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Managing Stress and COVID-19 Caution Fatigue

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, it can be tiring to repeatedly hear about the pandemic and frustrating to keep following health guidelines after months of social distancing. There are constant reminders for us to wear a mask, practice social distancing and wash our hands.

If you are feeling stressed about the pandemic and tired from adhering to the health guidelines, you are not alone. According to health experts, this is known as “COVID-19 caution fatigue,” which is a natural reaction to prolonged stress that leaves us feeling worn out and less motivated to adhere to safety guidelines.

However, it’s important that we find ways to cope with the pandemic as the health guidelines continue into the winter. According to health experts, creating habits out of safety routines can help reduce “COVID-19 caution fatigue.” They encourage us to think of the safety measures as the foundation of today’s daily life and create a regular routine around them.

Health experts also say when your mind and body are healthy, you are better able to handle added stress so it’s important to take care of your physical and mental health. Experts offer suggestions such as exercising regularly, eating nutritious foods, establishing a consistent sleep schedule, staying connected with friends and family, practicing mindfulness and gratitude, being compassionate with yourself and others, finding something to look forward to, talking about your emotions and seeking professional help when needed. Practicing these healthy habits can help you to embrace a positive mindset and reduce stress.

For additional mental health resources, please view the following:

  • Video presentation from Dr. Melissa Heatly, clinical child psychologist and assistant professor at University of Rochester Medical Center: “How to Support our Children During the Pandemic: Building Health, Wellness and Resilience”
    • This discussion on adolescent mental health provided parents with resources and strategies to help support their children during these challenging times.

  • NYS Office of Mental Health Free Emotional Support Line: 1-844-863-9314
    • The Emotional Support Line provides free and confidential support, helping callers experiencing increased anxiety due to the COVID-19 emergency. The Help Line is staffed by mental health professionals who have received training in crisis counseling.

  • PCSD webpage with additional COVID-19-related mental health resources: https://www.pittsfordschools.org/domain/2086
    • Pittsford Schools has compiled a variety of resources related to mental health and wellbeing for our families