How to Avoid Pandemic Fatigue

Create Routines that Work for YOU!

Kate Murphy

“The key to coping during this, or any, time of upheaval is to quickly establish new routines.”

Journalist and author Kate Murphy brings meaning to our longing for routines, “human beings are prediction machines, wired to predict what comes next…” Routines and rituals serve us well and help us conserve brainpower.

Think about it, things in your life like going to work, working out at the gym, grocery shopping, meeting for coffee, all routines that used to be relegated to autopilot now require serious thought and even risk analysis. A lack of healthy balanced routines put our brains in overdrive. Murphy contends:

“Our brains are literally overburdened with all the uncertainty caused by the pandemic. Not only is there the seeming capriciousness of the virus, but we no longer have the routines that served as the familiar scaffolding of our lives.”

Bottom line, when our routines are disrupted and we can’t predict what comes next, we expend energy rethinking, reinterpreting, adjusting and updating our life patterns. A lack of routine can lead to feeling anxious, stressed, angry, confused, fearful, overwhelmed…and exhausted!

Rest assured. If you’re feeling any of these things, there is GOOD NEWS. The grief you feel for the loss of routines is normal and can be channeled into creating new and improved routines.

Now is the perfect time to rethink your routines and re-design the way you work and live. Doing so will give you a new rhythm and sense of order and accomplishment. A new routine will also help you conserve energy, focus and be more productive. You may not be able to control all the challenges life throws your way, but you can control your response.

What can you do?

  • Pray/meditate daily.
  • Take a walk every day to clear your head and say “hello” to your neighbors!
  • Create a mmorning routine to kickstart your day in the best possible way.
  • Do a morning review of things to accomplish.
  • Touch base with your work team regularly.
  • Schedule uninterrupted time for specific projects.
  • Do an evening review of achievements.
  • Commit to a fun hike with your partner on weekends.
  • Create a weekly workout schedule and commit to a 30-day challenge with three friends.
  • Commit to weekly phone or video calls and distanced friends and family.
  • Make Taco Tuesday a family experience.
  • Engage in front yard happy hours with the neighbors.
  • Swap out evening news and TV for a book to read with your partner.
  • Listen to an audiobook every night before bed.