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Feeling down? It may be lifestyle fatigue.

As a result of the pandemic, many people have developed sedentary lifestyles characterized by isolation, inactivity, and mindless scrolling through screens. It is common nowadays for people to complain about chronic fatigue, feeling as though they have barely enough energy to get through their day. 

Why has fatigue become such a widespread problem?

Pandemic Effects and Fatigue

We spend way too much time at home on our phones, binge-watching TV, and mindlessly watching TikTok videos or YouTube videos.

We’ve all been there. 

Several factors contributed to the development of this new sedentary lifestyle, including the pandemic. A person who is stuck in an enclosed space for months, couch-bound, isolated, inactive, and has limited in-person social contact is bound to feel unfulfilled.

But how does this post-pandemic lifestyle affect your mental health?

Feelings of Depression

Whenever you feel like you’re slipping into a depression, chances are you begin to doubt yourself and feel insecure. It is not uncommon to start ruminating, questioning your choices, scrutinizing your history, and analyzing your career and relationships. Worse yet, your mind may begin to play tricks on you, causing you to lose touch with reality. It is possible that you may wonder, “Why am I now feeling depressed? ”

It’s not uncommon for the answer to be right in front of us.

Lifestyle Fatigue

Consider this important question:

Do you believe that your lifestyle is a contributing factor to your depression?

A lack of creativity, social isolation, and sedentary lifestyles are some of the most common triggers for depression.

 

Depression Versus Lifestyle Fatigue

The symptoms of high-functioning depression (also known as dysthymia) can be difficult to detect. Low-level, chronic, and without a clear trigger, high-functioning depression differs from major depressive episodes.

In contrast, lifestyle fatigue has obvious triggers and is more likely to occur as a result of feeling stuck in a rut rather than being predisposed to depression. The term lifestyle fatigue is not an official diagnosis as well. If you feel that you may be suffering from lifestyle fatigue, as yourself these questions and make note of those questions that you answer “yes” to. 

  1. Is every day the same?
  2. Do you find your work boring and unrewarding?
  3. Is it difficult for you to leave your house?
  4. Do you avoid social interactions and friends?
  5. Is your time spent with screens greater than with people?
  6. Do you lack a sense of creativity?
  7. Have you lost your sex drive?
  8. Is it common for you to ruminate or obsess over your failures?
  9. Do you overeat or undereat?
  10. Feeling drained by activities that were once a source of joy?

There is a possibility that you might suffer from lifestyle fatigue if you answered yes to five or more of these questions (although lifestyle fatigue does not exclude depression.)

Overcoming Lifestyle Fatigue

Breaking free from lifestyle fatigue begins with one powerful word: change.

Changing your daily routine, whether it’s waking up earlier or going to bed earlier, contacting an old friend, or going to the theater or concert, can be helpful. Introducing new activities can break monotony or predictability.

It doesn’t matter how big or small it is. Change is powerful. Try to break free of lifestyle fatigue just by reorganizing your bedroom or kitchen. Sign up for a class or small group with like-minded interests. Or book a small weekend getaway!

These choices provide fresh energy and vitality, reminding us that life is what we make of it. It doesn’t take much to reboot your lifestyle and refresh your spirit.

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