Exhausted? Here’s How to Cope

Many of us, working, going to school, raising children, overbooking ourselves with projects, plans, and play dates are overwhelmed with exhaustion. That doesn’t mean that we sleep well, it means that we are fueled by caffeine and sugar and carbs, then we crash to a restless night of struggling to squeeze in a 6-7 hours of shut-eye. Thoughts race through our minds, dreams/nightmares plague us and the alarm rings. Namaste…a new day begins.

Brene Brown, in her book, Daring Greatly, discusses how to create a fulfilling personal and professional life. She challenges her readers to think beyond exhaustion as a status symbol and rather as a concern that each of can individually address. It is not healthy to always be exhausted. It is not healthy for the individual, for the person in relationships, or the person who is a professional or a worker trying to make a living or give back to society.

Here are some tips to ending exhaustion and beginning health – emotional, physical, mental, social, and spiritual health.

  1. You’ve heard it before, I’ll say it again…EAT WELL. Cut out sugars, carbs and fats. Add in veggies, fruits and good proteins. Grab some nuts or grapes instead of a bag of chips or a doughnut.
  2. MEDITATE. If you are an ap person, there are many free meditation aps to explore. Go to INSIGHT TIMER. This ap is free. It is entirely free to users. There are 30,000 pre-recorded guided meditation sessions for download. UNPLUG has a free week, then a charge of $8.00 per month. CALM is free for 1 week, then $70.00 for a year. There are many, many options available!
  3. BOUNDARIES. This should probably be #1 on the list. Set boundaries. Just because you have a cell phone does not mean you need to answer it. If your days off are Friday and Saturday, do not answer your phone if the office calls on these days. Let them know that you need rest.
  4. PERFECTIONISM does not win the day. Do well…don’t do it perfectly! Brene Brown reminds us that elite athletes will have a bad workout or a bad performance. This does not stop them from their sport. They win and lose. Remember that Einstein found his greatest accomplishments in failures, not in being a perfectionist.
  5. REST AND PLAY. I play with my puppy. You might play in your garden or go to wine tastings. You may travel or bike ride; go fishing or take long walks in city parks. Play and rest lead to a balanced, less exhausted lifestyle. They fill us up with curiosity, creativity, energy and the excitement to get back at the tasks of the week with new enthusiasm.

If you find that these 5 tips don’t help with your exhaustion and stress, there are two important paths to consider. See your family physician. You may have an underlying physical condition leading to your exhaustion and feeling of being overwhelmed. Secondly, consult a counselor. Therapists has many tools that can help you overcome feelings of exhaustion and a sense of anxiety or feelings of being overwhelmed. Holistic Consultation is accepting new clients via telehealth and at both of our locations – on campus and in Clintonville.

– Renee Ahern,  PhD, MS, MDiv, LPCC-S
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