Vaile Wright, senior director of health care innovation at the American Psychological Association characterized COVID fatigue with one word, “overwhelming.” She suggested that when COVID fatigue is present you are, “overwhelmed to the point where you feel like you don’t have the capacity to deal anymore. It’s physical tiredness. It’s mental tiredness. It’s difficulty concentrating. It’s all the things that we experience when we’re just at our capacity.”
Wright and other mental health experts describe seeing a marked increase in these kinds of COVID fatigue symptoms:
|Mental and Emotional Symptoms
|Hopelessness or apathy
|Feelings of disconnection from others
|Irritability, nervousness, excessive impatience
|Loss of motivation
||Tension, tightness, stiffness
|Difficulty concentrating or focusing
||Exhaustion that never goes away
|A sense of being incompetent or ineffective (even when it seems you’re over-performing at work or home)
||Unusual weight gain or loss
|Making more mistakes than usual
There aren’t very many people who have not experienced one or more of these symptoms in the past two years – and for many people, they have been present during the entire pandemic. By way of validation, you might be relieved to know that this is perfectly normal! Excessive stress does this to all humans.
While that may be nice to know, the more critical question is, “What can you do about it if it’s still present for you or others you care about?” This is where we really need to be looking if we are going to avoid the devastation of prolonged COVID fatigue.
The solution lies with first recognizing that it’s not what’s happening to you that causes you to feel so utterly depleted – either due to the situation you are in or the people who are around you. As you can see from the image shown below: it’s how you See (or interpret what is happening) that informs how you Feel, what you Do, and ultimately what you Get. This means that if you can change how you see, then you change the feeling of exhaustion, along with the symptoms, behaviors, and outcomes that follow.
 Vaile Wright, YouTube, March 2021.
If you look a little closer at this image, you will also notice that how you See is directly influenced by your Primary Strengths Lens, given that your strengths act like a contact lens sitting directly over your eyes. They inform your beliefs about how things work, your needs, and your triggers, along with your ability to contribute to great outcomes.
Interestingly, in the midst of COVID fatigue lies an unsuspecting gift that has a direct impact on your ability to accelerate positive outcomes. Your strengths are being directly grown through the experiences, challenges, and setbacks brought on by the pandemic – and they are growing stronger than you know! COVID fatigue, after all, is a bit like the muscle fatigue you experience when you are lifting weights to grow your physical strength.
It’s important to remember that just like when exercising physically, you need to pause and rest in between the moments when your muscles are pushed to the limit. Rest, by the way, doesn’t mean spending mindless hours binging on Netflix in the hopes that somehow you will be restored. You need the kind of rest that will refill your mental bucket and shift your negatively-skewed perspective.
While there are many ways to reset the way you see, many individuals around the globe are finding that this is the perfect time to take, or retake their personal strengths assessment, as this provides feedback about the strengths that have grown during these past difficult years. It also reveals your strongest tools to you to help you respond differently to what is happening. Your confidence and hope are deeply bolstered by studying your contributions and considering how to more effectively activate your strengths to help you. Especially right now!
A strength, by definition is, “A way of being or doing that lifts you and others to the Optimal Zone” – the Optimal Zone being a place of high energy and performance. Seeing and activating your strengths gives you the needed energy to lift you out of COVID fatigue to a higher and healthier way of being. And helping others see and use their strengths gives them the tools they need to overcome COVID fatigue too. You can help stop the twin pandemic of mental illness by leveraging the power of your strengths!
To help you or others recover from COVID fatigue, People Acuity is proud to offer you a very special solution at our COVID fatigue impact price. If you sign up before November 3rd 2021 you will receive your StrengthsMultiplier top 7 assessment and a 1-hour Power of Strengths at Work virtual workshop to understand how to put your strengths to work, (a regular combined price of $100). You can now start the road to recovery from COVID fatigue at our impact price of just $39.95! Click the link below to learn more.
People Acuity is the world’s premier workforce development and career pathing technology company established to help leading employers develop, engage, and retain top-tier employees for high-impact business growth. People Acuity partners with employers and industries to construct working career paths for career-seekers, creating talent pipelines to meet defined employer needs.
This article has been written by DeAnna Murphy – the Chief Development Officer for People Acuity and principal author of Shift Up! Strengths Strategies for Optimal Living and Choose to See You – in collaboration with Dr. Steve Jeffs. DeAnna and Steve are both Top 100 Global Coaching Leaders who have provided keynotes and leadership development experiences to leaders and teams in 54 countries.