Have you heard of lifestyle fatigue?

Have you heard of lifestyle fatigue? I can’t believe this is a real thing. But it makes sense. Well, here it goes. Lifestyle fatigue is not an official mental health diagnosis. It is a term coined by Sean Grover, LCSW to describe what might feel like depression that occurs more as a result of simply being stuck in a rut, rather than having an actual pre-disposition to the condition (psychologytoday.com). After two years plus living and adjusting and re-adjusting in a pandemic, I think many of us qualify.  But, let’s dig a little deeper.

According to Grover, LCSW the pandemic effect has ushered many of us into this place of “lifestyle fatigue” because it created a sedentary lifestyle. This is described as being stuck inside (we all recall the fret of the physical distancing mandates), isolation from loved ones and friends, and disconnection from all the activity when we loved and depended on as outlets and coping in our over-scheduled lifestyles pre-pandemic. So, we mindlessly (and desperately) scrolled through hours of daily social media videos and live chats for human contact. We were just doing too much! #burnout

Let’s keep examining. Grover reports an experience I am also hearing with my clients in sessions. They do not want to leave their homes anymore. Not literally like a person who is diagnosed clinically with agoraphobia. Instead, these individuals are making intentional choices to limit contact outside of their homes due to reported extreme exhaustion and mental fatigue, and because the energy and motivation required to be social seems just too daunting.

Is this what we have come to? We don’t feel like being social anymore. This greatly saddens and alarms me because the more we become detached from each other the greater the risk for mental health distress to become compromised. We were created as social beings not to live nor exist in silos.

So, the question is, What is the remedy to lifestyle fatigue? Can we reverse the tide?

Yes, we can and we would be better off mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually and socially if we do.

Here are 5 ways to move to healthier living post-pandemic:

  1. First, consider seeing a mental health professional to assess whether this is just lifestyle fatigue versus a diagnosable medical condition such as depression. A mental health professional will ask you a series of questions that will include a review of your functioning pre-pandemic (including your mental health history for prior episodes of depression) and rule out the presence or absence and make appropriate recommendations.
  2. Check back into life! Make an intentional effort to change your sedentary lifestyle. With precautions re: COVID and CDC guidelines, there are safe ways to return to the activities your once enjoyed. You have to decide if you dare to make changes-do it afraid and do it for your mental health.
  3. Schedule adult playdates. Parents make play dates all the time for their children, It really is okay to play and have fun as adults. See a movie, schedule lunch or coffee dates, see a play, take hikes and walks together, grab tickets to a concert.
  4. Start a new hobby. Routine leads to rut. Shake it up! Don’t be so predictable. My friends and I look for things to try that we had never ever considered before the pandemic. We are trying things like acupuncture, cryotherapy, business school, new foods from different cultures, wearing different clothes, traveling, and joining meetup groups. 
  5. Consider getting away and moving deeper into wellness. Not just the normal travel or trip to an island or mountain resort with family and friends. Consider the practice of self-care in an intensive getaway or retreat facilitated by a wellness expert with unplugging and disconnecting from the buzz and chatter of our over-stimulating world but plugging into and connecting to that deeper sense of self.

I offer my ladies an opportunity to learn more about the tremendous health benefits of intensive innovative health and wellness retreats. As your wellness expert, I am planning just that experience for 2023. A  retreat for the Black Woman to release, rejuvenate, repair, restore, and reconnect at The Black Women’s Intensive Restoration Retreat in 2023. This retreat is limited to 10 women.

If you would like to know more about this retreat, subscribe to my practice newsletter and get notified about the upcoming information session (date TBA) specifically to learn of details and give your input on what you would like to experience in a retreat setting for 2023. You’ll also get all the great blogs, videos, and evites/invites first. 

That’s it for now.  Stay connected!

In Your Wellness, Dr. Clack