Saturday, April 27, 2013

How to Deal with Fatigue and Exhaustion (Why Am I So Tired?)



In order to function well and maintain our happiness and well-being, we need to avoid becoming exhausted and fatigued. This is not always possible. Sometimes, we find ourselves burning out and working ourselves past our limits- we become very tired and we are nowhere close to functioning optimally. When this occurs in life, we need to assess our situation as soon as possible in order for us to regain our well-being and enjoy a higher energy state.


Why Are We Fatigued?
First, we have to assess our situation. What are we doing, or not doing, that is making us feel exhausted?

What mental, physical, emotional, and/or spiritual aspects and needs are we neglecting?

Have you been eating healthily and exercising regularly? Are you processing and accepting your emotions in a safe, productive manner? Do you regularly remind yourself to live with perspective and purpose instead of chasing mindlessly after purely materialistic endeavors or instant gratification?

It is very easy to get into a rut involving any of these aspects. It is very easy to start neglecting any one of these factors , and it is very easy to adopt a state of mediocrity as your default mode of operation. In order to avoid this, you must start good habits that reinforce healthy behaviors into your lifestyle so that you can support yourself on every level and be all the more capable of enjoying life and achieving your goals.


If you have recently just started neglecting yourself, stop yourself now. If you are tired of your daily routine, you can make adjustments that work best for you instead of throwing out your routine altogether.



What personal boundaries are we neglecting?
Sometimes we overwork ourselves because we are afraid of confrontation. If another party is exerting too much pressure on you and is expecting too much of you, you have to stand your ground and assert your personal boundaries. Don't let others take advantage of you, but remember, people will assume you are alright doing extra work if you don't contest against it. Always speak up if you feel the need to decline or negotiate regarding responsibilities and expectations- in work and in relationships.


Are there any possible influences that are sucking your energy?
Sometimes being around certain people or situations sucks your energy. Some people and situations are perpetually negative, and it is best to avoid them. This is not to be confused with a situation you can help improve- be discerning- sometimes you can do something to help alleviate a situation or help someone work through issues that spill over into their social interactions. But always remember, it is not your duty to go around "saving" people or situations. Use your common sense and judgement when accepting or declining invitations to be around certain people. Choose wisely before choosing to take part in certain scenarios.

Pampering Yourself and Healing

The next most important step in combating fatigue and exhausting is giving yourself the proper attention and nurturing. Make extra time for yourself in order to relax and partake in activities you enjoy. These activities can be relaxing and/or rejuvenating. Some people feel better after a trip to the spa, while some people feel better after a day of hiking in the mountains or playing sports. 

Now is the time to give yourself a little treat if you have been depriving yourself- if you have burned yourself out by sticking to an extremely demanding exercise regime and diet, give yourself the opportunity to indulge reasonably and rest for as long as you need to regain or improve your well-being.

If you have been indulging yourself too much with a bad diet or lack of exercise, do not further indulge yourself with food or laziness. Instead, treat yourself to a nice beginner's workout and some fresh fruits and vegetables.

Pampering yourself and healing is all about combating the recent behaviors that have lead you to imbalance. In order to gain balance, you do not put more emphasis on what got you there in the first place- instead you incorporate what you have been lacking. This sounds like very obvious advice, but often we lose sight of moderation and balance. Sometimes people are afraid of moderation and balance- thinking that no growth will come of it. 


The truth is that you can achieve more whilst living moderately- moderation grants sustainability and with sustainability comes a greater sense of peace, well-being, and endurance. Also, moderation requires patience, and the cultivation of patience, albeit not the most exciting endeavor, is surely one of the most rewarding and beneficial.

Making Changes and Reassessing Your Goals and Lifestyle

Whilst you heal from fatigue and exhaustion, you can think about the kind of life and the kind of goals you truly want to achieve. Be reasonable with your choices- many things are achievable but the greatest efforts usually take greater amounts of time. Often, especially in this fast paced modern world, we expect everything to occur at an incredibly fast pace. Understand that life does not work under such an extreme demand.

While reassessing your new lifestyle, you will inevitably let go of a few habits- be they behaviors, indulgences, expectations, or relationships. Do not feel guilty for letting go of what no longer serves you. Know that if you do have certain responsibilities you must carry out and commit to, you must find a way to provide for those responsibilities- but make adjustments so that you do not overburden yourself.


The one most beneficial aspect to avoiding and healing fatigue is the ability to be discerning in the moment so that you do not make choices that cultivate to exhaustion. With discernment, balance and moderation will pave the way to your goals, and happiness and well-being will be a constant in your life.