Are you feeling “virus fatigue?” Here is how you can beat it at home.
Experts say we are seeing a new chapter in this pandemic. It’s called “virus fatigue,” meaning people are so tired of living with such extreme restrictions that they start to challenge the guidelines.
This big concept is not lost on little minds. Studio 5 Parenting Contributor Heather Johnson shares 3 ways to fight “virus fatigue” at home.
Often referred to as ‘pandemic fatigue” or even “quarantine fatigue” – throughout the history of time, fatigue tends to bring in the second wave of a pandemic or virus. Fatigue is what we are most worried about right now. History has shown us that at this stage in the game we get complacent, we are frustrated with our lack of personal freedoms, our patience wains and we are done with financial hardships.
Humans are not too bad at being told what to do for about 14 -21 days. After that, especially when we roll into a second month of still not being able to see the end, fatigue sets in.
Children are not exempt from this fatigue. In fact, it can be worse for them because they don’t have life experiences to draw upon for strength to endure. As parents, we need to do all we can to help them combat the “virus fatigue” we are all feeling.
Acknowledge that it isn’t easy.
This means we do not dismiss their exhaustion. We do not say “You have been doing this for the last 6 weeks, another few weeks won’t kill you!” Or “I don’t know what you are complaining about, we have found a ton of things for you to do.” Or “You are fine, seriously, I haven’t even made you do that much school work.” Or “You always complain about going to school any way.“
We also DO NOT respond with “me too” comments. Such as “Hey, I haven’t been able to go do the things I like to do either.”
As parents, get on the same page.
This is not the time for parents and caregivers to give mixed messages. Although we may disagree, for example, mom might think it’s okay to start playing with friends and dad wants to stay home…. parents need to work out their differences and get on the same page so they are not sending confusing messages.
We also have to be careful that as parents we aren’t downplaying the seriousness, or lack of, to support how we think things should be done in this “fatigue phase”. We shouldn’t allow our kids to do things so we feel better about giving ourselves permission to give into our own fatigue.
Keep the rules, don’t break them.
Our questions to our children should be “how can we keep the rules?” NOT “how can we get away with breaking them?” We have to be good examples of this to them also. Instead, explain the rules to our children and then ask them for all their ideas of things to do and how to handle things, WITH the rules as their perimeter. Set the rules and then give them free reign.
We accomplish this by making sure they are appropriately informed. When kids have knowledge and information, it leads to understanding. When they understand they conform. When our kids understand they will behave in ways that supports their understanding and although it might not be their first choice, they will buy in to this fatigue phase that we are yet to know how long will last.