Coping with feeling exhausted means having to endure feeling slow, heavy and simply dragging yourself through each and every day. I know it sounds depressing, but ask any person stuck in fatigue and this is exactly what they will tell you. They look fine on the outside: on the inside it is a completely different story.
Fatigue Is No Joke
Fatigue really is no joke. It’s a sneaky beast! It creeps in, builds its layers and takes your defences down one by one. All whilst you are just trying to get on with your life and you are battling through each day as it comes.
And yet most people who suffer with feelings of exhaustion simply ignore it and carry on, until things either get so bad they can’t go on or until there is a crisis that focuses them to stop.
Don’t let this be you. Don’t wait till things are really bad, till you’ve hit rock bottom, till your life’s falling apart around your ears, before you take action.
In this article I will walk you through a mini-stocktake of your health and your life, so that this doesn’t happen to you. So that you can make a powerful decision: do I fix this now or later?
“If you don’t make time for your health now, you will have to make time for being ill later”
Because at the end of the day, it truly is your choice whether you continue to suffer or not. Whether you take care of your health now, or wait until things are truly a struggle.
Taking Control: A Powerful Stocktake
This is your opportunity to make that choice. To take a good look at where it is all really at, and decide whether you wish to continue with your health and your life being this way, or whether you want to choose a different path.
Only YOU can make that choice!
Here is what you need to do. Go through the list below, read the description and then give yourself a score out of 10.
10 is the ‘life is wonderful’ end of the spectrum, 1 is the ‘OMG it’s a huge issue and I just hadn’t realised how much it was affecting me until now’ end of the spectrum.
Read through the list below. This sets out 10 key ways in which fatigue keeps you stuck and compromises your health and happiness. This list is not exhaustive- there are plenty of other ways in which being stuck in exhaustion can play out in your life. But this is a powerful start to begin with. Make sure you write down your scores!!
1) Motivation Levels
We all know this one! Anytime we feel tired, we lose out mojo. We just don’t have as much umph as much get up and go. And when our physical energy slows down, so does our mental energy. They go hand in hand.
So just how motivated are you these days?
10 = sky high motivation
0 = what motivation?
2) Irritable and Snappy
When you’re stuck in fatigue, feeling snappy and irritable becomes your new normal. You are easily upset, just feel a constant level of annoyance and you easily lose your patience, often over the smallest things. This simply isn’t you!
So just how easy going and relaxed are you these days?
10 = relaxed and loving life
0 = snappy, irritable and short fused most of the time- even though this isn’t really me!
3) Low Mood and Loss of Joy
When we are in fatigue we stop being able to feel joy and take real pleasure from things. It’s as if we become disconnected from the buzz and vibe of life. We just can’t feel it anymore. Which leav you simply ‘ going through the motions’ instead of genuinely loving life. When was the last time you really felt happy and excited simply by being alive?
So just how happy are you these days?
10 = full of joy, loving life
0 = just going through the motions but not really feeling it
4) Loss of Confidence
Fatigue stops you from feeling like the real you. Instead you become this zombie, who is dutifully going through the motions of life. You lose that spark and fun that used to be your hallmark. You’ve lost your edge, your confidence and your self worth is rock bottom.
So just how confident are you these days?
10 = ultra confident and sparky
0 = my self worth is rock bottom
5) Eat rubbish
Fatigue is one of the biggest reasons that we make poor food choices. We just don’t have the energy or motivation to think about food, plan ahead or make nutritious meals. Instead we go for what is quick and easy.
So just how healthy are your meals these days?
10 = nailing it in the healthy eating department
0 = rarely cook, no energy, no interest. This is so not me!
6) The Carb Cravings.
These are the bad boys of fatigue- those cravings that force you to eat anything and everything in the fridge, in the cupboard…nothing is safe. You eat, then feel even worse. And you probably beat yourself up, for letting yourself down yet again, because you had such good intentions of eating healthily and really looking after yourself.
