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    Has living under the threat of COVID-19 begun to wear you down? If so, you are not alone. For months, people around the globe have had to adapt to living under the threat of this pandemic. Many “have made huge sacrifices to contain COVID-19,” says Dr. Hans Kluge, World Health Organization Regional Director for Europe. “In such circumstances it is easy and natural to feel apathetic and demotivated, to experience fatigue.”

    If you are experiencing what is being called pandemic fatigue, take courage. The Bible is helping many to cope with life during this stressful time. It can help you too.

    What is pandemic fatigue?

    Why is pandemic fatigue serious?

    What Bible principles can help you to beat pandemic fatigue?

    Bible verses to help with pandemic fatigue

    What is pandemic fatigue?

    Pandemic fatigue is not a medical condition but is a term used to describe the natural response people feel to the prolonged uncertainty and disruption caused by a pandemic. While each person reacts differently, some common signs of pandemic fatigue include:

    Lack of motivation

    Changes in eating or sleeping habits

    Irritability

    Stress over tasks that would normally be handled well

    Difficulty concentrating

    Feelings of hopelessness

    Why is pandemic fatigue serious?

    Pandemic fatigue poses a serious threat to our safety and that of others. If we do not battle it, we may gradually begin to lose our motivation to follow COVID-safe practices. Over time, we may become complacent about the virus, even while it continues to spread and kill. Tired of living under restrictions, we may seek greater freedom, which could put us and others at risk.

    During these stressful times, many are experiencing the truth of what the Bible says: “If you become discouraged in the day of distress, your strength will be meager.” (Proverbs 24:10 ) The Bible offers principles that can help us cope with discouraging situations, including this pandemic.

    What Bible principles can help you to beat pandemic fatigue?

    Stay at a distance physically—but not socially

    What the Bible says: “A true friend . . . is born for times of distress.”—

    Proverbs 17:17 .

    Why it matters: True friends build us up. (1 Thessalonians 5:11 ) In contrast, prolonged isolation puts our health at risk.— Proverbs 18:1 .

    Try this: Stay connected with your friends through video chats, phone calls, or e-mail and text messages. Reach out to friends when you are having a bad day, and regularly check in to see how they are doing. Exchange tips on what is helping you to cope during the pandemic. Find ways to do something kind for a friend, and you will make a bad day feel better.

    What some have said

    “I try to make plans to have a videoconference with friends. Sometimes we get together one-on-one. At other times, it’s fun to get a group together to play a game or just to catch up. Even though it’s not quite the same as meeting in person, it really helps. The pandemic has made life hard, so it’s important to reach out to our friends and be honest about how we feel. It can be difficult to do, but we all need help.”—Megan, Canada.

    “We miss our family and friends, but we have found ways to reassure them of our love. As a family, we made cards and small gift bags for many of our friends and included an encouraging Bible verse to let them know that we were thinking of them. This brought us so much joy! Spending time doing things for others helps us forget our own worries and anxieties.”—Emma with her husband, Nathan, and children, Eli and Hope, United States.

    Make the best of your current circumstances

    What the Bible says: “[Make] the best use of your time.”— Ephesians 5:16 .

    Why it matters: Using your time wisely can help you to stay positive and avoid excessive worry.— Luke 12:25 .

    Try this: Rather than focus on what you can no longer do, look for ways that you can take advantage of your situation. For example, are there projects that you now have time for or hobbies that you can now pursue? Can you spend more time with your family?

    What some have said

    “We’ve been able to do a lot of additional projects around the house, including growing vegetables and herbs, doing art projects, and decorating.”—Evan with his wife, Samantha, and their children, Eli and Adam, South Africa.

    “My wife and I have spent more time together than at any other period of our 30-year marriage. It has deepened our love for each other, as we’ve come to appreciate each other’s frailties and strengths as never before. We are now better prepared to support each other during future crises.”—Ivan with his wife, Eve, Italy.

    Stick to a routine

    What the Bible says: “Let all things take place . . . by arrangement.”—

    1 Corinthians 14:40 .

    Why it matters: Many people tend to feel more settled and happier when they have a general routine.

    Try this: Make a schedule that reflects your current situation. Set aside specific times to do schoolwork, secular work, and household chores as well as times to take care of your spirituality. Include other healthy activities, such as spending time with family, being outdoors, and exercising. Periodically review your schedule, and revise it as necessary.

    What some have said

    “I’ve kept almost the same routine that I had before the pandemic. I’ve replaced some of my normal activities with exercise, but I still get up at the same time in the morning. My routine takes my mind off of the pandemic and helps me to concentrate more on my family and friends.”—Kgaogelo, South Africa.

    “I like to get up and make my breakfast and coffee as usual. Then I get ready and fix myself up as if I were leaving the house. This has helped me to feel good about myself and to be more alert throughout the day.”—Carmel, France.

    Adapt to changing seasons

    What the Bible says: “The shrewd one sees the danger and conceals himself.”— Proverbs 22:3 .

    Why it matters: Depending on where you live, changing seasons may reduce your opportunities to get fresh air and sunlight, which are good for your physical and mental health.

    Try this: If winter is approaching, try to adjust your living room or work area to maximize sunlight. Plan outdoor activities you will be able to do despite the colder weather. If possible, obtain winter clothes that will let you spend more time outside.

    If summer is approaching, people will spend more time outdoors, so be safe. Plan where you will go, and choose times when crowds will not be there.

    What some have said

    “I live in a rainy climate, so a flexible routine helps. As soon as I see some sun, my goal is to go outside quickly. Even a short walk or bike ride in the sunshine does a lot for my mood.”—Sameena, France.

    “The summer was easier to deal with because there were opportunities to do things outside, but now as winter approaches, I am making a list of inside projects that I want to work on.”—Tiffany, Canada.

    Continue to practice COVID-safe behavior

    What the Bible says: “The stupid one is reckless and overconfident.”— Proverbs 14:16 .

    Why it matters: COVID-19 is deadly, and we risk infection if we let down our guard.

    Try this: Regularly check reliable local guidelines and consider whether you are still being cautious. Focus on how your actions will affect you, your family, and others.

    What some have said

    “I am doing my part to stop the spread. Although others ignore regulations, I focus on what I can do to keep myself and my family safe.”—Daryn, South Africa.

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