How often do we say or hear the words, I am so tired or I was just too tired. Tiredness, or fatigue,
seems to be a very common complaint within our modern western society. But does it need to be?

I would like to suggest that it does not have to be that way and that there are a number of factors that contribute
to the exhaustion many of us regularly feel, which could be eliminated.

Insufficient sleep
This is so obvious it is almost embarrassing to mention it. Yet how many of us insist on burning the candle at both ends? Making sure we have enough sleep demands discipline; an ability to prioritise and say no to those things that would keep us up long after we should have gone to bed.

For some of us, we go to bed at a reasonable time, but struggle to get to sleep, wake frequently, or wake early and then can’t go back to sleep. There might be a number of reasons for this. Maybe we have over-stimulated our minds or our bodies and haven’t had an adequate period to chill or calm down. A simple investigation of how we spend the last hour before we retire may be all that is required. Alternatively, some may be struggling with anxiety and/or depression which severely interferes with the quality of their sleep. Talking through these issues with a trusted friend or counsellor/therapist may be what is required in this case.

Some of our tiredness may be due to doing too much; of being ‘workaholics’. Questioning how much we are working, what leisure we allow ourselves, what is our balance between rest and work is then needed to address this area. One simple rule of thumb could be to try and slow down, rather than rushing from one thing to another, constantly trying to beat the clock. Perhaps the inclusion of a time each day when we find somewhere where we can be still is what is required so that we can develop an inner quiet place and a still heart.

Having just stated that over-activity can be the cause of exhaustion, we now need to acknowledge that fatigue can also be generated by doing too little or being under-stimulated. As can, for some personalities, getting stuck in a rut! A close look at our lifestyle as to its content could be very illuminating. Maybe we might need to consider going on an adventure, whether physically, intellectually or spiritually. It may be that we can’t change the main cause of boredom, in which case we need to look at what is going on around it to try and compensate.

It is well known that too much food or drink before going to bed can seriously effect the quality of our sleep. But over-consumption can also be about material goods. If our aim in life is to have the biggest house, the nicest car, and the latest fashions then we will have to work long and hard to earn the money required to purchase and maintain them. For some, living a simpler lifestyle not only frees up capital but also generates a sense of satisfaction and fulfilment.

A person who loves being with people, who likes to go with the flow and thrives on change, variety and being spontaneous will be exhausted if they constantly force themselves to live with a tight structure, routine and timetable, in an office on their own. Knowing ourselves and how we best like to function and then tailoring our lives accordingly can be a major factor in overcoming tiredness. Undertaking some form of personality assessment, such as the Myers Briggs Personality Type indicator, can go a long way to resolving this problem. And, further more, could help us not only to understand ourselves better but also to understand others thus reducing the general stress we may experience in our day to day lives.

Travelling on the underground some time ago, I was horrified to see the following on an advert: ‘Are you fed up with being tired? Take these pills, and fatigue will become a thing of the past!’ Whatever happened to having time off? To developing a hobby? To having a balanced lifestyle, so that what we demand from our bodies is more than met by what we put into them?

I am well aware that this is not an exhaustive treatment of the subject (sorry, no pun intended!), but hopefully have stimulated thought as to what can be done to give our bodies a better chance to cope with the demands that we make of them.

If you would like to know more, especially in the area of personality awareness, then please feel free to contact me, without obligation.

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