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The COVID Blues: Signs of Emotional Fatigue

The COVID Blues: Signs of Emotional Fatigue

By Matthew Baxley and Grace Bushard, Cook County Public Health and Human Services

COOK COUNTRY, MINNESOTA November 22, 2020  (LSN)  Many of us are feeling the emotional toll of the uncertainty, worry and dramatic changes to our habits and our lives during the pandemic.

"COVID fatigue" is the overall sense of exhaustion based on the combination of challenges people are facing. It is exhausting to be in a constant state of alert and uncertainty, and people who are feeling defeated or burned out are at a greater risk of engaging in risky behaviors that can increase the spread of the coronavirus.

What is pandemic fatigue?

The coronavirus has brought with it a number of stressors, including job loss, social isolation, childcare challenges and general uncertainty, that has taxed the mental health of millions of people worldwide.  As the pandemic persists, people are reporting higher levels of depression, anxiety, and alcohol and drug use. The surge in behavioral health needs during and following the pandemic will likely surpass the capacity of our already-limited mental healthcare systems. The next challenge we face is to flatten the mental health curve.

David Sbarra, a clinical psychologist and professor in the psychology department at the University of Arizona, studies how human health – both psychological and physical – is tied to our close relationships. Sbarra discusses how the prolonged nature of this unprecedented health crisis might contribute to chronic stress and “pandemic fatigue.”

Health inequities in our systems and communities mean that some people are disproportionately impacted by COVID fatigue. While many Americans are struggling with the emotional challenges of the pandemic, those who are lower on the socioeconomic ladder are at greatest risk. Older adults and others at the greatest risk of serious illness from COVID-19 are increasingly isolated from their loved ones, making loneliness especially common.

As winter approaches and the virus continues to spread, uncertainty and despair are looming large in our everyday consciousness. At this moment in history, so much of our lives feels out of control, and with this feeling comes stress.

It is well known that sleep plays an essential restorative function for our health. The more we worry and despair, the less we sleep, and the less we sleep, the more prone we are to struggle with our emotions.

When maintained over time, the physiology of stress can exert a negative toll on our bodies. We also know that people are highly resilient and can adapt to all kinds of difficult circumstances, and often we do this by trying to increase our coping resources. Social support and belonging provide key resources for mitigating stress and, despite our current circumstances, there’s always room to connect with friends and family.

How to get through pandemic fatigue?

If you are noticing the signs of pandemic fatigue, there are many things that you can do to build resiliency. The following are the four main areas of COVID fatigue and some coping mechanisms for each one:

  • Change fatigue and uncertainty burnout:  
    • Accept that life will continue to be difficult for a while. Focus on the things that you can control – like your own behavior and reaction – to manage the fatigue and uncertainty.
    • Find the silver lining. What are some of the positive changes you’ve noticed since the start of the pandemic? Practicing gratitude can help counter feelings of stress and negative emotions.
    • Look for activities new and old that continue to fulfill you.
  • Depleted surge capacity (weakening of the mental and physical adaptations that help us cope with stress):
    • Find a breath or mindfulness practice to adapt and recharge.
    • Expect less from yourself: cut yourself some slack and give yourself some grace.
  • Zoom burnout:
    • Implement the 20-20-20 rule. For every 20 minutes you look at a screen, look away from the screen and focus on a spot 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
    • Use transitions well. Getting up and walking for two minutes every hour can help reverse the negative health effects of prolonged sitting. Also consider other formats for meetings, such as a telephone call or shorter meeting where you do some of the work by e-mail.
    • Choose to move by making physical activity a priority.
  • "Doom scrolling," or staying glued to electronic devices to find out information on the disasters and stressors that face our country:
    • Limit your exposure to social media.
    • Be mindful of the type of news you are consuming.
    • Use social media to maintain connection with friends and loved ones.
  • Fatigue in family relationships:
    • Tune in and listen to our loved ones to help them feel understood and to communicate that we are available and ready to meet their needs.

COVID fatigue can take a toll. Stress, anxiety and irritability are all normal reactions to the abnormal situation we are facing. Having a plan can help. Call the Cook County Community Support Line at 218-877-7071 for help in developing a COVID plan and connecting with resources to help manage.

Information and resources are also available by calling 218-387-3620, online at www.cookcountyphhs.org,  or on Facebook @CookCountyPHHS. Information on how to connect with PHHS staff and programs is available on the Cook County COVID-19 hub site at www.cookcountycovid19.org.

Sources: Alexis Blue: Futurity.org, Shilagh A. Mirgain: UW Health

By Matthew Baxley and Grace Bushard, Cook County Public Health and Human Services

County Connections is a column on timely topics and service information from your Cook County government. Cook County – Supporting Community Through Quality Public Service.

