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How to cope with crisis fatigue

Dealing with crisis fatigue can be challenging, as the event causing the problem is typically outside of a person’s control and may continue for a long time.

Recognizing the need to look after one’s physical and mental health during a crisis is a positive step and likely one’s greatest protective factor.

Some strategies that may help someone cope with the symptoms of crisis fatigue include the following:

  • Take a break: Taking time off of work to rest and recover may be critical to recovery. Take advantage of sick days and leave policies to give oneself a much needed break from stressful environments.

  • Disconnect from media: During a crisis, media coverage is typically persistent and intrusive in our daily routines. Taking a few days to disconnect from news coverage and all social media can help a person reset and become less numb.

  • Maintain a routine: A crisis can disrupt a person’s usual schedule. Maintaining a routine, or adopting a new one, can help people feel a sense of normalcy and control. It may also help people establish a regular sleep schedule.

  • Ask for help: If someone is struggling, help is available. Neighbors, friends, or family may be able to provide practical help, such as picking up groceries. Organizations that provide aid may be able to offer financial assistance.

  • Talk to someone: Talking to people who understand a situation can help a person feel less alone, even if there are no obvious solutions. If possible, it may be beneficial to talk to a mental health professional.

  • Try a hobby: Hobbies can take a person’s mind off of their situation and give them something else to focus on. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, people have tried new hobbies that they can do at home.

  • Get some physical activity: Exercise can be another way to relieve stress and give a person something else to focus on. Activities such as yoga, tai chi, walking, or aerobics are free and do not usually require any equipment.

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