Helping women own their inner power to live a life that feels good.

Exhausted Much?

Wellness | 0 comments

Exhausted Much?

Wellness0 comments

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Exhausted much? “I am so tired”, I sighed, slouching my shoulders and exhaling hot, huffy air.

… It was only ten in the morning.

I hadn’t gone for a jog, nor had I done anything physically draining. However, my brain felt as though it had already run a marathon.  

New science suggests that when the brain overthinks, toxic metabolites (small molecules creating metabolic functions) cram into the prefrontal cortex (where thoughts are processed). The toxic molecules convince the brain and body to shut down your energy supply. Thus, fatigue takes over and rarely allows a second wind to breeze through and reboot your body.

Do you find yourself ready for a nap before lunch? Are you so preoccupied with your thoughts that you can’t be mentally present for conversations? Maybe the simple thought of sitting down with a friend and talking through a hard season leaves you sluggish.

I can relate to all of the above.

I have a mental condition (Intrusive Thought Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) that thrives off an overactive brain. On days when this diagnosis seems to win, I wake up looking forward to nothing more than going back to sleep. Once I’m non-cognitive, all my worries vanish.

But they don’t vanish, they simply wait for me to wake up and relive my lifeless, tired cycle of overthinking. However, I can’t blame OCD for all of life’s woes. Often, I ignore the needs of my mind, body, and spirit, so I easily become a victim of head-to-toe fatigue before I’ve finished my morning coffee.

Exhausted much? Let’s look at simple steps to thwart mental exhaustion by caring for mind, body, and spirit: 

Mind

Did you know that you aren’t defined by your thoughts? Of course, you should guard your thought patterns because they shape your perspective. However, it isn’t your job to think through each thought that flies through your mind.

Thought about running over the guy who cut you off in traffic? Mentally debated throwing your portfolio across the table and telling your boss he’s a narcissist? Considered waging war with the social media troll who’s heckling your feed?

Yeah, well, you are human. And simply because these wild, slightly irrational thoughts invade your mind doesn’t mean you are a vicious murderer, a maddened employee, or a digital bully. Instead, you are simply human and have moments of imperfection.

My therapist told me that when I have back-to-back-to-back intrusive thoughts and feel mentally overwhelmed to place my hand on my heart. The rhythmic thudding reminds me that I am a human. I am present, taking up space in the world. Yet, I am a flawed creature that requires quiet time to allow all the negative thoughts to flush out of my system. This exercise reminds me that I have a purpose, but I must give myself patience while navigating  the purpose. 

 

Body 

When was the last time you ate something that grew from the dirt? First-world countries provide ample food, but so many of our foods aren’t, well, food. They are processed, genetically modified, edible chemicals that trick our taste sensors into wanting more.

Perhaps you think you’re still in college, able to run off four hours of sleep and five cups of coffee. Well, your body isn’t meant to take the brunt of your college years forever. Science recommends that you receive at least eight hours of sleep per night.

Exhausted much? As an adult, take responsibility for your habits. Carve out time to cook healthy meals and get good, healthy sleep.

 

Spirit 

I firmly believe humans are more than the metabolic fires (and misfires) that guide our days. Of course, we are limited creatures that do, indeed, depend on healthy foods, the right amount of sleep, consistent exercise,  and other physical elements.

However, if you have ever loved a man, been hurt by a best friend, or felt betrayed by a parent who was supposed to protect you, then you know we are much more complicated than biological boundaries. We have souls that long for healthy communication and relationships.

If you feel a disconnect with others or notice the harsh ways you speak to yourself, I encourage you to talk with not only a trusted friend but a licensed professional.

There’s bravery in admitting your humanity while possessing the vulnerable stamina to prioritize your heart, soul, and relationship with others.

While I am a religious gal and find my steady ground in talking with trustworthy Christian leaders and therapists, I understand that others might not feel comfortable in a “churchy” setting. However, don’t keep your heavy feelings and traumatic burdens bottled up. Your soul will pay the price.

Exhausted much?  Find a doctor, counselor, or trustworthy mentor to serve as a healthy sounding board so your spirit can have its own detox and refreshment.

Take time to consider how you are treating your mind, body, and spirit.

Exhausted much? How would you describe your current mental state? Share with a comment and don’t forget to react to this post with an emoji!

 Peyton Garland

Peyton Garland

Guest Writing Coach

Peyton Garland is a writer, wanna-be rapper, and coffee shop hopper who loves connecting people to a grace much bigger than expected. Her debut book, Not So by Myself, was promoted by Former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino and endorsed by TED Talk speaker and creator of the More Love Letters movement, Hannah Brencher. You can connect with Peyton via social media or her website.

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