Being Tired Because Of Coronavirus Stress Is A Common Reaction, Doctors Say

Without a commute, you’ve been able to get your eight hours of sleep a night for the first time since college, but you’re still a zombie during the day. Worse, knowing that one of the symptoms of coronavirus is fatigue is making you second-guess that you’re otherwise feeling fine. Doctors say that there’s another explanation — coronavirus-related sleep issues can actually be related to trauma.

“In these times of uncertainty, many people may be feeling fearful and anxious about things that are beyond their control,” Dr. Nicole Tang, D.Phil.Dr. Shilpa Patel, Ph.D.; and Dr. Harbinder Sandu, Ph.D., researchers at the University of Warwick, tell Bustle via email. “Stress, worry and anxiety can all contribute to fatigue, which may be exacerbated by the situation we find ourselves in.” Overthinking, fear, and grief, as well as the disruption of our usual routines, can affect the quality of your sleep and your energy the following day.

Exhaustion is a well-known response to traumatic events, whether they’re sudden shocks or long drawn-out changes like the ones we’re experiencing now. The Royal College of Psychiatrists notes that during and after a traumatic experience of any kind, you may experience sleep problems, poor concentration and memory, and brain fog.

“Our mood and sleep are responsive to our anxiety and stress levels,” the University of Warwick researchers say. “If we are not sleeping well at night, it’s understandable why we feel tired during the day.” People with post-traumatic stress disorder often experience exhaustion and sleep problems, but anybody coping with intense emotions can feel it too.

In people with coronavirus, fatigue is most often accompanied by several other symptoms. If you’re just feeling tired and no other symptoms ensue — like a cough or fever — there’s a strong chance that you’re psychologically stressed, not coming down with COVID-19. A roundup of research on hospitalized COVID-19 patients published in JAMA in February 2020 noted that 98% of patients had a fever, 82-79% had dry cough, and 11-44% had fatigue. The European Center for Disease Control & Prevention (ECDC) issued guidance on March 12 that named fatigue as the third most common symptom, occurring in 38% of laboratory-confirmed coronavirus cases; fever occurred in 88%, while dry cough occurred in 68%.

“If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, like a dry cough, sore throat, or fever, contact your medical health care practitioner,” Dr. Seema Sarin, M.D., an internal medicine physician, tells Bustle.

The best way to deal with this lack of energy, experts say, is to wait and see if you develop other coronavirus symptoms — and try to handle your psychological stress while you do. Isolation can contribute to this feeling, the University of Warwick researchers say, so it’s important to keep in touch with others using Facetime, Zoom, or Houseparty if you can. “Set small and achievable goals and pace yourself; both under-activity and over-activity can lead to fatigue,” they say. “Be kind to yourself and others.” Dr. Sarin also recommends staying away from social media if you can and limiting news intake to trusted sources like the CDC, to reduce constant exposure to stressful events.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

How to Learn to Be Alone and Happy About It

Consider yourself lucky if you can balance being social and spending time by yourself. After all, your parents didn’t intentionally raise you to be a loner, learn to be alone, or take time for you.

If anything, you learned various social skills for your relationships. There may be days when you decide to not answer a text, respond to a phone call and snuggle with your dog on the couch to binge-watch Netflix.

Choosing to retreat gives your friends the impression that you are anti-social, which can bring pressures and difficulties.

In these moments, you learn to be alone.

However, it is harder to learn to be alone in the midst of people you’re supposed to interact with daily. In the mind’s of people, it is the norm for everyone to be socially active; seeking to reach out for various reasons.

When you learn to be alone and be happy about it, another layer of self-care and self-improvement evolves.

You open yourself to better understand new aspects of who you are, which in turn strengthens your relationships.

In reality, adulting comes with tons of responsibilities, constant break-up’s, friendship losses, and social misunderstandings–all of which can be draining.

You can begin to strategize how you will learn to be alone, be happy about it, and keep amazing relationships going without losing unnecessary energy.

Research shows that only fifteen percent of the 82 million Gen Xers in the U.S. have no friends. This doesn’t mean they are loners or uninterested in interacting. These individuals just enjoy time alone every once in a while.

To learn to be alone is a healthy choice. So, when you do find yourself without company at any time, you won’t view it as a terrible fate, but as moments worth spending time with yourself.

Is It Healthy To Be Alone?

Spending quality time with yourself helps you enhance your psychological development, and experience.

On the flip side, excessively spending time alone can negatively impact your mental and physical health.

It would keep you at the mercy of your inner critics, lead to depression, painful loneliness, and can ultimately lead to the deterioration of your health.

Consequently, you pretty much have to strike a balance between the two extremes. That said, these are the health benefits of being alone.

