Two years ago, I hit the wall. I was bone-crushingly tired, and it had nothing to do with sleep. My emotional exhaustion came from pushing myself too hard through one too many difficult relationships, and not listening to myself about what would make me happy.
So, I did what most sane, rational people do: I stopped everything, sold my house, and went on a road trip… for 8 months. Okay, maybe not what most would call sane. But it was effective. I realized there are physical, emotional and spiritual reasons for this kind of collapse.
But knowing how to deal with stress like this means understanding the why. And the New York Health Guide would have you consider these 5 physical reasons for your stress and fatigue:
- Your hormones may be out of whack. Ask your doctor to check your thyroid or adrenals.
- You may have iron related or non-iron related anemia.
- Chronic pain. Scan yourself to see if there is pain you’ve just gotten used to experiencing.
- Daily or frequent drug or alcohol use.
- Medications. Check with your doctor to see if any you are taking could possibly be causing the problem.
For me, it was those amazing hormones that, while when working well orchestrate most feminine functions, were having a difficult time adjusting post-menopause. Our bodies are brilliant when they are in sync, and brilliantly out of sync at times too.
Then there are sometimes emotional, and perhaps even spiritual, reasons for this kind of exhaustion too.
Do you often find yourself pushing too hard to make something happen because you want it so badly, but find it’s not happening fast enough? Or trying too hard to make a relationship work? Or grieving over something or someone you just can’t seem to get over, no matter what you do?
Sometimes, that soul weariness comes from simply being bored with our lives. We can’t seem to find anything that juices us up. So what to do? I say move! And I mean it in the broadest sense.
Judith Wurtman says when you are too exhausted to move, move for more energy.
Get up and go for a walk. Go the gym. Do some sit ups or pushups. There is something about moving the body that does keep the energy moving for a good period of time after. And you can move in other ways too!
Consider these possibilities:
- Change your mind. Just decide you are going to think differently about something from a different perspective. Then find one that makes you feel even slightly better.
- Change the subject. Sometimes the best we can do is think about something else entirely. Consciously choose to think about something that does make you feel good.
- Focus on doing things that nurture you. Take a hot bath, with essential oils, epsom salts, candlelight and music that inspires you. Or rub oil into your skin and notice how wonderful it feels.
- Break away from that relationship that’s bringing you down. Even for a bit. Find people who uplift you.
You don’t have to do what I did and wander the countryside being inspired by the beauty around me for 8 months (though I’d strongly recommend that), but maybe it would feel good to take a break for a few days or a few weeks. Most say it’s not possible. But it is.