more isolated. Connection of any kind is so meaningful right now and could make a big difference. Together, we can get through the fatigue and come through this stronger than before.

As always, we are here for you. Please email or call if you want to set up a Zoom videoconference meeting or talk by phone.

Mary McCraw, CFP®

© 2021 The Arkansas Financial Group, Inc., All rights reserved.

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