Spending Time Alone With Yourself Increases Productivity.

How quickly do you get a job done when you have family and friends chatting away around you?

Your goal may be to complete things around the house, run errands, finish a school assignment, or meet a deadline for work. Even a ping from your phone when a chat or mail comes in can make you lose concentration on a task.

The brain is naturally programmed to be more productive when there are little to no distractions. So, if you desire to be more productive, spend time alone.

It Fosters Better Relationships With Others.

Being an extrovert is amazing. However, sometimes being an introvert is good, too.

3-Step Guide to Overcome Hard Times in Life

Before you continue with the article, don’t miss this FREE guide, which can help you overcome any challenges you’re facing now:

Research has it that introverts are more in touch with themselves, better express self-awareness and empathy. This makes it possible for them to understand individuals around them and better manage relationships.

What’s more, studies show that relationships thrive when the individuals involved can take a step back and keep a level of independence. When they do reunite, the spark is incredibly amazing and refreshing.

It Allows You To Revitalize Your Mind.

Being the life of occasions and mingling with friends can be fun, and can help with some aspects of brain activity.

However, what happens when your brain begins to lose creativity or, starts to yearn for some break away from the hype and action of your social life?

In such times, being alone would be healthy. Spending some time alone with yourself helps your mind to process previous activities, unwind, and recharge.

Additionally, when your brain is relaxed, a lot of things would begin to make sense and come together beautifully.

It Boosts Your Creativity.

The mind comes up with the best ideas when it is left alone in perfect solitude. It generates amazing plans, weighs the pros against the cons, and just creates beautiful creative stories.

So, when you feel the pressure to be creative, and you can’t deal with the noise of brainstorming, you can simply separate yourself from the crowd, and give your mind some time to think and come up with a great idea.

10 Ways to Learn to Be Happy Being Alone

Here are some steps you can take to learn to be alone and be happy about it.

1. Be Your Primary Source of Validation

Having friends and family call and show you major attention sure feels great. However, what happens when they are caught up with other things and don’t have that much time to text or call?

In such times, getting disappointed about not being contacted won’t help you, and sure would tell that you are far from being your source of validation.

So, what you can do is to deliberately train yourself to get used to the absence of people.

Take some time off from the noise of social life, and indulge in your hobbies like reading, writing, or seeing some great movies on Netflix.

What’s more, you can try meditating or yoga. This would clear your mind, and keep you in tune with yourself.

2. Learn To Feel And Be Self-Aware

So, first off, you can take a person out of psychology, but you can’t take psychology out of a person.

This means that the person that can reach into your emotions, and channel those emotions so you can be happy, alone and single, is you.

Learn to spend time with yourself, practice self-awareness, and keep in touch with your feelings.

That way, you will truly be happy. Identify your goals, dreams, and setbacks. Know the things that make you tick, and do those things.

3. Spend Some Time with Nature

There’s nothing quite as soothing as bonding with nature. You can simply spend time in a garden, where you can watch the flowers bloom with your favorite book in hand.

Or you can listen to the chirping of the birds, lie under the skies, and watch the shapes of the clouds and the brightness of the stars, and fall in love with yourself all over again.

If you have some energy and stamina in you, and you are a lover of outdoor activities like hiking, then put on those hiking boots, grab your backpack, and head to the nearest mountain around you.

4. Work on Your Self-Improvement

Remember those amazing self-improvement things that you have on your bucket list, but have somehow managed to miss doing them?

Bring those goals into actualization. You can create some alone time and work on them.

Learn to play that musical equipment, author that book, strategize on how you will start that company, learn a new skill, or a new language.

Just improve yourself.

5. Deliberately Ease into the Pleasure of Relaxation

The moment you go for a massage, treat yourself to a bubble bath with red wine in hand or stay home to watch Netflix with popcorn.

Then you will begin to love spending time by yourself. The cares of the world would be non-existent for that duration.

6. Take a Trip to a Dream Location Alone

You might ask yourself where the fun is in traveling alone. Be that as it may if you can get beyond the feeling of weirdness that accompanies taking a trip by yourself, just do it.

Just pack up your bags, and visit that location that you heard is a tourist attraction, or simply go for a weekend getaway in an amazing resort.

Then in no time, you will begin to feel the hang of being alone and happy.

7. Step Out to Town Alone

Perhaps you thought that to learn to be alone means camping at home and shutting the world out. However, that’s not the case.

You can indeed have beautiful time with yourself by going out to town to do activities like reading in a park, grabbing a coffee, and going to the seaside where you can feel the wind on your face, watch the sea waves come and go, and just gather your thoughts.

Become Mentally Stronger!

8. Stay Away from Your Phone

If you’re going to learn to be alone, then you might as well go all the way. This would mean staying away from your phone and the distractions that come with it.

