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  • Writer's pictureMeredith Waller

Year 3 Pandemic Fatigue


How is this still happening?!

As a solution-focused and strengths-based therapist, I don’t tend to focus on the negative. In fact, I specialize in helping client’s identify and address their biggest concerns, so that they can feel in-control of their life again. Yet, over the past 2 years, I have had to get really comfortable with the fact that not everything has a solution that is in our hands.

Accepting that the pandemic was out of our control felt different in 2020. Despite all the stress, we found a way to continue emotionally. Perhaps finding a place to hide our deepest fears and anxieties to get through the day, only to have them come up in our quieter moments. Some engaged in beautiful moments of neighbors helping neighbors, singing from balconies and howling. We created workout routines at home, revisited old hobbies, learned new skills, and began a “new normal” to keep ourselves, our loved ones and strangers safe. We knew that if we made sacrifices, things would return to normal.

Yet, they haven’t.

Two whole years later.

And when things feel like they're improving, they change.

And I know you're really tired and maybe feel a little hopeless about it all.

So, I wanted to take a moment to remind you that feeling tired, hopeless, angry, sad, lost, numb, or resigned to entering a third year of a worldwide pandemic, does not mean you're failing.

It means you're human.

It means you have been trying.

It means you can only hear so much bad news before it takes a toll.

It means you have limits to what you can hold, just like everyone else.

I want you to know that it's not a sign of personal weakness if you're experiencing more anxiety, more low mood symptoms, more exhaustion, or more burnout right now.

It means you're human.

It means you're not a machine.

It means that living through an ongoing traumatic event, in addition to other forms of loss, personal stress, work demands, and life responsibilities, is more than one person can hold.

I also want you to know that it doesn’t mean you’re cold or heartless if you’ve reached a point of checking out. Maybe you don’t feel anything when you read a tragic headline, don’t feel able to share empathy as easily, or feel generally numb.

It means you’re human.

It means your brain can’t process another trauma right now.

It means you are trying to focus on what you can control.

I want you to remember:

  • Your nervous system has not forgotten the stress and change over the past 2 years

  • In addition, your nervous system is aware that things are still not "back to normal" and living with long-term stress can make us feel on-edge, irritable, or exhausted

  • You are allowed to make decisions for your life that support your wellbeing, even if this was not how you pictured or hoped things would go

  • "Accepting" or "adjusting to" a worldwide pandemic is not the goal here

The goal is to take care of yourself.

The goal is to be kind.

The goal is to tune into how you feel in your body + mind and not avoid it.

The goal is to acknowledge that even 3 years later this is hard, and

You are human.

You are human.

You are human.


Meredith Waller MSW, LCSW

Based in Boulder, CO and offering online counseling throughout Colorado

-Certified Shame-Informed Treatment Specialist

-Certified Clinical Anxiety Treatment Professional


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