For more than a month, most nations around the world have been quarantined in the middle of this pandemic. This is a big deal, even though we are all trying our best to remain calm and composed in the face of this crisis.
And while some people have gone into a productive frenzy during their quarantine, there are others who can't even take their dogs for a walk.
Some of us are sad, upset, annoyed, tired and overwhelmed by the emotions we are feeling.
This lockdown has really affected me emotionally and psychologically . I have more time to get things done but can’t get myself to do anything . The word that describe how I feel is “weary”. I’m too tired to even carry on a conversation. It’s like I’m just existing . No drive .— Nita🇳🇬🏳️🌈 (@losanagirl) April 23, 2020
anyone else in a perpetual state of exhaustion no matter how much you sleep or rest? this quarantine shit really fuckin sucks— m a l i k a (@maweekuh) April 12, 2020
quarantine exhaustion is a different type of exhaustion— kathleen beckman (@kvthleenv) April 7, 2020
The tiredness and lack of drive we are feeling is actually a result of being in quarantine.
Molly Colvin, a developmental neuropsychologist wrote about how our body is merely reacting to the current situation. When we go through a stressful situation, our body and brain reacts a certain way. And right now, is a time of chronic stress, and our brain is simple reacting with the “fight or flight” response.
We are unconsciously so focussed on solving the imminent problem, the virus itself, that all our other decision making and complex skills are out of the window.
Time warps so that the present moment is elongated. Complex thinking skills, like decision-making or planning, temporarily go offline.
- Molly Colvin for WBUR
This what results in brain fog, also known as mental fatigue, when you cannot find clarity and constantly feel like you're in slow motion. Like when you read that first page of a book again and again, or when you can't carry out creative processes, even though you know you can do a better job.
In hindsight, the idea of a flight or fight response is effective but when it comes to chronic stress, in a time when we can't make any definitive decisions, it gets overwhelming.
You may not have the tell-all symptoms of stress, like high heart rate or sweats, but your body is still undergoing it. The clenched muscles, elusive sleep, stress eating are all side effects of this current situation. According to studies, our stress still continues to capture our attentive resources, making it difficult to concentrate on other things.
And even though we might not believe it, brain fog is actually good for you. Because it is helping you narrow your focus to things that actually matter right now. Your friends, family and the safety of those around you is of utmost importance in the midst of this epidemic.
So it is okay, to not be able to carry out tasks you normally did with ease. Because this will pass, and your skill sets will be at your disposal once again. This temporary shut down is merely a chance for you to rest and recuperate your mind. Don't be too hard on yourself.