DO THESE THOUGHTS SOUND FAMILIAR…?
Should I wear a mask outside?
Should I see those friends?
Who should I believe on the news?
How can I find a job right now?
Am I sanitizing enough?
On a regular, day-to-day basis you have many decisions to make. These days, your every-day decisions are compounded by COVID-19 and its effects on your life. It is overwhelming and many of us are experiencing “decision fatigue”.
Here are two ways to overcome “decision fatigue”:
STRUCTURE YOUR TIME
Having a routine is very calming to your mind. Unfortunately, for many their normal routine was interrupted, without replacing it with a new one. If you are currently one of the millions who are unemployed, structuring your time is EVEN more important. You’ve lost a key structure to your days: your job. Job loss can cause a lack of motivation and an even greater sense of decision fatigue. So make sure you still develop a routine. It would be easier on your mind and your overall psychological energy to structure ahead of time. Even if you chose only part of the day, perhaps to follow a specific morning routine, you’ll feel more at ease and somewhat accomplished for the rest of your day.
Make planning fun! If you have kids, try adding a fun spin to your new structure of life. Maybe you assign different themes for each week, like a Mary Poppins themed game that involves points for cleaning up, doing your homework, and getting some exercise.
Add a positive note to your routine, especially at work. For example, end your emails, phone calls, or other interpersonal communication positively. Make this part of your intentional positivity, each time you focus on adding positive structure to your work it can lower stress. Every bit counts.
Take breaks from reading, watching or listening to the news. This constant information can be very overwhelming and make you question your decisions. The news keeps changing, so don’t spend all your waking moments trying to stay on top of it. Plus if something really important happens, your friends and family will let you know.
Take breaks from work. If you’re working from home (or even if you aren’t), it can feel like a giant work marathon. So don’t get stuck in front of the computer. Get up and move around. Speaking of moving around…no matter what you’re busy doing, find time to disconnect and go for a walk.
Get some fresh air and pay attention to the details in your surroundings. These small details, like birds chirping above you, your flowers growing in the garden, can instill a sense of normalcy.
There’s a lot of talk about all the un-normal things. The things that are currently out of our control like: the future of global health, the state of the economy, and the overall well-being of society. But I’m challenging you to focus on the things that are in your control. And whenever you find yourself starting to feel overwhelmed, incorporate the suggestions above to limit your decision fatigue and improve your overall mental health.