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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