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The Beacon

Lockdown Lethargy. Is this our allostatic loads in overload? Is this our what?

May 19, 2020
Lockdown Lethargy. Is this our allostatic loads in overload? Is this our what?

Lockdown Lethargy. Pandemic Brain Fog. Time Blindness. COVID Fatigue. Is this our allostatic loads in overload? Is this our what?

Any chance you are feeling tired, a low-level fatigue you just cannot shake even though your day has less activity? If so, you are not alone. We have never gone through a pandemic or anything like this before and, well, it is exhausting not knowing how and when this will work out. The schedules and routines we developed are gone and, when resumed, will look different. Our social outlets and work supports are, literally, distant. Our days meld with our weekends and weeks have already turned into months.

The quarantine restrictions are easing but tons of uncertainty remain and that is, well, stressful. A low-grade, slow-burning anxiety looms around all of our wellness fronts. Will my loved ones stay safe and healthy? Are my children suffering? Will I be subject to austerity measures? If so, what will that look like? Will the solo practitioner be able to retain all team members through this? When will I be able to do the things I used to love? Seriously, I’ve had enough of take-out. What will normal look like when we return to normal?

Our bodies feel our angst. Even if intellectually and emotionally we are not acutely overwhelmed, our brains are dealing with the strain of this pandemic even when we are binge watching something ridiculous on Netflix. This chronic stress causes the body to stay in a constant state of alertness (fight, flight, or flee) and causes a physiological strain of our allostatic load. Without our usual stress outlets, like enjoying time with friends, coworkers, family, and group activities, our brains are overloaded and are bodies are exhibiting the results.

The solution to this sounds simple. First, acknowledge your feelings and feel them. It is perfectly normal to be concerned that no one has a clue how best to proceed on a day-to-day basis. Second, control what you can control. Build in personal time in your day, even if just in five minute increments, and be well (diet, exercise, water, sleep). Easy to hear, but hard to do. Just do what you can and your body will feel it.

Read more:

  • The Telegraph, “Why we’re all suffering from a bad case of lockdown brain fog”: article 
  • Vice, “Allostatic Load Is the Psychological Reason for Our Pandemic Brain Fog”: article
  • Fit, “Allostatic Load Could Be the Reason You’re Feeling Tired All the Time”: article
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