As we step into two more weeks of the lockdown, chances are you are feeling more tired than usual, even though you have just stayed at home these past few weeks. Many people have reported that they are feeling exhausted and barely making it through their day, when they hoped staying and working from home would actually be easier and lighter.
Why are we feeling more physically tired than usual? The answer - ALLOSTATIC LOAD
Allostatic Load is what your body is taking on itself because of chronic stress. While some amount of stress is actually good, when we are repeatedly exposed to stress, the body also accumulates some wear and tear. A lot of us are dealing with pandemic related stress and anxiety at the moment, and this can lead to our brains working overtime and causing excess stress.
But why should a lockdown, staying at home and working from home, stress us more than usual?
Human beings are like pack animals, we need to socialise, to see others, which helps us feel less vulnerable. A lockdown, especially for those who are alone at home, compels the brain to be on high alert, all the time, from perceived threats.
Perceived threats in this context stems from the uncertainty we are faced with, and to combat that we are constantly seeking information, reading news, being on social media, all of which basically is overworking the brain, ultimately leading to elevated stress levels. Often without us knowing about it.
Like we said before, some stress is actually good for our mind and body, but the key is to find the right amount that works for you. Excess stress leads to fatigue. Cognitive functions take up a lot of physical energy, and when it exceeds the threshold we can't handle, it can lead to exhaustion and even a burnout.
So, we are stressed and we are feeling tired, what should we do about it? Well, the first step would be to acknowledge what you are feeling and try doing that without any judgement. We are in the middle of a pandemic which has led to a lot of unpredictability all around, and that can be stressful, for the best of us. Once you’ve acknowledge how you feel, you need to work towards moving past that stress, and that may also not be very easy, even though it seems quite straight forward.
To successfully get rid of the Allostatic load and try to feel less stressed and physically better, we need to work on our health. There are no shortcuts, so you have to try to stay active and fit. Eat well and on time. Don’t skip meals or load up on junk because you feel stressed. And finally, while it might be tempting to binge watch all the Netflix series in one go, it’s important to get a good night’s sleep .