#LSN_News #LSN_MNNews #LSN_CookCounty 

About Cook County Minnesota

Cook County Coronavirus Response Hub

Cook Country Minnesota   Lake Superior News

Cook County is at the tip of Minnesota's Arrowhead region in the remote northeastern part of the state, stretching from the shores of Lake Superior to the US-Canada border. By land it borders Ontario, Canada to the north, and Lake County, MN to the west.  The highest point in Minnesota, Eagle Mountain is 2,301 feet and the highest lake,  Total Area equals 3,339.72 sq miles

Cook County is home to three national protected areas:
Grand Portage National Monument
Superior National Forest
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Cook County include:
 Grand Marais     Lutsen Mountains
 Gunflint Trail      Superior Hiking Trail
 Grand Portage 


Fire  Danger Minnesota
Fire Danger  Minnesota   Lake Superior News

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Minnesota Events Calendar

«July 2021»
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  • Hovland 15th Annual Summer Sale
    Hovland 15th Annual Summer Sale

    Hovland 15th Annual Summer Sale

    COOK COUNTY, MINNESOTA  ~~~~~~~  June 29, 2021  (LSN)  This Summer the Hovland Art Festival will be celebrating it's 15th years. July 3 & 4th. 

    Every year since conception each festival’s wonderful live music lineup has been provided for by local musicians.  With the summer festival being held indoors and out the first festival’s music was performed outdoors in the open subject to any and all wild elements.  After that a big tent was rented to shelter these performances.  This past summer the festival folks were thrilled to use for the first time the new pavilion that was recently built out back of the town hall.

    #LSN_Arts  #LSN_CookCounty

    Read more
4
  • Hovland 15th Annual Summer Sale
    Hovland 15th Annual Summer Sale

    Hovland 15th Annual Summer Sale

    COOK COUNTY, MINNESOTA  ~~~~~~~  June 29, 2021  (LSN)  This Summer the Hovland Art Festival will be celebrating it's 15th years. July 3 & 4th. 

    Every year since conception each festival’s wonderful live music lineup has been provided for by local musicians.  With the summer festival being held indoors and out the first festival’s music was performed outdoors in the open subject to any and all wild elements.  After that a big tent was rented to shelter these performances.  This past summer the festival folks were thrilled to use for the first time the new pavilion that was recently built out back of the town hall.

    #LSN_Arts  #LSN_CookCounty

    Read more
56
  • Protect yourself. Avoid tick-borne illness
    Protect yourself. Avoid tick-borne illness

    Protect yourself. Avoid tick-borne illness

    COOK COUNTY,  MINNESOTA  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~   July 6, 2021  (LSN)  Deer ticks, also known as blacklegged ticks, are just one of thirteen known tick species in Minnesota. They are most common in the east and central areas of the state and are found in hardwood forests and wooded and brushy areas. Deer ticks are potential carriers of Lyme disease, human anaplasmosis and babesiosis. 

    #LSN_Outdoors   #LSN_CookCounty 

    Read more
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  • Burning restrictions expand in northern Minnesota
    Burning restrictions expand in northern Minnesota

    Burning restrictions expand in northern Minnesota

    NORTHERN, MINNESOTA  ~~~~~~  July 12, 2021  (LSN)  To help ensure public safety and protect natural resources, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is activating additional burning restrictions beginning 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, July 13 for the eastern portion of Roseau County and all of Beltrami, Cook, Koochiching, Lake, Lake of the Woods, and St. Louis counties, within state jurisdiction.

    #LSN_PublicSafety #LSN_CookCounty  

     Northern Minnesota
    Duluth, St. Louis County, Lake County, Two Harbors, Silver Bay, Cook County, Grand Marais, Grand Portage, Carlton County, Itasca County, Koochiching County, Lake of the Woods County, Internation Falls, Grand Rapids,  Minnesota 

    Read more
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  • COOK COUNTY CONNECTIONS Will Recent Real Estate Transactions Affect My Property Taxes?
    COOK COUNTY CONNECTIONS Will Recent Real Estate Transactions Affect My Property Taxes?

    COOK COUNTY CONNECTIONS Will Recent Real Estate Transactions Affect My Property Taxes?

    COOK COUNTRY, MINNESOTA   July 25, 2021  (LSNews)  Cook County real estate has seen sharp increases in demand in 2020 & 2021, which is reflected in the asking prices of recent listings. Several examples exist where a property that sold just two or three years ago, with a lengthy marketing time, has been recently re-marketed at 20%-30% (or more) over the last sale price and in many cases these properties are receiving multiple offers almost as soon as they hit the market.

    #LSN_News #LSN_MNNews #LSN_CookCounty 

    Read more
  • COOK COUNTY COMMUNITY FUND 2021 GRANT RECIPIENTS
    COOK COUNTY COMMUNITY FUND 2021 GRANT RECIPIENTS

    COOK COUNTY COMMUNITY FUND 2021 GRANT RECIPIENTS

    COOK COUNTY, MINNESOTA,   ~~~~~~~  July 25, 2021 (LSNews)  The Cook County Community Fund (CCCF) announced its 2021 grant recipients today with more than $23,000 in funds being distributed to Cook County non-profit organizations for various community service initiatives. Grants are awarded through a competitive grant application process and recipients were determined as most impactful in the Cook County community by the Advisory Board of the Directors of CCCF

    Northern Minnesota
    Duluth, St. Louis County, Lake County, Two Harbors, Silver Bay, Cook County, Grand Marais, Grand Portage, Carlton County, Itasca County, Koochiching County, Lake of the Woods County, Internation Falls, Grand Rapids,  Minnesota 

    Read more
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War Memorial Employee Speaks Up for Patient Safety, Receives Award

Robert McKenzie 0 383 Article rating: No rating

SAULT STE MARIE, MICHIGAN  ~~~~~~~~  July 22, 2021  (LSNews)  The Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) Keystone Center honored Kelsey Moran, a certified nursing assistant at War Memorial Hospital, with the quarterly MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award July 20. 

