Lately, I’ve gotten a lot of slack for being indecisive about small things. I will be the first to admit that this is not my favorite quality about myself. I am incredibly driven and know what I want out of the next twenty years. However, when it comes to what I want for dinner, it takes me almost twenty years to decide.
There’s a reason for this. It’s driven by decision fatigue. In the world of anxiety, decision fatigue is quite common. I used to struggle with this a lot during high school. The more I got my anxiety under control, the more decisive I became. Now, covid has driven me back into the world of decision fatigue. It’s not that I’m anxious about the decision itself. The stakes are always rather small. Sometimes it’s difficult to make choices though.
Throughout a normal day, we have a thousand little decisions to make. We wake up and decide what to eat for breakfast. We pick out an outfit. We decide if we want to stop for coffee, what project to work on first, or whether we go to the optional meeting. All of these decisions add up. At the end of the day, our brain can feel exhausted or fatigued. In an anxious brain, it can feel incredibly difficult to make choices no matter what.
I limit my choices. I pick out my outfit the night before. It’s often how I exhaust my brain before bed. I choose one of two breakfast foods. I plan out my week Sunday night. I do this because my brain functions better with less choices to make daily. It keeps me from getting overwhelmed. Some may say that this makes me neurotic. Experts say that avoiding decision fatigue actually keeps humans happier.
In the world of covid, every choice is made more difficult. We’re suddenly surrounded with whether we want to take risks. They feel like they are life and death constantly. We focus on whether we need to sanitize, wear a mask, or go out at all. We consider who we are with, the exposure they have. We contemplate their decisions. We’re accepting their choices as our own personal risk.
Add this altogether and little choices start to feel really big. That doesn’t make us good or bad, it makes us human. For me, my big life choices still seem relatively easy because what I want hasn’t changed. However, the choices I make to get to that end goal suddenly feel more turbulent. It’s unclear whether it’s the right or wrong choice.
All of this to say, give yourself grace. Even people who don’t have anxiety or low levels of anxiety are dealing with covid decision fatigue. It’s a very real thing. You’re not weird or crazy. I’d suggest limiting your choices. That has helped me overcome a lot and you’ll find that your brain will thank you. You’ll feel less exhausted by the end of the day. It’s honestly incredible. Let me know how this goes for you and how you’ve beat decision fatigue.
I hope you’re having an amazing day. I hope that your day is filled with joy, positivity, and laughter. I hope you find peace, love, and happiness.