COVID-19 Fatigue: Burnt out on wearing masks, following restrictions? Here’s how to overcome

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DENVER (KDVR) — After months of restrictions and mask requirements, many are simply feeling burnt out from the COVID-19 pandemic.

From wearing masks, to keeping six feet of distance, to avoiding gatherings, amongst many other guidelines, many are feeling tired of COVID-19 guidelines. But with the surge in cases across the country, experts say it is important to not to give up until there is a vaccine or proper treatment.

Johns Hopkins Medicine shared these tips for overcoming COVID-19 fatigue:

  • Make a commitment

Behavior changes can start with having a clear intention and making a promise. Wearing a helmet when you bike ride, stopping at traffic lights and many other lifesaving habits begin with a decision: You want to do the right thing to keep yourself and others safe, even if that means a slight inconvenience.

The same principle can apply to washing hands, maintaining physical distance and wearing a mask in public.

  • Stay flexible as recommendations change

New scientific insights about the virus that causes COVID-19 change experts’ recommendations day by day, which causes confusion. You might be asking yourself: Do I still need to disinfect my groceries? Do I need to wear a mask in my car? Is my child safe playing in our yard? 

It’s hard — but important — to keep up. “Sticking with reliable, trustworthy information is essential,” says Parrish. “New facts are emerging as we learn more and more about this virus. In the meantime, it makes sense to use the understanding we have.”

  • Practice precautions until they are second nature

“The key is repeating that new step until it becomes a habit,” Parrish says. “When you first start flossing or putting your child in a safety seat, it might seem like a chore, even though you know it’s the right thing to do.

“So when it comes to COVID-19 protection, you just commit to it, and then over time, you find you’re putting your mask on or washing your hands without thinking.” Kids, in particular, she notes, thrive with routine and structure.

  • Keep necessary supplies handy

She also recommends making sure it’s easy to find a mask — and use it — when you need it. “If I can’t find one, it’s an extra step to have to go looking, so to reduce barriers to wearing one, I have several masks and keep them in various places,” she says.

The same idea can apply to hand hygiene. Keeping small bottles of hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol) in several spots can encourage frequent use.

  • Use stories to understand risks and consequences

For a lot of people, getting sick with COVID-19 is an abstract idea, something that happens to other people in different parts of the country. But the reality is that the coronavirus can affect anyone. “Read a story about someone who’s gone through COVID-19 so it becomes personal to you,” Parrish recommends.

  • Give kids some choices

When encouraging her kids to wear masks, Parrish says she let her own children customize them. “As more of a variety in patterns became available, I let them pick colors and fabrics they liked.”

Kids can also choose their favorite scent of hand sanitizer or a fun virtual game to enjoy remotely with their friends.

  • Involve children in keeping families consistent

Parrish says that she lets her children have a voice in making sure the family maintains safety precautions. “I told them they are allowed to remind me if I ever forget my seatbelt,” she says. “Giving them that level of involvement helps keep them engaged in safer practices.”

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