#LSN_Health   #LSN_MiNews 

US borders with Mexico and Canada will remain restricted to travel through August 21

Kenora riding MPP is disappointed that the U.S. will be keeping their borders closed

Robert McKenzie 0 657 Article rating: No rating

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO   ~~~~~~   July 21, 2021  (LSN)  To decrease the spread of COVID-19,  the United States is extending restrictions on non-essential travel at our land and ferry crossings with Canada and Mexico through August 21, while ensuring the continued flow of essential trade and travel.

#LSN_PublicSafety

Participate In Ruffed Grouse West Nile Virus Sampling

2021 Marks Fourth And Final Year Of Multi-State Study

Robert McKenzie 0 1344 Article rating: No rating

NORTHERN WISCONSIN  ~~~~~~~  July 13, 2021  (LSN)  The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is once again asking ruffed grouse hunters and outdoor enthusiasts who come across a sick or dead grouse to submit a sample for a multi-state ruffed grouse West Nile virus study.

#LSN_Outdoors  #LSN_WiscNews

Update CHIPPEWA CHALK CHALLENGE

100th Anniversary

Robert McKenzie 0 2055 Article rating: No rating

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO  ~~~~~~  July 13, 2021  (LSN) In order to take advantage of our 4 page spread in Thursday’s Chronicle Journal, we have decided to give the kids of Thunder Bay and area an extra two weeks to complete their drawings and said them in” said TFOCP Project Coordinator, Iain Angus. The deadline is now July 31 at 11 PM. “We anticipate that many more children will be made aware of the contest and participate”.

#LSN_Outdoors #LSN_TBay 

DNR Following Multi-State Reports Of Sick Songbirds

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is actively following incidents of bird mortalities

Robert McKenzie 0 1940 Article rating: No rating

MADISON, WISCONSIN   ~~~~~~~~ July 11, 2021  (LSN)  The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is actively following incidents of bird mortalities first reported in the eastern United States in late May. At that time, wildlife managers in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky began receiving reports of sick and dying birds with eye swelling and crusty discharge, as well as neurological signs.

#LSN_Outdoors  #LSN_WiscNews

DNR Biologist Finds “Holy Grail” Of Rare Plants

In State Natural Area Area in west central Wisconsin

Robert McKenzie 0 1528 Article rating: No rating

MADISON, WISCONSIN  ~~~~~~  July 11, 2021  (LSN)  A Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) conservation biologist has found the “holy grail” of a rare plant in Wisconsin: A green violet long thought gone from the state, but growing by the hundreds in a State Natural Area (SNA) in west central Wisconsin.  

#LSN_Outdoors   #LSN_Wisc 

Mayor's Youth Advisory Council unveils Youth Art Gala video

Robert McKenzie 0 1644 Article rating: No rating

SAULT STE MARIE ~~~~~~  July 7, 2021  (LSN)  The Mayor's Youth Advisory Council (MYAC) is pleased to release the 2021 Youth Art Gala production

As an alternative to an in-person event, the fifth annual MYAC Youth Art Gala is being released as a video to ensure local youth are provided with a means to showcase their talents to the community. It features visual art, poetry and a musical performance.

#LSN_SSM 

Keep Wildlife Wild: Know What To Do If You Find A Fawn This Summer

It is rare that unaccompanied fawns have been abandoned

Robert McKenzie 0 919 Article rating: No rating

MADISON, WISCONSIN ~~~~~~  June 29, 2021  (LSN) As the start of summer brings more opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds Wisconsinites and visitors of the possibility of encountering white-tailed fawns.

#LSN_Outdoors   #LSN_WiscNews

Real-time wave information expands for paddlers and boaters in the Apostle Islands

Robert McKenzie 0 1200 Article rating: No rating

APOSTLE, ISLANDS, WISCONSIN  ~~~~~~~ June 28, 2021  (LSN)   The brains behind the SeaCavesWatch.org website have developed a new website that offers real-time wave condition information for the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Lake Superior. Before venturing onto the lake, paddlers and boaters should check WISC-Watch (https://go.wisc.edu/7y2x4o), which stands for Water Information for a Safe Coast Watch. The WISC-Watch site provides information from seven spotter buoys recently deployed throughout the islands, plus Chequamegon Bay near Ashland and Siskiwit Bay near Cornucopia. The buoys monitor wave height, water temperature and wind information.

#LSN_Outdoors  #LSN_WiscNews

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