By | Kasandra Brabaw | www.health.com
Each day, when we wake up, we’re faced with a constant stream of decisions. Some of those choices are small, barely taking up space in our brains. But others are bigger and more taxing on our mental bandwidth.
These daily decisions and their relative weight add up to a phenomenon called decision fatigue, which has only gotten more present with COVID-19. While we aren’t necessarily making more decisions during the pandemic than we were before, the decisions we are making feel more dire. Choosing if or when go to the grocery store pre-pandemic, for example, felt much different than it does now.
Decision fatigue is not a medical diagnosis. Instead, “it’s the challenge of dealing with an overload of information and processing that any of us can face at different points in our lives,” Lynn Bufka, PhD, senior director of practice transformation and quality at the American Psychological Association, tells Health. But even those who’ve never heard of it have felts its effects. Here’s what you need to know about decision fatigue, how to spot signs of it in yourself, and what to do about it.