I’m exhausted as I type this. I didn’t sleep well last night, and since I was simply lying in bed thinking about a million (okay a dozen) things, I figured, “I may as well get up”. I really have tried to learn how to sleep. I’m even blessed to have a few friends—awesome sleepers—who’ve tried to help me with this “issue”.
We all have some “issues” don’t we?
I’m sure there are a lot of you who, just like me, try to “do everything” and don’t take the time to really breathe. I actually catch myself holding my breath sometimes! Talk about going so fast that, of course, you’re going to crash.
Not too long ago a thirty-something woman was telling me that she was exhausted. She has a wonderful career, two active children (complete with sports, lessons, activities and play dates), and she’s constantly running. It’s tough when you have to be “Super Mom”, “Stellar Business Person”, “All Around Great Person”and “Amazing Homemaker” at the same time! Of course, she’s exhausted. Something’s gotta give.
There’s tiredness from illness, pain and physically doing too much, but some types of non-physical exhaustion can be even more debilitating, including: Disappointment, Anxiety, Worry and Disrespect.
When you’re disappointed about something—whether it’s not getting that dream job, failing to succeed at your most recent diet, or not making more friends, you may label yourself as “a failure”, “stupid” , “unworthy”, or maybe even “not good enough”. Typically, it’s not any of those, but rather that the expectations were unrealistic. Maybe you thought the project you worked so hard on would have given you the business edge you needed, or that you’d lose 20 pounds in two months, or that you’d simply have to smile at someone and they’d want to be a close friend. When we assume an outcome without knowing if it’s attainable, or even how to get there, sometimes it just doesn’t work out the way we hoped. Sometimes we will fail. That’s part of growing and learning.
We live in a world where everything seems to go so fast…including time. When we’re over-scheduled, time goes even faster. The 15 extra minutes waiting at the dentist, throws your grocery shopping time off. Then when you’re finished at the store, you realize you forgot to get gas (or a train ticket, or to hail a cab) and before you know it, you’re late to pick up the kids or get to your next appointment. The derailment starts to take place and anxiety takes hold. We also get anxious about a myriad of other things: “will I make enough to pay my bills?”, “will my Mother get well?”, “will I be wearing the right outfit?”. Okay, clearly, some of these are a LOT more critical than others, but anxiety comes from all kinds of places. Planning ahead, and not over-committing are two of the keys to becoming less anxious.
For many of us, if we aren’t worried about something then we think something’s wrong! In many cultures this isn’t the case, but we’ve become a nation of worriers. We imagine “worst case scenarios” instead of positive outcomes. We’re uneasy because we worry that we may have made the wrong choice. We doubt our decision-making ability, so we’re filled with misgivings and uncertainty. Most of us know (intellectually and spiritually) that worry doesn’t make things better—it simply mucks up anything good about the day. The best thing to do when you get caught up in the vicious cycle of worry is to ask, “Will this matter in two weeks, two years, twenty-two years?” if not….well you already know that answer.
Feeling disrespected is also a reason we’re exhausted, especially when it comes from the people who we most want love, support, understanding or simply a pat on the back from. When someone isn’t “giving you the time of day”, or verbally—or non-verbally—saying, “you don’t deserve my respect” it’s painful. Sure, it’s possible that the person really doesn’t respect you, but always remember that they have their own stuff that they may be dealing with. If you’re in a relationship with someone who blatantly shows you that “you don’t really matter”, it may be time to move away from that place.
You can’t be everything to everyone—except yourself—and not get burned out. If you try, you’ll end up feeling defeated, even more exhausted, and possibly believing, “I can’t get anything right”. We are so hard on ourselves.
Prioritizing is key in moving from exhausted to peaceful:
1. acknowledge, honestly, what’s most important to you (children, parents, money, beauty, etc.)
2. list those people/situations in order of priority
3. make a plan for putting what’s really meaningful first
4. list what you’re currently doing that’s really not, at all, important to you
5. make purposeful changes to rearrange your life to honor what matters
Which people are your priorities?
What relationships do you value most?
How do you want to spend your precious time?
How about if we fill our minds—and hearts and spirits—with hope, appreciation, and a yearning for truth?
What if we practice empowering others (and ourselves)?
What if we become adaptable, responsible and still stay young-at- heart?
What if we decide to be prayerful, nice, earnest, willing, and present in the moment?
I hope you have a restful week,
©2015 peace full home™/intentional living