Now that a majority of lockdowns and restrictions have ended, many people are trying to catch up on social activities.
However, with the daily wear of increased stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic, engaging in too much social activity too quickly could leave you feeling exhausted, impacting your mental and physical health in negative ways.
Health experts say it’s vital to prioritize rest as you begin to interact with the world again more frequently.
After about 15 months of COVID-19 upending our day-to-day lives – from shelter-in-place and protective mask guidelines to isolation from family to financial stress and political upheavals – many of us may feel we are still in an uncertain place.
Some offices are reopening, the rise of vaccination rates means more people are returning to a semblance of “normal” pre-pandemic life, and the summer season means people are beginning to embrace social commitments with friends and family.
All of this, of course, is taking place while the rise of the COVID-19 delta variant puts us in an uncertain, precarious place as a society.
What are the physical and psychological impacts as we return to our professional and social lives even though a pandemic still rages on? Medical experts say, in short, you’re likely feeling immense exhaustion.
“We’re seeing a lot more patients complaining about not being able to sleep well, having the ‘not having a lot of energy’ type of feeling,” said Stacy Boone-Vikingson, DC, CACCP, MBA, clinical lead at Northwestern Health Sciences University’s Bloomington, Minnesota, clinic.
Boone-Vikingson stressed that there is a clear difference between our pre- and post-COVID-19 worlds.
Before, we used to regularly accept, even shrug off, a certain level of exhaustion, a deprioritization of personal health.
Now, people are recognizing they are not taking enough time for themselves and are more stressed than usual, where they might be worrying about pandemic-fueled economic instability.
“Not knowing from day to day what work is going to look like or schools will look like for their kids… that’s definitely been a switch up for them, having everybody at home all the time, and just having so many things going on in the home at one time where they can’t get that break they need,” she added regarding the changes that have brought on greater exhaustion for people.
Essentially, it’s been a strange time where our usual expectations of how life “should” be going have been upended completely.
Now that people are going back out and seeing people they haven’t in over a year and partaking in activities.