“Pandemic fatigue” is a phrase that has been tossed around to describe the sense of exhaustion many feels at the continued Covid-19 epidemic, but pandemic fatigue isn’t just manifesting itself in listless Zoom meetings and a longing to hug friends, it’s also showing up in increased substance abuse rates and mental health struggles. Building pandemic resilience is no easy task, but emotional intelligence is one tool that provides a road map for this challenge. Here’s how emotional intelligence can boost our pandemic fatigue resistance.
Higher awareness about what we can (and can’t) control
There are things we can control in a pandemic, like our own behaviors, our personal care routines, and how we become an ally for our communities. An emphasis on emotional intelligence allows us to cut out stress about toilet paper shortages and whether your cousin who lives across the country is going to birthday parties and instead focus on tangible personal action and self-care.
Improved emotional intelligence allows us to recognize when we are letting anxiety get the best of us. If something is causing you anxiety, take a breath and reflect on whether your concerns are valid, or whether these feelings are a product of increased stress about a different aspect of your life.
Building a support system
Emotional intelligence lets us not only be a resource for others in need during this time but also gives us the self-awareness to ask for help when we need it. It’s okay to recognize the need for human comfort and advice and ask for it whether that be from a friend, a family member, or a professional resource.
Thinking about the big picture
Emotional intelligence allows us to see past the here and now and think about how what we’ve learned from this pandemic fits into the broader picture. It’s been difficult, but it’s made us stronger, braver, and more aware of the importance of community.
Emotional intelligence is a learned skill. Journaling, practicing gratitude, and meditating are all great places to start cultivating emotional intelligence. Want more resources? Check out this article on five questions to assess your own and this guide on mental resilience.