5 tips for those who feel exhausted
Correct priorities and self-care will help you overcome a difficult life period.
I'm very tired. I will have a baby in six weeks, and my pregnancy is going through complications. At the same time, I continue to work and participate in new projects.
It's hard: for every small victory of this difficult period, there was a moment when I felt destroyed. Recently, I realized that it helps me overcome fatigue. If it's not easy for you, too, my advice may come in handy.
1. Don't compare your fatigue with someone else's
More than a year ago, my friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. She quit her job despite the risk of running out of money. She broke off an inappropriate relationship, despite her engagement. And she met cancer with her usual bravery. Her feat is not that she was not afraid, but that she overcame a difficult period, despite all the fears.
My conditions are much nicer, and sometimes it seems that I really have no reason to worry so much. My experience is nothing compared to what my friend went through. I think I should just put up with my stress at the end of a hard day, go through any fatigue or discomfort in silence. Just because I was lucky.
But it's hard for me, too. I'm still going through a difficult pregnancy, trying to get everything done, facing unpleasant physical symptoms and a lot of fears. There is always someone who has had a harder time, but why blame yourself for it?
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2. Stop focusing on what is not important
In difficult times, we need to better understand what really matters and what doesn't. If we spend all our energy on unimportant things, we will not have enough energy for what really changes our lives.
Seven years ago, I had an operation to remove uterine fibroids. I knew that I shouldn't strain myself to get better, but the mess in my room was bothering me. I'm a fan of the order.
A day passed after the operation. The seam after the incision in the lower abdomen just started to tighten. Then I see a pair of shoes thrown carelessly next to the door. I knew they weren't supposed to be there. It hurt, but I tried to put the shoes in the closet. My mother said I was crazy, and she was right.
Now I think about the shoe case every time I feel exhausted and want to do something. I ask myself: can it wait until morning? Maybe I shouldn't do it at all. What if someone could help me? And most importantly, will it really make my life better?
It's not easy to cross things off your calendar, especially if you're used to taking care of everything, like me. But sometimes we just need to give up something to preserve our strength and protect ourselves from a nervous breakdown.
3. Don't think that in your decline you are capable of doing what you could have done before
Maybe you used to be more active or productive (I definitely was). Or you were the person who could be asked for help at any time of the day. Or a great conversationalist who could listen to a friend even if it took all night.
We worry not only that we will not be the same again, but also that others will not like these changes. But we are inevitably faced with new problems and needs that will not disappear if we simply ignore them.
I don't go to yoga anymore because I don't have the time and energy. And I don't do a bunch of things that used to make up every day of my life. But I'm lucky: I'll be able to do it again someday, even if not soon.
It's okay to worry about what you can't do. But in the end, we will still have to accept reality and ask ourselves how to work with what we have. Otherwise, we will be very worried, and these experiences will not change anything.
4. Don't demand from yourself what you can't do
Many of us make this mistake. We think we can do more: others do! If you feel bad, don't tell yourself that everything is okay. You won't be more productive this way. And it is also pointless to reproach yourself for the forced respite.
We can't give up everything and do what we want, especially if we have taken the responsibility to others. But we can definitely find some time to please ourselves.
Recently, I started adding these moments of rest to my schedule. If I can't afford an hour of daytime sleep, I'll get 15 minutes of sleep. If I can't walk 10,000 steps, I'll at least walk around the block. If I don't have an hour to write in my diary about all my experiences, I will find time to note three important problems and three ways to solve them.
5. Stop thinking that you are falling behind
We constantly compare ourselves with others and think that we must keep up with them, otherwise we will waste our lives. This is not true.
You don't have to be perfect to be happy. We don't need to be afraid of falling behind, because each of us is going our own way. And whatever is happening in our lives now, it is a valuable experience.
Many will agree that success is inextricably linked to overcoming problems. I would never have thought that my ten-year struggle with depression and bulimia would cause a change for the better. I could not imagine how my pain would determine the future trajectory of my life and how this dark stage would lead me to new ones — bright, filled and exciting.
Accept where you are and who you are now, even if it doesn't suit you. This is the only way you can achieve high goals in the future.