So just how often do those food cravings get the better of you?
10 = Cravings, what cravings?!
0 = the carb craving monster rules my life
7) Crap Sleep
It seems unfair that when we are in fatigue, our sleep becomes disturbed, but this is exactly what happens to so many of us. We either sleep very lightly, toss and turn all night, wake up a lot, struggle to get off to sleep, or simply don’t feel rested in the morning. So ask yourself: am I sleeping like a princess?
So how would you rate your sleep quality?
10 = sleeping like a princess
0 = If only!
8) Lack of Exercise
Exercising is just about the last thing you want to do. The morning run, the gym, the yoga class, or whatever you love to do – it bites the dust. You end up sitting on the couch or lying in bed and guess what…? Is this you right now?
So how would you rate your exercise?
10 = I have so much energy that exercising is easy and I do it regularly.
0 = I have a very intimate relationship with my sofa/ bed
9) Your Work Life and Earning Your Living.
This is a big one, because most of us are either the main breadwinners, or we need the money we earn for important things like the mortgage, kids university fees, or saving up for that special project that is the light at the end of the tunnel.
So underperforming, or losing your job is just not an option. And if you are self-employed this is even more critical, because the buck absolutely stops with you.
So let me ask you, if your fatigue is running the show, just how confident are you that this is the road to career success and prosperity?
10 = I do my work with ease because I have plenty of energy
0 = I worry every day about whether or not I am cutting it at work and am terrified I might lose my job.
10) Your Relationships Suffer
Fatigue means you just want to shut yourself off from the world, from life and from the people you love and care about.
Your kids, your partner, your friends – yes, they have all noticed that you are just not your usual self, that you are not 100% there and that often you would rather go to bed than spend time together. They say they ’understand’ but at the end of the day, how long can that go on before they stop bothering, or even give up on you all together?
But the biggest tragedy of all is that you shut off from YOU. You lose yourself, you lose who you are, and you lose what your life is all about.
This is the one that really hurts, and does the biggest damage. Because after all, if you lose who you really are and what your life is all about, then what is life for?
I won’t even ask you to score this one, because you know exactly who the people are in your life who are paying the price for your fatigue.
Mirror Mirror On The Wall
Who is the smartest of them all? Right now, thats you, because it takes great courage wisdom and honesty to really face up to the impact fatigue is really having on your life AND then take responsibility for getting it fixed.
So how do we do that?
We start where we are. So now you should have 10 sets of numbers, your scores out of 10. I want you to look at your lowest score. If you have several 1’s or 2’ s, then choose the one you are going to take a good look at first.
Take that area of your life, and imagine it was 10x worse than it is now. Be brave and really let yourself go there. What would it be like if that low mood, or that lack of confidence, or that loss of motivation got even worse? And not just a bit, but ten times worse? What would happen? How would you feel? What would that mean for your future?
I know, this is not for the faint of heart. But until we stop pulling the wool over our own eyes and take a look at what is really going on, we will always stay stuck in coping mode.
What is Coping Mode Exactly?
We go into coping mode because the reality of the situation is just too painful to bear. So we tell ourselves things like this:
- It’s not that bad
- I’ll be alright when….
- It’s my age
- It’s the menopause
- I just need to lose a few pounds and then it will all be so much better
- I just need to exercise more….
If these sound familiar, then trust me, you are in coping mode.
All The Pieces Are In Place
So now you are clear.
You know exactly the price you are paying for staying stuck in fatigue and exhaustion.
You have taken a tiny peek into your future to see what happens if you let this play out (scary I know!)
You know if you are in coping mode or not
NOW you have all the information, its time to choose..
- Do you want to stay stuck in fatigue?
- Do you want to stay stuck in coping mode?
- Do you want to keep paying the price?
And do you really want a future that up until now you’ve only had a sneaky peek at and that was enough to scare the living daylights out of you….?
And if you need some help with that, you know where to find me.
Dr Margriet x