Coping with decision fatigue in a pandemic

Mental health experts say COVID-19 may be bringing out what's known as decision fatigue for many people.

"Decision fatigue is when we have too many decisions to make than our bodies and minds are able to commit to," Dr. Alana Atchison said.

If you're struggling to make choices like what to eat, which movie to watch, or if you should venture out to the grocery store, you're not alone, according to Atchison, a clinical psychologist.

"We need to scale back and prioritize what decisions need more effort and what decisions can be last minute," she said.

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, we have had more time to sit and ruminate, Atchison said. But she added that it is important to conserve energy for large decisions to avoid mental burnout.

How the coronavirus pandemic can attack your mental health

"If you're faced with a large decision, do a pros and cons list," she said. "Minimize the input you get from others to a select few who know you really well."

And if you're one of those people who spends hours scrolling aimlessly on Amazon looking for that perfect purchase or clicking through Netflix, try to give yourself a time limit. If you're content with bigger decisions — like what you do, where you live, your friends and family — by all means, go ahead and spend time on those trivial decisions.

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