Did you ever find yourself at your desk, or in the store, or trying to figure out dinner and suddenly realize you are just too tired to think about any of it? (Me too!) That’s epically tired. I find myself this way more and more.
We are busy people, with lots of demands on us and our time. Which is how the days get real long and our thinking power gets real low.
I have a Tag set up in Maple called “Lessons My Dog Taught Me”. When she has hit the end of her energy it doesn’t matter what I squeak, throw or shake – she’s not having it. She may halfheartedly give a sniff but at that point, its nap time or nothing. I’m finding it’s almost the same thing with me.
When I reach that point of So Freaking Tired no matter what I try to bring my attention and thoughts to, it’s not going to give me the results I want. In fact, it can create double work. If I try to write while I’m Dog Tired then inevitably I have extensive re-work or, worst case, a do-over, when I’m feeling sharper.
So what do we do?
After mentioning extreme exhaustion, my doctor ruled out all of the medical causes and then left me with “You need to reduce your stress. Relax more.”
Great. I’m wondering if she is going back to my house to wait for the refrigerator repair man, mow the lawn and manage the business so that I can go have a glass of wine with my friends and relax a little.
Practically speaking, trying to reduce stress can create stress. I haven’t heard any foolproof solutions yet, if you have please add them to the Comments or Contact me. Meantime, here’s what I am trying:
Tasks that shouldn’t require thought get minimized. I spend a little bit of time planning so that things like ‘What’s for dinner?’ get addressed before they become an issue. This is how I became the Crockpot, Casserole, Wrap & Salad Queen.
Work when your brain is working. That sounds weird I know, but I’ve learned I’m really neither a morning nor a late person. I have bursts of energy in the late morning and again late afternoon. When I have tasks that require active thought, like working on a blog or presentation, I plan to do those then. I use those other times for things that need less of my attention – like vacuuming or burning through email.
Pay attention to what gives you energy. If you’ve ever done Myers Briggs (aka MBTI, which I still recommend) it helps you understand how you recharge (quiet time vs social time). People give me a charge sometimes, but if its networking or schmoozing, I find it to be a drain. If I have a lot of that scheduled, I sprinkle those meetings throughout the week to keep from getting entirely worn out. Doing them all in one day would not leave me at my best for that last meeting.
Don’t power through; it compounds the problem. It’s better for me to address the Too Tired to Think state early and not with a coffee and a chocolate snack. The deeper the exhaustion the tougher it is to recharge. I check in with myself each night to see just how tired I am (I add this to my Sleep Journal and Sleep Tracker). When it’s two or more days with the Extreme Tiredness rating, it’s time for a self-intervention.
Look far and wide for solutions. Try new things to see if they help with that butt dragging feeling. I just started reading The Prime, which says foggy brain and exhaustion can come from the health of your gut. (Who knew?) You never know what will work, I’m finding being a bit adventurous in my quest to ‘reduce stress’ is offering me new options.
Of course, when all else fails, listen to your body. Get some sleep. No one is going to judge if you go to bed two hours early one night. If your situation allows for a nap, go for it. If you are too tired to think, you’re missing out on the best parts of your day. We want to be present for and enjoy life’s journey. That is how we grow.
Rest, recharge and have a great Memorial Day Weekend!
#ThinkDeepThoughts #ThinkingEveryDayInMay #MeetMaple
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