BRITONS have now been in coronavirus quarantine for nearly two months and people are starting to feel the strain.

Experts have said that many people have developed quarantine fatigue due to the change and unpredictability in their lives.

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While the UK has started to ease lockdown restrictions with some people being allowed to return to work, the broad advice is to still stay at home.

One psychologist has said that it’s important to address the tiredness you are feeling in lockdown and to also make sure your loved ones are holding up during these unprecedented times.

Mary Fristad who works at a medical centre in Ohio said  "a lot of people describe being really fatigued at the end of the day".

Speaking to Healthline she said: "This is due to so many reasons. One is we’re all experiencing so much change and unpredictability in our life.

"A lot of people are feeling very anxious, particularly if they’re having financial difficulties, which so many people are. The extra demands of getting through the tasks of the day, when suddenly parents are supposed to be working from home and also providing education for their children, add up to an exhausting schedule for many people."

But how can you beat quarantine fatigue and what five steps should you take to get out of the slump?

  1. Connect five: Fristad said a great thing to do to boost your mood is to reach out to five people each day. Not only will this give you something to focus on but it will also be a great mood booster for those you get in touch with. Fristad said that it boosts your own mood when you are a cheerful presence for someone else.
  2. Have a routine: While your usual routine of going to the gym a few times a week may have been disrupted. Fristad said a lot of people are leading a more sedentary lifestyle due to lockdown which can lead to them having trouble sleeping, ultimately leading to fatigue during the day. Sticking to a routine can help you fight the fatigue and feel energised.
  3. Avoid the booze: In April sales of alcohol were up 14 per cent in the UK, showing that more people are drinking at home. Fristad you should "avoid unhealthy coping". Alcohol is a depressant and can reduce your mood and in some cases the day after can even evoke mood swings
  4. Find time for yourself: During the pandemic we may be spending more time than usual with our loved ones, but it’s still important to have your own space. Experts at mindful app Headspace have created mindful exercises you can do outdoors to help you stay alert of your surroundings, be present in the moment and stay focused. There are also versions for children in order to help them manage difficult emotions. Headspace’s recently launched Move Mode features a mix of 28-day courses as well as quick workout singles, mindful cardio runs and rest day meditations led by two world-class athletes: Leon Taylor, British Olympic diver, and Kim Glass, US Olympic volleyball player. This can help members strengthen both their mind and their body, together
  5. Enjoy the sunshine: During the lockdown many people have been forced to stay indoors in order to stay safe. Experts say that now is a great time to "responsibly enjoy your time outside" while also being able to absorb Vitamin D.

Tiredness or chronic fatigue?

If your tiredness is becoming unbearable you may be suffering from chronic fatigue. But what are the main signs and symptoms?

1.Tired to your bones

The main symptoms is tiredness, but the fatigue patients experience is completely different to ‘normal’ tiredness. It’s not like the tiredness you get when you overdo it – it is often a total exhaustion of every muscle in your body.

2. Sleep don't work

Normally, a good night’s sleep can leave you feeling raring to go. But if you have M.E, rest doesn’t relieve the tiredness at all.

3. Exercise leaves you exhausted

Many people who feel tired (for instance in cancer-related tiredness) find that regular exercise increases their energy levels. If you have M.E, too much activity can often leave you with crushing exhaustion. In severe cases, even walking round the corner to the shops can feel like climbing a mountain.

4. Muscle pain

People with M.E also have pains in their muscles and joints.

If you have been diagnosed with other achy conditions such as fibromyalgia or rheumatoid arthritis, but your current treatment isn't giving you relief, it's worth talking to your doctor about chronic fatigue syndrome.

5. Trouble concentrating

M.E is about much more than tiredness. People with M.E often find their mental sharpness is severely affected. They may have problems concentrating, poor short term memory and difficulty sleeping – it feels as if they have constant ‘brain fog’.

While individual responses to the pandemic can vary, most people are missing human interaction as Zoom meetings and Facetime chats have now taken over.

Counselor Melissa Wesner said people who work at home on a computer all day are reporting fatigue and eye strain.

This is while others feel substituting human contact for video calls isn’t filling the void as they are still missing "physical presence and hugs".

It has also been claimed that people need to be stimulated in order to reach their highest efficiency levels and Jessy Warner-Cohen said this is something that just isn’t being reached.

She said under stimulation results in lowered motivation while overstimulation can cause a lack of focus, she also added that there was a fatigue associated with a lack of stimulation and said not having a "change in environment was difficult".


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