If you are feeling tired or stressed out all the time, it’s time to listen up! These are signs of exhaustion. And if it’s not addressed, it can lead to burnout.
I know exhaustion all too well. Once upon a time, I was a people-pleasing, type-A perfectionist. I did not know how to slow down and relax. I also experienced panic attacks and constant anxiety.
After a busy day at work, I would come home and take care of my chores and then crash in front of the TV, usually after eating a bunch of junk food to numb my feelings.
On weekends, I tried to keep busy running errands and meal prepping for the week and wouldn’t relax until late Sunday night.
This is a common cycle that too many people fall into. (Especially parents.)
Does this sound familiar? Are you someone that regularly works late or takes care of everyone else in your family, instead of paying attention to your own needs?
When you start to experience signs of exhaustion or burnout, it’s time to make a change.
So often we don’t listen to our own bodies until we crash! But when we know better, we can do better.
Signs of Exhaustion
Do you experience any of these signs of exhaustion on a regular basis?
- You have trouble falling asleep.
- You have trouble waking up.
- You can’t do as much physical activity as you used to.
- You feel more irritable than usual.
- You feel like you need to snack or eat more often, or you get hangry (hungry-angry).
- Or your appetite is decreasing.
- You can’t go through the day without caffeine.
- Your coffee consumption has increased.
- You are feeling more (or much less) emotional lately.
- You keep getting sick. Your immune system doesn’t seem to be as strong as it used to be.
Many of these signs are commonly related to stress. If you are feeling stressed out or anxious frequently, this can lead to exhaustion. That is why it’s SO important to take charge!
What To Do About Exhaustion
1. Slow down.
This is a great place to start. If you are busy running around, eating on-the-go, and rushing from one thing to the next, it may be time to slow down.
Try literally slowing down how fast you move. And find little moments to be still.
Change your schedule so that you have extra time in between activities. This may mean saying NO sometimes, but you are worth it! (And so is your health.)
2. Ask for help.
Especially if you are a parent!
Ask for support and be specific about what you want help with. Try to let go of any guilt and focus on taking care of yourself.
You deserve support and it’s perfectly normal to ask others to help out.
3. Practice daily or twice daily meditation.
Meditation is an excellent practice!
I love to meditate in the middle of the day. It helps me to recharge after a busy morning and power through the afternoon.
4. Take some time alone without any electronics.
This could mean being creative, sitting outside, or reading a book.
Maybe it’s walking around the park or gardening or dog walking.
These little activities can be fun and give you a break at the same time!
5. Get a lot of sleep.
One thing that most stressed out, exhausted people have in common is that they are not sleeping enough.
If you are in that camp, making sleep a priority can make a big difference!
Are you having trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep? Read this article for my top sleep tips.
6. Reduce your caffeine intake.
Coffee or energy drinks are common coping mechanisms for people who are exhausted. If you find yourself unable to function without a good amount of caffeine, this is something to pay attention to!
You can try reducing your intake gradually or switching your beverage of choice. I switched from daily coffee to drinking one cup of matcha in the morning. This has some caffeine, but not enough to wreck my sleep or give me anxiety.
Need a few other ideas to swap out your coffee? Check out this article.
7. Find ways to reduce stress.
This is the key. Reducing stress can go a long way to mental and emotional health.
It can help our relationships and help us to set an example for our loved ones.
I can’t think of a better way to show self-respect.
8. Dig deep into your motivation.
Make some space and spend some time thinking about your purpose. This is a great journaling activity.
What truly motivates you to stay busy or take care of others? What would life be like if you slowed down or reduced your workload? What would people think?
What would life look like to be a person who made time for themself?
Take some time with this one. Maybe explore some of your dreams and what you want to accomplish in this life.
9. Explore new hobbies.
Take a look at the dreams you journaled about above. This is a great place to explore new hobbies!
If you dreamed about being an artist or an actor, you can dive into improv or painting classes. You can always start with YouTube, Udemy, or see if your local library has a way to take online courses for free.
Maybe you dreamed about being an author. You could start writing short stories or blogging on the weekends.
Taking these little steps can make a BIG impact on your stress level and your happiness!
For more tips to reduce stress and fatigue:
- 9 Ways To Practice Self-Care In Stressful Times
- 10 Lessons I Wish I Had Known About Chronic Fatigue
- 7 Ways To Improve Your Nervous System Health
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