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Lockdown Fatigue: Why You Need To Give Yourself A Break

We’re living through a global health crisis. And we’re reminded of it every single day. We have daily case number updates, regular conference and announcement broadcasts, multiple daily newspaper articles about the spread, MIQ, border restrictions, protests and more. We’re bombarded with everyone’s thoughts and opinions about COVID or the country’s response on social media, which we may see pop up on the screen as we present our vaccine passes almost everywhere we go, often to a social gathering where COVID will inevitably come up in conversation, which we’ll discuss as we’re masked up. And when it comes to something as normal as making plans? That feels impossible, with an air of uncertainty looming over our heads, as we lose control over many parts of our lives trying to adjust to “the new normal”.

Simply put: there’s no escaping the constant reminders of COVID, the stress of which we haven’t had a break from in almost two years. So if you’re feeling mentally and physically exhausted, it’s not just you. It’s not unfounded. It’s not something to shrug off just because we’re all “in it together”. It can have severe impacts on our mental and physical health – and you need to give yourself a break, and consider talking to someone that can help. Specifically, mental health counsellors, psychologists, and therapists.

Lockdown Fatigue: It’s Not Just You

After almost two years, it can be hard to grasp where we stand with COVID and how we’re really coping. When we see people continuing about their days and lives as normal in our communities, it can be easy to think that feeling anxious, depressed, or overwhelmed is outside the norm – or try to find ways to invalidate our feelings. Businesses struggling? There are financial support packages. Desperate to see family? A little loneliness isn’t as bad as those who are unable to see their dying relatives. Losing the homeschooling-work battle? But hundreds of thousands of families are making it work. These are things many people are telling themselves to try to shrug off the very real pain and exhaustion they’re facing – and it’s just doing them more harm.

The truth is that it’s not just you, countless others are feeling the same, and you may be experiencing lockdown fatigue. Lockdown fatigue has been described as an ongoing state of mental and/or physical exhaustion caused by the regular periods of isolation and lockdowns we’ve experienced – but we’re extending this meaning to include the stresses and constant uncertainty of COVID in general at every alert level and traffic light colour – because our days are filled with not only COVID information overload, but there’s the constant awareness that another isolation or lockdown period may be just around the corner. This can leave you feeling:

  • Depressed, stressed or overwhelmed
  • Worried, anxious or panicked about the present or future
  • Unmotivated, and finding it difficult to find enjoyment in your days
  • Torn or unable to make decisions
  • Lacking the energy or will to practice self-care
  • Lacking focus or concentration
  • Physically aching or in pain
  • Burnt out
  • Sleep deprived, or over-sleeping
  • Sadness, disconnection, irritability or social withdrawal

Lockdown fatigue happens because our body takes what we feel and has a physical response to it. When we come across a stressful or alarming situation, our survival instincts kick in and hormones naturally surge through our bodies to allow us to escape. We employ temporary coping mechanisms to deal with the immediate situation. With COVID, however, the perceived ‘threat’ lasts for weeks, months or years, impacting all aspects of our freedom with significant changes on a seemingly weekly basis and no apparent end in sight. So lockdown fatigue develops – and when it does, as with any condition affecting your body, it’s good to address it with a qualified, experienced practitioner that specialises in the field – which in this case is a counsellor, psychologist or therapist.

Therapists: Who Should You See?

Getting help starts with choosing a trusted health professional to help. Here’s an overview of some of the different types of therapists you may choose to get help from:

  1. Counsellor

A counsellor can listen and help you see and understand what is really happening to you and why, and provide direction to help facilitate change in your life. Counsellors are trained in different modalities which may include person-centred counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy, strengths-based counselling, solution-focused counselling and many more – so if choosing a counsellor, it’s always good to touch base and understand what kind of counselling they employ.

  1. Psychologist

Psychologists are registered health professionals that seek to make sense of a person’s emotional states and psychological challenges. They explore a person’s belief systems that may contribute to them feeling and acting a certain way, help with processing underlying trauma, and help implement positive changes in their lives. All psychologists are degree-qualified health professionals with a board registration, and clinical psychologists have further specialised training in mental health.

  1. Psychotherapist

A psychotherapist is a registered professional that takes the time to understand the effects of early trauma and relationships, and the role they play in your current life. They provide the opportunity to better understand who you are and how to make sense of your experiences and relationships with others. This is often a more longer-term and deeper approach than traditional counselling.

  1. Psychiatrist

Psychiatrists are medical doctors who have further specialised in psychiatry. Their registrations as doctors means that they are able to make formal medical diagnoses and use medical treatments to manage a condition, including medications such as antidepressants, mood stabilisers, sleeping tablets and more.

Book Your Appointment, Forget About The Full Upfront Cost

COVID and the lingering threat of lockdowns and changes to life aren’t going away any time soon – so looking after your health must be a priority to help stop the effects of lockdown fatigue from continuing or worsening. While talking to a health professional is a great first step to regaining control and clarity, for many New Zealanders this is easier said than done, with finances being a critical limiting step for many. This is where HealthNow has stepped in to help thousands of kiwis get the care they need without the upfront cost.

HealthNow is the world’s first buy now pay later (BNPL) platform that is dedicated entirely to the health sector – and helping people improve their lives by removing cost as a barrier to accessing the health services they need. It works as an intuitive app on your smartphone that is used to split the cost of your therapy sessions and any associated products you need from the clinic into up to six payments over a maximum of six weeks. This means you only pay a fraction of the total cost on the day you speak to your therapist. The service is completely free for health consumers with no fees or interest, and can be used on a range of other services like collecting any prescription medications or supplements to support your health and well-being over this stressful time. Your therapist gets paid in full on the day, while you pay your bill off over the amount of weeks you select at the time of purchase – with no added costs.

HealthNow also has a specifically-designed health wallet to put away money safely to cover the costs of any medical or health-related appointments you may need in the future, meaning your family can prepare for health expenses related to COVID or lockdowns now to give you back some control and knowing the funds are safely stored. You choose the amount and frequency that you’d like to contribute – and others can also contribute to your health wallet, from family members who want to help you look after your health, to employers as part of employee wellness programs or mental wellbeing packages. Once the money is in your wallet, it’s yours in full to spend any time on any health-related cost with HealthNow, and can be used for yourself or any other family member or loved one.

Get Started With HealthNow Today

Getting started with HealthNow is free and easy. Download the app and follow the instructions to set up your account. You can also check out HealthNow’s full benefits and features, and start booking that appointment when you’re ready – not when your wallet is.