How Students can deal with Pandemic Fatigue

Pandemic fatigue is a term used to describe this feeling that many of us share from being cooped up and following all of the mandates of wearing masks in public, social distancing, not having movies or concerts to attend, dining out in restaurants and campus being closed.

Wrestling with intense emotions such as fear, anxiety, loneliness, and hopelessness cause pandemic fatigue. Classic symptoms include feelings of helplessness, unhappiness, frustration, fear, and irritability.

This new abnormal has become the new norm and it is taking a toll on teachers and students alike. The challenge is how to develop healthy coping skills that will keep us from feeling so frazzled and powerless.

“We know there are two kinds of stress that have long-term effects on our mental well-being and physical health — intense stress and prolonged stress,” said Kaye Hermanson, UC Davis Health psychologist in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation for an article in UC Davis Health news. Hermanson says, “We have both.”

Hermanson suggests the following tips: exercise, talking, constructive thinking, mindfulness and gratitude.

“Mental health is every bit as important as physical health,” said Patricia Brown, RN, MS, a retired psychiatric nurse from Trabuco Canyon.  Brown says, “A network of support is critical. Talking about your feelings and asking for what you need are healthy coping skills.”

In stressful situations, it is not uncommon that individuals require outside help to manage their lives. The Student Health Center at Saddleback College is here for that purpose. The $10 health fee that students pay upon registration covers the following services:

Saddleback College nurse advice line: 949-582-4606. Leave your name, student ID number and a callback phone number with a detailed message of your symptoms and concerns and a registered nurse will return your call. The nurses are available Monday through Thursday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

If you need a prescription refill, please have all of the medication information available.

Tele-Health (Zoom) appointments are available for enrolled students. This includes crisis intervention and short-term mental health therapy for individuals, couples and families.

Martha Phillips/Lariat.

If you are suffering from food insecurity, groceries are being handed out every Wednesday by the flagpole in the circle from the Medical Center Drive entrance. Call 949-348-6260 before 10 a.m. on Tuesday to place an order.

Please see the Saddleback College website and click on Student Health Center for additional information on hotlines and additional support links.

If you or someone else is in immediate danger,  call 911. 

7 Steps to Reduce Pandemic Fatigue