What is Pandemic Lux Syndrome?

Amy Cuddy Ph.D coined the ‘Pandemic Lux Syndrome’ to synthesise a non-clinical term describing a mix of feelings associated with changes to life and lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Pandemic Lux Syndrome is defined as ‘Blunted emotions, spikes in anxiety and depression, and a desire to drastically change something about our lives’.

With Victoria, NSW and the ACT moving out of lockdowns in October, early Nov many people are adjusting to the new normal and may be suffering clusters of symptoms described by the Pandemic Lux Syndrome.

If you think this might be you, please remember you are not alone. It may take time to adjust out of lockdowns and to return to some sort of new normal life. People have described and I have felt it too, the lockdowns and opening up of services, returning to school and activities, as being yanked around. Our nervous systems have experienced stress, anxiety and depression where we may have never before.

As we move to living with COVID-19 and coming out of lockdowns I have put together some strategies that you may find helpful during this transition.

Strategies to help adjust back out of lockdown and ‘living with COVID-19’

  • Worried about what to say? If you’re not sure what to talk about acknowledge it and just smile. Most people should be understanding we have all been in this together. Be kind to those who appear anxious. You may also feel tired from socialising this is normal.

  • Acknowledge feelings of grief and loss. Over the last 18 months, people have lost livelihoods, careers, missed sporting pursuits, freedoms, and changes in relationships/friendships and socialising.

  • Try not to overestimate your capability to return to ‘normal’ activities- go slow, you may feel more tired from being over stimulated.

  • Take a break from the news, reduce over whelming yourself. Meditate, do yoga or go for a walk.

  • Try to show compassion to others, people may have been having a difficult time and just because lockdown has finished it does not mean people have adjusted.

  • Manage energy and fluctuations in mood.

  • Keep talking to children they may be anxious too returning to school.

  • Your feelings are information about you, try not to ignore them.

  • Take time to adjust.

And remember, you are not alone. If you need assistance understanding them better reach-out to mental health professional.