In my younger days, I was a multi-sport athlete in high school. I loved both baseball and basketball, but there was one part of both that I despised: conditioning. I didn’t like getting into mid-season shape. I didn’t like stairclimbing drills. I didn’t like running endless suicide sprints. It was exhausting.
While I haven’t been physically exhausted from running in a long time, I find myself becoming mentally and emotionally drained for another reason: “Corona-fatigue”.
You may have never heard of that term, but you probably know what it means. New information regarding the coronavirus pandemic doesn’t come out by the week or even the day, but what seems by the hour.
- Daily press conferences by the President.
- Two press conferences per day by my state’s Governor.
- New hourly coronavirus case counts.
- New death totals.
- New recommendations from the CDC as well as state and local governments.
- Another event canceled.
- Another celebrity diagnosed.
- Another business closed.
- Another article written about the virus.
- Another prediction of how long this will last.
- Another day in social isolation.
It is exhausting.
And the more media coverage I consume, the more drained I become. But I can’t seem to stop. Since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus as a global pandemic, my average daily time spent on my smart phone has nearly doubled, and most of that is due to coronavirus-related intake.
As fast as the coronavirus is spreading, I believe corona-fatigue is spreading even faster. It’s no wonder that #coronafatigue is already a popular hashtag on Twitter.
So, perhaps you’re like me. Maybe you’re beginning to suffer from corona-fatigue as well. If so, I have a simple solution that we can try together: U-N-P-L-U-G.
That’s it. Unplug. Turn off the tv. Turn off the notifications on your phone. Stay off social media. Don’t check your email for a day. If a new major development occurs, I’m sure someone will let you know.
There are so many studies that show the negative effects of too much screen time. Just google it if you’re not convinced. If you combine that with the stress related to the pandemic and the emotional effects of social distancing, it’s no wonder that you may feel exhausted. Or drained. Or stressed. Or depressed.
So, take a deep breath and just unplug for a day this week. Take advantage of the free time by participating in some other activities discussed in this post last week. Rest. Pray. Read the Bible. Exercise. Play Monopoly with your family. Begin a new hobby. Take a walk. Read a good book. Call a loved one. Just don’t spend all your time watching endless press conferences or scrolling through your phone. It will wear you out.
The Bible clearly teaches that God is in control. So, we shouldn’t be overwhelmed by our circumstances. But if you and I don’t unplug from all the noise for a while, we may forget that glorious truth.
Therefore, don’t ignore your corona-fatigue. It’s God’s subtle way of telling us to take a step back from our media consumption. Constantly flooding your mind with coronavirus-related information will not give you strength; it will take it.
Only God can renew our strength, as we read in Isaiah 40:28-31: “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the whole earth. He never becomes faint or weary; there is no limit to his understanding. He gives strength to the faint and strengthens the powerless. Youths may become faint and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who trust in the LORD will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not become weary, they will walk and not faint.”
Amen to that!