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Pandemic Fatigue

Four months ago, we embarked on what was going to be a few short weeks of a quarantine sprint. Approximately 135 days later (who’s counting?) we’re in the midst of a marathon we never signed up for. In doctor speak, we’ve moved from an acute condition to a chronic one.With this change, we’re making a huge cognitive leap!  This […]

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Four months ago, we embarked on what was going to be a few short weeks of a quarantine sprint. Approximately 135 days later (who’s counting?) we’re in the midst of a marathon we never signed up for. 

In doctor speak, we’ve moved from an acute condition to a chronic one.

With this change, we’re making a huge cognitive leap!  This week, we discuss two strategies that will prepare us to take the leap, offer a reset and some respite to our endless Groundhog Days.

HONOR YOUR BIOLOGY

Our collective fatigue is so deep we can feel it in our bones.  Honor that ache.  For the moment, try surrendering the shoulds, need tos, and must dos and embrace the realm of self-compassion.  

There’s never been a better time to put the Resilience Rule of 2 into action!  We may have started the quarantine with every intention in making huge strides in our lives, but for now keep it simple by focusing on two resilience-building habits to incorporate into your daily life. 

As The Resilience Rule of 2 states, we have a finite ability to make two new changes to our lives at any given time if we want those changes to stick.  Our brains are phenomenal agents of change but any change (even the good kind) registers as a stressor, so we can only manage two new stressors at a time for sustainable, lasting change.  Let’s honor our biology! 

The fatigue we’re feeling from the weight of the pandemic is an invitation to slow down and reset.  Give yourself permission to pare your focus to only two small tweaks at a time, working with your biology rather than competing with it.  This gentler approach gives us a far greater chance at making lasting strides in our waning resilience!  

@b_a_k_e_s__b_a_k_e_s

LESS IS MORE

Maintaining the momentum we had at the start of the pandemic has become increasingly challenging and unsustainable.  That’s because it is!  Sustained stress over time wears down our internal reserves and makes us less productive.  Resist the urge to function at the top of your game in work and productivity right now.  It could end up being counterproductive and lead to burnout and exhaustion (the opposite of resilience). 

Human productivity operates on a curve like the Goldilock’s principle: too little stress and we’re unmotivated, too much stress and we’re burned out, but when the stress level is just right, we’re at the sweet spot of human productivity.  We’re operating from a collectively heightened sense of stress right now, so scaling back could counterintuitively be just the reset your productivity needs to get its jumpstart!

ZOOM OUT

The pandemic has been all-consuming.  We’re so immersed in its upheaval that its been virtually impossible to recognize it for what it is: one moment in time.  As our wise elders have said, this too shall pass.  When, how and with what ferocity is anyone’s guess.  But we can wait out the storm and find safe harbor in our resilience by practicing the gentle art of Zooming Out (below).   Our extraordinary resilience has been our north star on this journey and its already brought us so far!  Let’s continue moving forward with an eye on the collective prize: the end to the pandemic and a more resilient world for us all to fully inhabit again.   

@sprxeadpositivity via @ariannahuff

WANT TO BE THE MOST RESILIENT PERSON YOU KNOW? Check out our free weekly newsletter here for all Dr. Aditi’s science-backed tips on building resilience!

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