5 Questions for When You're Tired
This morning I found myself distracted, flitting from the half folded laundry to the semi-unloaded dishwasher and back again, all while berating myself for not having the energy and focus to get down to work.
I'm normally distracted by shiny objects (my ADHD daughter is convinced she inherited it from me) and as a number 7 on the Enneagram I'd rather try something new than finish a project that's got to the tough stage, but it wasn't that.
This was a whole new level of apathy and distractedness and it took a hot second to figure out what on earth was going on.
We're only 19 days into 2022 and I'm already running on fumes!
Not the "I've been out too many nights this week" or "I pushed myself too hard at the gym" kind of tired. It's not even the tiredness of being sick or grieving. I know those too well.
This is the tiredness where I struggle to recharge my internal battery to more than 50% each time I rest.
Maybe you're feeling the same way too.
If you're feeling like your get up and go has got up and gone and you've no idea where it's got to but want it back, thank you very much, I pulled together a list of the 5 questions to ask when you're tired.
I've found these five questions help me figure out not just how to get my energy back but how to not let this be my new normal.
Because no one wants to live their life like a sloth on Benadryl!
5 Questions to Ask When You're Tired:
- Am I taking care of the basics?
By this I mean are you, for the most part, eating a pretty health, balanced diet, drinking enough water and not too much alcohol, and getting to bed at a reasonable time?
If we're honest and answer Well, my new years healthy eating goal last all but 3 days and I've been out three out of four nights this week ... Then we have a pretty good idea WHY we're tired.
But if we're all good on this front, asking yourself the next question will give you more insight.
- Have I been caring stress, grief, worry, or sickness for a while?
It's easy to underestimate how exhausting stress, grief and worry can be and often we're not completely aware of these things until our bodies tell us to stop. If you've lost someone or something has come to an end recently, the emotional energy of loss is hard to gauge. In the same way, stress and worry can be exhausting and their affects impact every part of our lives.
What are you carrying today?
- Am I doing enough of what fills me and reducing the things that drain me?
Writing a list of the things that fill you up, reenergize you and bring you alive can highlight the activities and people we're not making time for. Likewise a list of things that drain us can show us how much of are day-to-day is filled with energy-zappy activities.
Do you know what drains and fills you? I thought I did but I really didn't until I sat and wrote a list! (Thanks Emily P Freeman for the nudge to find out).
Do you have them in balance or are the all one sided?
- Am I the hero in my own story?
Before my inbox is filled with emails asking How can I be the hero of my life when I'm trying to make Jesus the hero, not me? hear me out.
I'm reading Hero On A Mission: A Path to a Meaningful Life by Donald Miller, and he asks us what role we're living out in our lives; victim, villain, her or guide? When we live with the mindset of a victim or villain we lose agency in our own stories and that is an exhausting way to live.
On the other hand, when we take on the role of hero in our own story, facing the challenges and set backs that come along as we journey towards the thing(s) we want in life, we're filled with a sense of meaning, value, agency, and purpose, that keeps our energy and motivation levels topped up, no matter what comes along.
What role are you currently playing in the story of your own life?
It's one of these for sure, the question is, which one.
- Am I willing to do something about it?
This might sound crazy because I know you're sick of being tired and of course you want to do something about it.
And yet it's never that simple.
Figuring out why we're tired and then doing something about it is FAR harder than simply coping and carrying on at 50%.
Grabbing that extra coffee for a much needed caffeine boost, trying to sleep in at the weekend with kids watching cartoons at full volume downstairs, or sticking with a job you don't love because changing seems like just too much hassle, are all easier than doing the work of figuring out why we're stuck in this loop on tiredness.
So, are you will to make some changes?
I'm not here to shame you. In fact I'm figuring this out right alongside you.
This isn't about having a Go Big Or Gi Home mentality when it comes to making life changes.
Just one small tweak can make all the difference and one small change a top another one quickly adds up to a battery that's charging on the daily and isn't that what we long for?
Tell me, how are your energy levels?
What fills you up and what drains you?
What's one thing you'd do if you had all the energy in the world?
Just leave a comment below. I promise I'll read and reply to every single one.