Do you have a go-go-gadget lifestyle? Here's what to do about it!

I’m tired”, she said. “I just can­’t seem to get out of bed in the morn­ing, and I feel like I’m drag­ging all day long”.

Sound famil­i­ar?

Our cul­ture thrives on more, faster, bet­ter, smarter, more motiv­ated, more driv­en. We keep doing until we lit­er­ally are going to drop. All of us want more energy, but we are unaware of the places that we might give our time and energy away — either by not rest­ing and tak­ing care of ourselves, or by say­ing “yes” more than we should. Our thyroid and adren­al glands (our hor­mone glands that keep us going des­pite this fren­zied pace) are scream­ing for a break and a rest, and yet we keep push­ing. Possibly we are afraid if we do stop and take good care of ourselves, we’ll be hear­ing all of the things we’ve been avoid­ing for the last little while. The real reas­ons we are here on this earth — the nag­ging self-aware­ness that might wake us up and get us to quit the job we hate, or stop answer­ing the phone to that friend that really needs a ther­ap­ist rather than our ear. The voice that con­nects us to our life’s pur­pose, or true pas­sions, and the things that are the essence of a life well-lived.

As a natur­o­path­ic doc­tor I do focus on the body and sup­port­ing it get­ting back to well­ness. However, what’s even more import­ant to me the longer I work with people is mak­ing sure the mind­set behind the fren­zied activ­ity changes. Otherwise, we’ll end up in exactly the same pos­i­tion that we star­ted, repeat­ing the same beha­viours, and per­haps the second time we hit burnout the body is even more tired than it was to begin with. Our true selves are sick of us self-sac­ri­fi­cing when we should be tak­ing a step back and self-assess­ing who we are and what the heck we want.

Mentally and emo­tion­ally, it’s import­ant to take a good step back, a reset if you will. This reset should involve the fol­low­ing components:

  1. Alone time. For those of you who have trouble being alone, pop on some music. The music will give your busy mind some com­pany while you sit and con­tem­plate what you need.
  2. Water. Dehydration pre­vents you from think­ing straight, and our body and mind need water!
  3. Cut down your caf­feine. Despite your exhaus­tion, addi­tion of more cof­fee or caf­fein­ated green tea will make you feel jit­tery and your adren­al glands will rely on this false energy surge from spiked adren­aline for a time, but have you crash­ing harder than when you started.
  4. A journ­al. Start to write out your thoughts. It may help to know the many fren­zied things going through your head, as maybe some of these wor­ries or con­cerns can actu­ally be tackled, and per­haps oth­ers are out of your con­trol and you need to work on let­ting them go. Regardless, the dev­il you know is bet­ter than the dev­il you don’t. If you don’t know what’s going on in your body and mind and soul, it’s hard to find your way out of your concerns.
  5. Sleep. Please go to bed with the aim that you are get­ting at least 7 hours of rest. If you are unable to get sleep for 7 hours, per­haps that is where you begin. Sleep is para­mount to heal­ing and rejuvenation.
  6. Positive affirm­a­tions. When you’re com­pletely exhausted and feel­ing beat down by the world, it’s tough to remem­ber how amaz­ing you are to do all you’re doing and how spe­cial you are, and how your gifts and tal­ents are truly unique and should be cel­eb­rated. Write down all of the won­der­ful things about your­self. Initially this will be tough poten­tially, but watch how the list grows. It can be small, and pos­it­ive thoughts can often help us to shift our focus into a “what is pos­sible” mind­set com­pared with “it’s all doomed and hope­less” mindset.
  7. Replenish nutri­ents. I’m a huge fan of herb­al medi­cine for this pur­pose, and I have blogged about this before so take a gander of this post if you want to learn more. I can say B‑complexes alone will not get you out of a burnout place, so if you’re read­ing this and were just about to take your B’s, know that you may need addi­tion­al attention.
  8. Start pay­ing atten­tion to your body and respond to it. If you respond incor­rectly, you’ll know and then you can make adjust­ments. For example, if doing exer­cise makes you feel ener­gized but doing it six times a week makes you feel tired, cut back to a sched­ule that sup­ports your energy but does­n’t deplete you. If you are hav­ing trouble with anxious thoughts and wor­ry­ing, and that calms after yoga or pil­ates or paint­ing, then emphas­ize the activ­it­ies that sup­port the calm­ing of your mind until it improves. Make sense?

Above all, remem­ber that because you are unique there is not going to be a spe­cif­ic tem­plate that you can fol­low to get you feel­ing bet­ter. These sug­ges­tions are just that — ideas that might trig­ger your own inner wis­dom on the dir­ec­tion to head for your heal­ing. Just keep pay­ing atten­tion, and get help when you need it.

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