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Drained and confused: How to spot pandemic burnout

From extra screen time disrupting sleep to more anxiety, these last few months have been exhausting, both physically and mentally, writes Claire O'Mahony

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Drained: Gráinne Lawlor is feeling extremely tired since
the lockdown. PHOTO: FRANK MCGRATH

Drained: Gráinne Lawlor is feeling extremely tired since the lockdown. PHOTO: FRANK MCGRATH

Drained: Gráinne Lawlor is feeling extremely tired since the lockdown. PHOTO: FRANK MCGRATH

Since early March, fatigue has become a constant, unwelcome companion for many people.

The pandemic has been exhausting, especially lockdown with its maelstrom of stress and upheaval with sleep disruption, as well as wild Covid-19 dreams, being widely reported. In some cases, this has been exacerbated by overindulgence in activities that are known to have a detrimental effect on sleep - namely poor food choices, daily wine o'clock, far too much screen time and erratic bedtime routines. The easing of restrictions has opened up our world a bit and theoretically this should reenergise us, but we are not necessarily feeling any less shattered even though there might not be a daily commute to face and social calendars remain less than full. 

Gráinne Lawlor says that she has suffered from fatigue over the last few months, more so than normal. The operations manager for Adventure Trails, which offers food and drink tours and experiences in Dublin and Galway, was heading into the busy season when the pandemic brought everything to a halt. While some members of staff were let go, she has remained working from her home in Celbridge in a largely administrative role and the changed nature of her job has been a contributory factor to her tiredness.