Are you fed up with wearing a mask? Sick of missing family and friends? Tired of following social distancing rules at the grocery store, restaurants and elsewhere? You’re not alone. After a year of the pandemic being part of your daily routine, and despite approval of COVID-19 vaccines, you may be experiencing something that experts call COVID-19 fatigue.
Of course, disruptions to daily life are nothing new to seniors who’ve survived wars, financial crises, natural disasters and other emergencies. Our generation has earned a reputation for tenacity and resilience, and an ability to adapt to change. But now because of our age, we’re at increased risk from the coronavirus, coping with feelings of loss, and are more vulnerable to stress, anxiety and depression. How do we combat burnout in safe and effective ways that give us some sense of normalcy?
What is Burnout?
This term implies someone has reached the limits of their physical, mental or emotional capacity. They may be experiencing a range of symptoms brought on by a prolonged and stressful situation, including:
- Physical exhaustion
- Mental fog and fatigue
- Lack of energy and interest in normal activities
- Feelings of sadness or being overwhelmed
- Irritability and anger
- Withdrawal from interacting with others
Coping With COVID-19 Burnout
Don’t wait until you’re exhausted or overwhelmed to do something. Be aware when you’re feeling “burned out,” it’s tempting to give up on the progress you’ve made. Wear a mask, wash your hands often and follow social distancing guidelines. These practices have kept you safe these past months, and it’s critical to continue these measures even if you receive the COVID-19 vaccine. While you might want to switch back to the way it was before, it’s not possible right now. And although it feels like there’s no end in sight, with nationwide testing and vaccine distribution, there can only be positive changes happening this year.
Five Ways to Combat Burnout
- Protect others: Continue to be vigilant about whom you see and how you’re interacting. Follow mask wearing and social distancing guidelines even in a small group setting. If you find yourself in a high-risk setting where there are more than 10 people and masks aren’t being used, you’ll want to be even more diligent with wearing your mask for the next 14 days, to protect others around you.
- Minimize the risk: Create a “pod” or small group of close family and friends, people you know consistently avoid high-risk behaviors. Limit your pod to 10 people or fewer. It’s important to know what kinds of face-to-face interactions your pod members have with others to ensure that you all stay safe and COVID-19-negative when gathering. Check in week to week to see how everyone is feeling.
- Be intentional: Don’t give in to burnout. Create a self-care routine if you don’t already have one. This could include safe outdoor exercise, a regular call with a family member or friend, a delicious dessert, a new book or craft activity. Put these activities on your calendar to get you through the months ahead, and share your plans with someone else, so they can help you stay accountable.
- Support the economy: Many local businesses have been hard-hit by federal guidelines. Look for ones you can support virtually or safely in person. Support those that offer COVID-19 friendly options and activities by following masking and social distancing rules.
- Beat the blues: The lack of sunlight and shorter days during the winter contribute to low feelings. Make it a point to soak up sunlight by taking a walk outside. If weather permits, eat lunch outdoors once a day in greenspace near your home.
All the COVID-19 vaccines being used have gone through rigorous studies to ensure they are as safe as possible. The FDA granted emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to prevent COVID-19 in individuals 16 years of age and older. The decision is based on the totality of scientific evidence available showing that the vaccine may be effective to precent COVID-19 during the pandemic, and that the known and potential benefits of the vaccine outweigh its known and potential risks.
It’s administered in a two-dose series, three weeks apart, and injected into the muscle. If you receive one dose of the vaccine, you should receive a second dose of this same vaccine 3 weeks later to complete the vaccination series. When you get your first dose, you will receive a vaccination card that shows you when to return for your second dose. Remember to bring the card with you when you return.
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine:
- Protects you from getting sick with COVID-19
- Won’t give you COVID-19 as it does not contain the virus
- Won’t cause you to test positive for COVID-19 in a viral test
- Won’t alter your DNA
- Is needed even if you already had COVID-19 and recovered
- May cause flu-like side effects that show your body is building protection
People with underlying medical conditions can receive the FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines provided they have not had a severe allergic reaction to the vaccine or any of its ingredients. The latest facts on the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, including a list of ingredients and possible side effects can be found here.
Canterbury Court wants to be the leader in doing the right thing.
CEO, Debi McNeil
At Canterbury Court, we’re taking full precautions to make sure that staff members and residents in our care remain safe. This includes guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Health care workers and residents are checked regularly for fever and other symptoms.
- Activities within the community are limited, and keep residents distanced from each other.
- Visitors are restricted from entering the community or, if allowed, are limited to two people at select times and only to designated locations.
- If visitors are allowed (including health care workers, health aides and other staff members),they’re required to wear masks over their nose and mouth.
Weekly testing protocols and contact tracing have helped us monitor exposure and prevent the spread of infection, and we continue to share regular updates on the health of our community.
We’ve also made it mandatory for staff members to be vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine. A series of three vaccination clinics were held in January and February this year, with residents and staff receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at the first and second clinics. All our employees will be required to be fully vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine, effective June 1, 2021. It’s another necessary step in ensuring the safety of everyone in our community. Contact us to find out how we could help you or a loved one right now.