I’ve woke up each morning feeling increasingly tired. But instead of thinking “I’m tired”, I’ve felt unhappy.
This is burnout. This is exhaustion.
You can sleep each night and still feel tired. When you’re mentally, emotionally, physically, or spiritually drained, it takes more than just one or two good nights’ sleep to fix it.
You need to rest while awake, too. You need to speak kindly to yourself. You need to work on what might be causing you stress, anxiety, or tension. You need to basically pay attention to this feeling or state and do something about it.
Here are some things to do if you’re feeling tired/ burnt out:
Shorten the to-do list
Clearly, you’re in need of a slower day. We can’t always say that we’ll do nothing all day. And if you’re like me, you get itchy when doing nothing anyway. But you can, and must, shorten your to-do list when you feel like this.
Expect less from yourself
Instead of 5 things you need to do, do 3. The world won’t end! If it does, that’s a worry…
Do something you love
If you love to travel/go on holiday and can afford to do so, now is the time! Your body and mind may be calling for a reset. Being somewhere new and taking things slower because you’re in an unfamiliar place is a great way to refill the figurative cup.
What’s you’re favourite book, film, song, sport, restaurant, activity, whatever else? Do that! Feel good. Treat yo’self!
Detach from the energy suckers
There are people and places that just suck away at our energy. Whether they know it or not, mean to or not, we need space away from that right now. Identify who and what they are in your life and just try to distance yourself for a bit. Step back and watch the difference it makes to your energy levels.
(If this is your workplace, try to list what specifically is making you feel this way. Then, see if you can change it yourself, speak to those involved, or if needs be, look for somewhere else to work because your health is more important.)
Ask for help
There is no shame in asking for support from others. Read that again. Why do so many of us get worried or embarrassed about asking for help? It doesn’t make you coolly independent and stronger than others to do everything alone to the point of fatigue, burnout, exhaustion, and even depression. That’s just being unkind to yourself. That’s just trying to prove a point that doesn’t need to be proven.
Western society seems to put people on a pedestal for sending themselves to an easy grave by hustling and being alone in the struggle. But the secret is, everyone needs help. The most successful people have had cheerleaders, support systems, partners, friends, and teammates along their way.
A problem shared is a problem halved
Instead, love yourself and care for yourself by asking for help. Let your manager know you need help with a project right now. Let your partner know you need them to pick up a bit more of the load around the house. Let your friends know you need them to rant to, or hang out with, or for a night in instead of going out.
I’ll always suggest something gentle but if you are someone who finds rest and rejuvenation from more active things, then go ahead. However, gentle things may be what you need right now and they’re just as valuable (if not more in my opinion).
- Favourite film or TV show
- Cooking mindfully
Take care of yourself
And lastly, the obvious. Look after yourself. It can be easy to neglect your needs when you’re busy or stressed. Instead, now is the time to prioritise your health no matter what.
If you don’t get the promotion because of this, then maybe you need to reevaluate why you wanted it in the first place if it’s driving you to a bad place. If your relationship dwindles because you’re looking after yourself, that should be a concern and a conversation, too.
- Choose more nutritious meals
- Stretch your body
- Increase your heart rate with activity
- Clean and tidy your home space
- Check on your finances
- Tend to your hygiene
- Do your hair
- Allow for an hour extra in the morning so you can get ready more slowly
- Plan your week ahead (so you feel more prepared and less stressed)
Tiredness and unhappiness go hand in hand for me. I think it’s because of my insomnia as a teen and the depression and anxiety I had around that time. Whether they are linked or not, we know what we can do to feel less burnt out, tired, and low mood. We just need to do those things.
If it’s more serious please go to see your doctor or therapist.