When the phone is out of the way, you can do whatever you desire, such as snack away on whatever you crave for, or jam to your best music.

9. Feel Free to Be Weird

Okay, you might think that you’re an adult, so you just can’t go about being weird.

In truth, who cares? Being grown does not stop you from playing your favorite song at home and dancing to it in your underwear, or bingeing on your favorite ice-cream or meal.

Nothing stops you from doing crazy activities like sky diving, that will send some adrenaline shooting through your body.

And nothing stops you from participating in karaoke, even when you don’t have a voice worthy of applause. The main thing is to be weird and to own your weirdness.

10. Guiltlessly Make Mistakes, And Own Them

At this point in your life, you should understand that making mistakes is part of the cycle of life.

I’m not saying that you should go about being the king or queen of errors. Rather, you should not beat up yourself when you unknowingly make a wrong move or a wrong decision.

In essence, own your mistakes, learn from them, and move on feeling better, and stronger.

Final Thoughts

Finally, the one thing you should convince yourself of is that, it is normal for you to live your life the way you have chosen.

There is no need trying to convince anyone that what you are doing is in the right interest of you. There is no need working yourself up to prove to anyone that choosing to learn to be alone is right for you.

You have decided to be happy and have found the best way to be healthy.

Instead of getting heartaches from your relationships, you have decided to sideline yourself and you are doing just fine.

Laugh. Live. Be happy alone. You’ll soon discover that this is the greatest decision ever.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

25 Questions to Ask If You Really Want to Get to Know Someone

Is there anything more exciting than meeting someone for the first time and getting to ask them for their life story? Whether it’s a first date, first hang—whatever—the door of possibilities is swung WIDE open and you get to spend the next few hours just learning about each other and what makes you tick. Of course, with great power comes great responsibility (aka anxiety over what to ask). Thankfully, we’ve assembled the experts to give you a handy dandy checklist of exactly what questions to ask when you want to get to know someone.

Generally speaking, the more open-ended a question, the more info you’ll learn about them, so try to word these as chill as possible. And if you’re stuck with someone who answers “What’s your most salient memory of childhood trauma?” with a one-word “Yes,” maybe roll the dice and try again.

1. Where do you see yourself in five years?

“This question is great because it gives you an idea of that person’s goals and life vision. You can determine if they’re compatible with yours,” says Jonathan Bennett, a relationship expert.

2. What are you excited about most in your life right now?

This question unpacks not only what the other person values, but also lets you glance into your potential compatibility, says Veronica Grant, a love and life coach. There’s no right or wrong answer, but depending on your personality (like you’re a go-getter and they’re happy just coasting through life), this question will take you straight to any potential personality clashes. You can either weed them out, or start a fun convo about what the two of your visions together would look like, says Grant.

3. Which TV or movie character do you identify with, and why?

“I love this question because it breaks the ice and helps paint a picture without anyone getting caught up in their own ego. We are taught to identify ourselves by our jobs, hobbies, and our education (boring!), and this question totally lightens things up a lot,” explains Nancy Ruth Deen, a relationship coach.

4. What did you wish for last, like at your birthday or when throwing a coin into a fountain?

Their answer will let you know what they think is unfulfilled in their life and what they hope for, says Diane Strachowski, PhD, a licensed psychologist and expert on attachment theory. Did they wish for love? Monetary things? A promotion?

5. What happened in your last relationship that led you two to break up?

“If they blame the other person and don’t take responsibility for their own part of it, watch out,” warns Margaret Paul, a relationship expert. Nothing says red flag like a dude with nothing but “crazy” exes. Smh.

6. What is your relationship like with your family?

Not everyone is super close with their family, but depending on how they view their relationship with them, this can tell you a lot. “Sometimes, what’s going on in the family can have a big effect on the relationship,” says Paul.

7. What is your biggest fear?

“This question allows you to see the vulnerable side of another person,” Bennett explains. “It also helps get past the usual superficial conversation that happens when people first meet.” Pay attention to what they say here.

8. Who did you turn to as a child when you were scared, lonely, hurt?

If they say “no one” and dealt with stressful situations alone, this is a good indicator that this is how they’ll handle current and future stressors now. On the other hand, if they went to their parents all the time for everything, they might need a lot of validation from a partner, explains Strachowski.

9. How do you deal with finances? Do you spend too much or too little?

Sure, combining finances is a step for WAY down the line, but still, it’s worth asking as finances can be a huge issue in relationships, according to Paul. It can also be a good indicator of how they deal with life, in general. Are spontaneous weekend trips to Paris going to be a thing? Or are you guys gonna cook dinner at home more often than not?

