Confinement fatigue: what is it and how does it affect us?
Let's look at what confinement fatigue is and how it relates to the COVID-19 crisis.
Confinement fatigue is one of those forms of malaise that arose in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and other similar situations that continue for weeks or months.
In this article we will see what it consists of, what its main causes are, and what to do in the face of this problem that affects us emotionally, physically and socially.
What is confinement fatigue?
Confinement fatigue is a set of feelings and emotions associated with the lifestyle brought about by total or partial confinement. It is generally a form of psychological exhaustion, and while it lasts, the person who develops it feels discomfort. It "exhausts" us emotionally, with a mixture of stress and low mood similar to what happens in burnout syndrome.
In the case of the COVID-19 crisis, this psychological phenomenon may have affected many people, given that for many months we have been subjected to the need to minimize our movements, with all that this implies for our lifestyle and way of socializing.
Causes of Stress in Confinement Fatigue
The following are the main sources of discomfort associated with confinement fatigue
1. Lack of incentives
Some people, especially those unfamiliar with the use of computers and other electronic devices connected to the Internet, can settle into a state of chronic boredom caused by the monotony of the stimuli to which they are exposed.
Unable to leave the house, they see limited variety of experiences in which they can engage in their free time, and this is capable of leading to apathyA mentality is generated according to which there is no longer any point in seeking interesting activities.
Lack of social contact
The fact of having remained for months in a state of relative social isolation, without being able to interact face to face with some of the friends, relatives and acquaintances, brings to the surface a feeling of a lack of a mutual support network.. This feeling of loneliness can turn into negative emotions linked to anxiety and a depressive mood. In turn, it can be very hard for the most extraverted people.
3. Physical inactivity
Although our species is not characterized by being very agile compared to the rest of the animals, it is still true that the human body is made to move; our organism has evolved with a lifestyle of direct contact with nature as a reference, which is what has predominated in our daily lives for hundreds of thousands of years.
For this reason, spending a season without hardly moving affects us not only physically, but also psychologically. The line that separates the body from the mind is, in the end, an illusion. This is why the way we interact the way we interact with our environment conditions how we feel and the way we tend to think..
In the case of confinement fatigue, the discomfort of only adopting two or three postures throughout the day, not stretching the joints and leaving large muscle groups unused (such as the buttocks, which remain still and pressed while sitting) exposes us to anxiety, because we perceive ourselves as more vulnerable and also the physical wear makes the body mobilize fewer resources to ensure proper brain function.
What to do?
In the face of confinement fatigue it is important to have psychological assistance; in this way, it is possible to count on a professional who will attend the case in a personalized way and offer tailored solutions, taking into account the characteristics of the individual and the context in which he/she lives. In addition, these sessions can be conducted remotely via video call platforms, so there is no risk of contagion and total confidentiality is maintained.
If you are considering going to a psychologist to overcome confinement fatigue or any other form of emotional discomfort, please contact me, please contact me. I am an expert psychologist in the cognitive-behavioral model and I attend both in my office in Madrid and online.
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(Updated at Mar 28 / 2023)