Tips on coping with post-pandemic social exhaustion

MONTANA - After a weekend of big crowds, celebrations and other 4th of July festivities, you may be left feeling extra exhausted. 

With the PaddleHeads at full capacity, concerts back in full swing at the Kettlehouse Ampitheater, and people continuing to get vaccinated, you're around a lot more people. 

After a year of isolation, crowds and added socializing may leave you feeling extra tired or even worn out. 

Mark Dadmun is the assistant director and a counselor at Curry Health Center, which is part of the University of Montana. 

He explained people are habitual, so we get used to new norms. 

After a year of living in a pandemic, we've become used to things being quieter and less social. 

Now, to be in these big crowds pretty abruptly, it can be stressful. 

He shared some tips for those who are feeling worn out after the holiday weekend. 

"One of the best things is doing some of that restoration time," Dadmun shared. I think people had a chance to learn a lot about what does fill their cup up over the last year, so taking time to do that and even scheduling it in if you need to- if it's taking an afternoon to have some quiet time, to read a book, whatever that may be."

The counselor suggested people take it gradually, maybe start out with smaller groups or smaller periods of time and slowly build up. 

He also said be intentional. Take time for self care. 

What happens if you don't feel like you're bouncing back quickly enough? 

There are resources to help. Below are a list of resources provided by Dadmun. 

University of Montana students can utilize Curry Health Center for counseling, wellness, advocacy and medical care. 

People can approach their primary medical provider for additional support and resources. 

If someone is seeking a private practice mental health therapist, Psychology Today is a good starting resource. 

Partnership Health Center is another community resources if someone isn't established with care. 

24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline/Crisis counseling 1-800-273-TALK(8255)

24/7 Community Resource line, text 211 or go to: https://montana211.org/

National Crisis Text line, text "HOME to 741741

STUDENTS OF COLOR, text "STEVE" to 741741

The Strong Hearts Native Helpline: (844) 762-8483

24/7 Trevor Lifeline - for GLTBQIA folks in Crisis: (866) 488-7386, https://www.thetrevorproject.org/

If you are experiencing a mental health crisis and seeking immediate help, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.

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