Updated: Jun 2
As lockdown becomes the new norm, it seems like the whole world is making the most of their time apart from you. If you just feel tired, down and sluggish all of the time, then you may be suffering from lockdown lethargy. The good news is that you are certainly not alone AND there are ways to fix it. In this post, I’ll share the best tips to get you out of a lockdown slump.
From serving up impressive culinary delights, raising staggering amounts for charity, smashing fitness goals, being entrepreneurial with a new venture, or even writing that bucket-list book. With all of these achievements splashed all over the news and social media, it can feel like everyone else is being super-productive apart from you.
What’s more, it seems that all the advice is telling you that you must use this time well!
But, what happens when even the thought of switching on your laptop or getting dressed in something other than your PJs makes you want to go for a nap?
This indescribable sluggishness can make you feel really irritable. When combined with the comparison of seeing what everyone else is achieving can leave you feeling even worse.
The truth is, you’re not alone in feeling this way. The chances are all of the people you’re admiring on social media have felt the same way as you too. Just sadly, our brains seem to be hardwired on focus on what we’re not doing, instead of celebrating our achievements. Even if that achievement is something as small as getting out of bed when you really don’t want to.
Why Lockdown Lethargy Is Very Real
The truth is that lockdown is a very new experience for all of us. With a huge disruption to our lives, it takes a very real physical and mental toll. For everyone, a period of adaptation and transition is needed to get to grips with this new reality. It’s much the same as a significant life event such as moving house or changing job; a change can be exhausting.
Furthermore, the continuous news updates about COVID-19 will naturally put your mind on high-alert and increase your worry. Similarly, you may also feel helpless and uncertain about the future ahead. All of which is incredibly energy-sapping. In fact, studies suggest that increased tiredness is caused by stress and anxiety.
Adding to this fatigue overload is the fact that most of us are moving less than we normally would and spending less time in natural daylight which plays havoc with our circadian rhythms. Without the normal stimulations, movements and environments, the body can become very tired, reducing energy levels and creating a big drop in motivation.
Ten Ways To Overcome Lockdown Tiredness And Fatigue:
1. Get Rid Of Guilt
Forget about what everyone else is doing and feeling guilty that you aren’t doing enough. Lockdown can affect us all in different ways, and you need to do what’s right for you and your body. Instead, focus on the fantastic things you have done. Write down everything you’ve achieved and are grateful for that day, rather than the to-do list of tasks you didn’t manage to complete.
2. Up Your Hydration
Without regular routines, it can mean you are not drinking as much as you usually would. If you’re used to having a bottle of water by your desk, then try and instil this habit at home. Hydration is critical for maintaining your energy levels and increasing your brain function.
3. Respect Your Recovery
Emotions and anxiety are both physically draining, and even if you don’t feel particularly anxious, this situation is stressful for us all. Respect any negative feelings you may be experiencing and allow your body to recover.
4. Make The Most Of Outside Time
A study has found that 90% of people feel more energy when being active outdoors. If you have an outdoor space, try to use this for any exercise you do. If not, make the most of your exercise hour outside, while respecting social distancing. You don’t have to run a marathon; just a gentle walk can help to boost your energy and lift your mood.
5. Let Go Of ‘I Should’
During lockdown, are you telling yourself ‘I should be doing more’? The word ‘should’ highlights the areas in which we think we’re failing or where we don’t feel like we’re doing enough. This can be incredibly discouraging as we put blame and negativity on our own actions. The negativity can then darken your mood and leave you feeling drained.
6. Increase Light Exposure
Daylight is the primary biological signal that our bodies have for alertness. Ambient and indoor lighting are nowhere near the level of brightness that daylight can bring. So, where possible, try to get as much daylight as you can, from spending time on your balcony or in your garden. If you don’t have either of these, try to position yourself near a window. Alternatively, investing in a SAD light can help to mimic daylight.
7. Minimise Stress
Understandably it is hard to be stress-free during an extraordinary time. However, the more stress builds up, the longer this sluggishness will last. Meditation can be a great way to take control of daily stress and stop it from building up. So, if you’re feeling sluggish, then why not give meditation a go!
8. Push Through It
Sometimes, the only way to lift yourself is to get moving. Even if you feel really tired, and really don’t want to! Making an effort to get the blood pumping through a quick burst of exercise can help to increase your energy levels while also increasing those feel-good endorphins and serotonin in your system. You may hate the start, but I guarantee you’ll feel better afterwards.
9. Increase Your Magnesium
Magnesium is a vital nutrient that supports the body during periods of stress and helps to provide relaxation. Furthermore, it is also a key component in energy metabolism too. The best ways to take magnesium is by using a magnesium spray on the skin or soaking in a bath of magnesium salts. You can also take supplements or find it in foods such as leafy green vegetables, bananas, avocados and legumes.
10. Swap Carbs For Protein
Protein is a long-lasting energy source that helps to stabilise your blood sugar. This means you can maintain energy throughout the day without the highs and lows that carbs bring. Try to make sure your first meal of the day is rich in protein. If you’re still struggling to maintain energy levels throughout the day, try eating smaller, more regular meals.
Still Struggling To Get Out Of The Slump?
If anxiety, stress, depression or something else is zapping your energy and leaving you feeling drained and exhausted, then I can help. With my online therapy, we can meet through video calls to get to the heart of the matter and find the best tools and techniques to help revive your spirits and boost your energy levels. To find out more, contact me and book your complimentary consultation now!