Who would have thought we would be using a term like “pandemic fatigue” in our daily lives? Alas, this is what we are facing today. Pandemic fatigue is defined by the World Health Organization as “an expected and natural response to a prolonged public health crisis.”
The prolonged impact on our daily lives has driven us to continually search for answers, and for end dates, as we hope to glimpse that elusive light at the end of the tunnel. All of this mental effort can result in endless fatigue. So, how can we better manage our mental state, while giving our minds a well-deserved rest and recharge?
I discovered a few straightforward and surprisingly simple methods that provide a quick ‘refresh’ in an online program I took over the summer, Eckhart Tolle’s Conscious Manifestation course.
Here are three tips:
Try Taking One Conscious Breath to Relieve Pandemic Fatigue
Although Tolle also recommends longer duration meditations in his program, a method that he highly suggests incorporating into daily life is taking one conscious breath as needed throughout the day.
The key is giving our full attention to the complete cycle of breath. We can try it at any time. He says, “You can’t be aware of your breathing and engaged in thinking at the same time.”
Sometimes the morning is hectic, and we don’t have the time to sit for an extended meditation session. Not to fear! We can have several conscious breaths throughout the day. I like this method because we are brought into the now and experience several mini-vacations from our endless stream of thoughts.
TIP – Try taking several conscious breaths throughout the day. Use a timer, and take one per hour and see if you feel a sense of relief.
Move Toward Accepting the -Isness of Things
“No matter what you achieve or do, the scriptwriter in the sky who is infinitely inventive will always surprise you.” – Eckart Tolle
The state of acceptance has been extraordinarily hard to attain alongside the mental and emotional fatigue we’ve had to experience with this pandemic. Most of us have little to no power over how long any of this will go on. This is very hard to accept.
We are never in control, really, but the pandemic has brought the sense of lack of control to a head, forcing us to accept what is.
What challenges us are not only the ongoing restrictions but our thoughts we have about them — our resistance.
If we can get to a place of accepting this moment, as it is right now, we can make the most of what we do have; the freedom to create the life we choose to live within the framework of this larger, collective experience.
Tolle says, “See if you can let go of judgments that arise in your mind about the moment as it appears. Sense the power of the present moment arising in you as you let go of any inner resistance to what is.”
TIP – Try jotting down the judgments you are having about the pandemic. Recognize that these judgments are energy-draining, and create negative emotions inside of you. Lean instead into a greater state of acceptance. Use this newly freed energy to create positive experiences.
Try Adopting a Simplified Gratitude Practice
Tolle says, “When we place our attention on something and allow ourselves to feel grateful for it, that is enough. If we attempt to have several moments throughout the day, we are living a grateful life.”
He says it not necessary to even use words. He says that a journal may be helpful, but the most important thing is to place our full attention on things that we appreciate for their “being-ness” in our lives.
This can be a moment of gratitude for how beautifully the sun reflects upon a painting in your home. Or, it can be an appreciation for the gentle rustling of the leaves on the trees you sometimes hear on your morning walk. The key is bringing your full attention to the object of your appreciation. Stop to pause and feel gratitude for its presence in your life.
TIP – Silently express gratitude for five things you appreciate “being” in your life every day.
These practices are quick, easy, and simple. Pandemic fatigue is a continuous experience for many of us. Hopefully, these tips interrupt negative thinking, while shifting our focus to peace, acceptance, and hopefulness as we continue forward.