10. What are you most proud of and why?

This question lets you see what they value and how they spend their free time, explains Strachowski. Are they most proud of how their city soccer team went 10-0 last year, or do their eyes light up when they talk about the coffee table they built for their apartment last year?

11. What do you do need during periods of stress? Do you call someone to vent? Do you spend time alone to think it through?

How they answer will let you know what they expect from close ones during rough times, whether it be closeness and a shoulder to cry on, or space, explains Strachowski. If you wind up dating and you find that they withdraw from you when they’re lonely, remind yourself of this so you don’t take it personally.

12. Who is your biggest influence and why?

This question can give you insight into a person’s core values, according to Bennett. If they name their single mother for raising them, they value responsibility and family. If they rattle off someone like Woody Allen, you can run.

13. What are your favorite addictions?

By addictions, we mean anything from chocolate to working out or Netflix. “Everyone has some addictions,” says Paul. The question is, are they going to be honest?

14. Are you a neat person or a messy person? Are you an on time person or a late person?

Even if you’re not planning on moving in together or you’re just gonna be BFFs, someone’s baseline definition of “messy” can be super insightful. Are they gonna be pissed if you spread all your makeup out on the counter for a night out, or will you be annoyed if the laundry piles up on a chair for a week? “It’s much easier if you are both neat or both messy, or both on time or late,” Paul adds.

15. Use five words to describe your mother/father, giving examples to support each.

Depending on how they answer, you can gain a lot of info on what they did or didn’t get from their parents and what the admire or look for in a person of the opposite or same sex, according to Strachowski.

16. Do you believe in karma?

“This is a good question to get to know someone, because it shows whether they believe there are consequences to their actions,” says Laurie Berzack, MSW, a relationship expert and dating coach. If a coworker screws them over at work, are they going to stay up for days stewing about how to get revenge, or are they more the type to forgive and forget?

17. What was the scariest moment of your life, and how did you handle it?

This one is interesting because it can open the door to either emotional history or just life stories in general. Was it when they got laid off from their dream job, or was it when they got lost while hiking with friends? How they answer reveals their ability to overcome conflict and challenges, says Berzack.

18. Where is your happy place?

Another open-ended cutie that can segue into good follow-up questions, depending on how they answer. If it’s a physical place like the gym, or that one great hiking spot on their favorite trail, you can talk about those interests. If it’s a more abstract answer like “any time I finish a book that’s so good I immediately flip to the first page and start again,” that’s a good convo starter, too. “This question allows you to learn what the other person truly enjoys in life,” says Bennett. You can also use it to plan for future dates, gift ideas, etc.

19. What makes you cry and why?

“Knowing someone’s soft side is important to know what triggers them. If they don’t cry, they may not be sensitive,” says Strachowski. Again, if you’re sobbing on a movie date in the future and look over to see nothin’ but stoicism on their face, they’re not a heartless robot—they just have a higher cry threshold than you.

20. When is the last time you got really angry, and why?

This can be an unobtrusive way to find out the extent to which your date is trying to control the world around him or her, says Berzack. Plus, it opens the door for some lighthearted hate-bonding, whether it be over little or big things. Was the last time they got fired up because someone cut them off in traffic? Or, when they saw a bunch of people during rush hour refuse to give up their seat to an elderly person?

21. What is your best quality?

“It’s always interesting to see what a person thinks is their best quality. By asking this question, you get insight into how the person views themselves and what they think is an important aspect of who they are,” explains Christopher Ryan Jones, a sex therapist.

22. Which song or artist are you too embarrassed to say you absolutely love right now?

Not only does this give you a chance to potentially geek out over which Taylor Swift album is best (the only correct answer is “Lover,” obviously), but it also shows playfulness and vulnerability, especially if you’ve just met, says Deen.

23. Are you friends with any of your exes?

This question lets you know two important things in one, explains Jones. It gives you insight into their past relationships and how they ended (does everything seem to go up in a huge wreck, or do things end amicably?), and if they are friends, you’ll know now and won’t be surprised if/when they get a text from an ex they’re still close with.

24. Ask them to complete this sentence: “I most enjoy having someone to do ______ with.”

Sometimes, a person’s intentions can be clearly discussed by simply asking them. Strachowski recommends listening closely to see if what they’re seeking aligns with what you can give someone right now. Are they looking for a romantic partner, a best friend, or just a casual movie-buddy?

25. If money wasn’t a factor, what would you be doing with your life right now?

This is a fun one that can tell you a lot about a person and their passions without them feeling too self-conscious about it, explains Deen. Do they want to be directing movies? Working with animals? Traveling the world? Depending on their answer, you’ve also got great banter to go off of afterwards.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

Facebook: phicklephilly       Instagram: @phicklephilly       Twitter: @phicklephilly