Since stay-at-home orders have been imposed and working from home has become the new normal, many Americans have found themselves with an abundance of free time.
With all the additional time saved by not commuting to-and-from work, you would think everyone has been getting more done, but surprisingly, it’s the opposite.
Without a set routine, Americans are finding that they aren’t as productive as they once were.
Instead of being motivated to finish tasks and projects, people are feeling unfocused and exhausted.
Mills says the “trauma” of the pandemic has caused most people to “check out” and thus, not accomplish the things on their "to do" list.
She added that many have been finding comfort in their vices, explaining, “we binge — on Netflix, on that extra bag of Doritos, on a glass of rosé — and that contributes to our inability to focus.”
Even those who are used to working from home have found themselves struggling during the pandemic. While the “work life” aspect might not have changed, Beth Darnall, associate professor and psychologist at Stanford University School of Medicine said that “we are facing a very real threat, and a physiological response is inevitable.”
She added that our nervous system goes into “high alert” which includes anxiety and stress. This can be both “physically” and “mentally” draining and makes it “difficult to concentrate on work details when you’re reading about people dying.”
Ashley Baldwin, a licensed professional counselor in Emmaus, Penn., also weighed in telling the publication that the uncertainty leaves us feeling powerless.
“People want to feel in control over their lives,” and when we aren’t, we’re left “feeling stressed out, depressed, and anxious.”
The experts had some sound suggestions on how to thrive during these unprecedented and uncertain times.
Most importantly, one must create a daily routine as it is “stabilizing.”
Having “compassion” for yourself is also advised as everyone is just doing their best. “We can be so hard on ourselves when we’re not who we used to be and not functioning the way we know,” Mills added.
Taking time to decompress and meditate is suggested along with the usual self-care of eating well, exercising, and spending time outside if social distancing permits. Practicing gratitude for what you have accomplished during this time may also promote peaceful feelings.
And while it’s important to stay up-to-date on the news, Darnell advises to limit consumption as it could cause unnecessary panic or stress.
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