Crisis Fatigue

August 19, 2020

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Person appearing frustrated and tired
Photo Courtesy: Pixabay

Managing Your Mental Health

During the pandemic, many health experts are now concerned about people experiencing "crisis fatigue." When a person experiences a stressful situation, their body goes into fight-or-flight mode, and after the situation has occurred the body calms back down to a more restful state. This year has brought both a global pandemic and a harsh political climate into the United States. With no immediate end in sight, the body has responded to these stressful events but has had no way to return to a restful state. This prolonged stress has now caused many people to experience crisis fatigue. People are starting to feel "numb" or "empty," some have experienced changes in sleeping patterns and appetite, and others have even engaged in risky behaviors to help cope.

If you think you may be experiencing crisis fatigue, or know someone who is, check out these tips to help cope in healthier ways. 

  1. Reach out to someone. This may sound cliché, but reaching out to someone you trust and speaking to them about how you feel may make you feel a little better. Even if they cannot offer any solutions to you, just getting everything out may relieve some of your emotional stress. 
  2. Keep a routine. Challenge yourself to maintain a routine, waking up at the same time each day, making breakfast, and getting ready for your day. As difficult as it may feel to do these things some days, maintaining a routine can relieve some stress by providing a feeling of control and normalcy. 
  3. Try new hobbies. Some people may find themselves having extra downtime, so why not try different activities to see if you can find a new hobby that you like. If you are able to find a new hobby, this can give you something to look forward to that you enjoy doing. 
  4. Reach out to campus resources. Even though the school year has not yet started, students have access to PACS for mental health services. UNH faculty and staff members can also seek mental health services through the Employee Assistance Program

If you feel as though you need additional help, reach out to your doctor or to a mental health service center. Though these tips are no cure for crisis fatigue, they may provide a slight relief from your negative feelings. In tough times remember to reach out to your friends a family, and remember to always be kind and patient with yourself and others. 

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