Feeling exhausted these days?
You aren’t alone.
As a culture, we are tired, we are weary.
It’s just exhausting being a human in the world today, plain and simple.
We are fighting at least 2 pandemics, Covid-19 and systemic racism. Both are marathons, that require daily vigilance to fight. Neither is going away anytime soon.
For another, the side effects of these 2 major pandemics are taking their toll.
Anxiety, depression, anger and feelings of frustration are on the rise.
What do we do?
We protect ourselves as best we can so we can show up in the world ready, ready to respond appropriately, ready to be kind to others, ready to make good decisions for ourselves and our loved ones, ready to serve as best we can.
How do we protect ourselves from exhaustion?
4 ways are discussed below: Sleep, Friendship, Creativity and Food
Sleep is the number one tool. Sleep, sleep, precious sleep.
Here’s a review of sleep hygiene:
- Plan to be in bed for 9 hours every night. 8-5, 9-6, 10-7, 11-8. Even if you aren’t sleeping the whole time, you are resting.
- Plan to go to bed 3-4 hours after your last meal/food so your blood can heal your brain while you sleep (aka: better thinking) rather than digesting your food.
- Dark Dark Dark, make your room as dark as possible. This helps melatonin production and helps you fall asleep.
- Daylight: expose yourself to sunlight during the day. This also helps you sleep.
- Exercise: Move your body often during the day, physically wear yourself out.
- Read a book. Old school reading a book will help you fall asleep.
- No technology in the bedroom, that means phones, computers, TVs are off and out of the bedroom. Screens do a doozy to your brain so best to avoid as your are winding down for sleep.
- Turn off the news. Limit your news intake to 10 minutes or less per day, even take some days off. Trust me, you will be ok if you don’t consume the news 24/7. In fact, you will be better off if you protect your nervous system from the news. This is the major player in exhaustion these days.
- Replace the news with content that inspires you or relaxes you.
- No caffeine 8 hours before bedtime. So if you go to bed at 8 (like I do many nights), no caffeine after 12noon.
- Develop a ritual in order to get into the mood for sleep. Ideas include: Shower, bath, face wash, brush teeth, meditation, stretching, gratitude journal, writing, reading.
Loneliness is on the rise. It can feel lonelier out there if you aren’t on the same page as your old friends. Making new friends and maintaining friendships is crucial during this time. Feeling lonely is real. Even if you live in a family, you can feel lonely. Pick up the phone and make a connection. Ask someone to do a safe physically distancing activity together like biking or hiking. We need each other and having friends takes effort but that effort is always worth it.
The thing about friends is that there are always more friends to make. Yes, even during Covid-19 you can safely make new friends. Just strap on your courage and kindness and get out there. Perhaps commit to some volunteer work in town that’s in person (better for making friends) and outside (better for physical distancing) like the Farmer’s Market or one of our local farms. Perhaps you can offer a child mentorship through Circle of Friends? Showing up once isn’t going to make a friend. Commit to showing up often. That’s why it’s important to pick a volunteer activity that you are actually interested in.
Gather up your courage and show up and serve.
If you’re feeling those butterflies of nerves in your belly, just take a deep breath. The number one thing you need to do is show up and ask questions. Ask someone how their day is going. People like to talk about themselves so just open up the door by asking a simple question. Get curious and interested in what another human might be up to, in what another human is thinking about. Don’t judge. Just observe and be curious.
Making friends is actually a fun thing to do! Friendships help beat exhaustion since social connections reduce stress levels and when stress levels are low, we have more high-vibe energy fueling our days.
The time has come. Get creative! Figure out your art: painting, drawing, writing, designing, sewing, playing music, and schedule it into your day, everyday. Even if it’s just 15 minutes of doodling or coloring, do it.
Activating your creative mind will help you think better, so you can make good decisions for yourself.
Activating your creative mind will open up your heart, so you can soften and be kinder to yourself and others.
It takes way less energy to be kind towards ourselves than to be mean, talk negatively to ourselves.
Getting creative will expand your energy and is an amazing way to battle exhaustion.
Just simply, eat proteins and healthy fats since they will sustain you during these marathons.
Of course, we all crave the simple sugars, the quick bursts of energy, the quick hits to the brain. With carbs and sugars, however there is always a crash, always.
Keep quick protein-rich foods around like raw nuts, string cheese and avocados.
Fuel your body and mind for the long haul, to help mitigate exhaustion.
So there you have it, some simple ways through sleep, friendships, creativity, and food choices to help you deal with exhaustion. It’s an adventure, a marathon. Take good care of yourself out there!!