Exhaustion is so real.
The bone-tired, every-drop-drained, roll me to bed tired creeps in a lot when you have autoimmune disease.
And when you are a mom.
And when you are alive.
It's a part of life that feels like it's taking over.
If you let it.
I know...I want to think that it's bigger than me too. I want to validate my moments of brain-fog, and forgotten appointments, and dragging my feet through my karate lessons.
This is huge. This is real. And the fact that I am moving is significant, folks!
We have choices. Thinking that we don't...causes suffering that makes fatigue feel unbearable.
And we don't even have to be the ones who respond to "How are you?" with "I'm so tired" without minimizing the achievement of getting out of bed today.
How is that done??
I'm glad you asked.
Here are three things you can do today to make fatigue (now you're in charge!) more bearable:
1. Recognize that you don't have to do anything you don't want to do.
"I have to watch my kids."
"I have to work."
"I have to be here for my friend."
"I've got to go to that event."
None of these are true. (WHAT??? Jenn, that's just crazy talk!)
There is something very real and very subtle that happens when we utter these words either out loud or in our minds.
We become victims. Forced to be somewhere or do something against our wills.
And where there is a victim, there is a villain.
Resentment can build about our jobs, our kids, our friends, the event, our spouse without even being aware of this destructive dialogue chattering away in our minds.
But here is the truth.
If you don't watch your kids, someone else can raise them.
If you don't go to work, you can live out on the streets.
If you don't go to your friend, or attend the event, there may be consequences that you don't like...but that's the point.
You are choosing to be exactly where you are...eyes drooping, arms hanging...because you want to be.
As soon as this happens you are no longer a victim, you are a choice-maker.
You are free to be happy with your choice.
2. Recognize that there is something bigger than your fatigue
If you are choosing to be where you are instead of snuggled up in bed with your comfy cupcake jammies on...you must be somewhere amazing.
When someone asks you, "How are you?", why focus on the lesser?
If you are watching your toddler dump the powdered sugar on his head while his older brother tries to cover him with butter and you get to be the one to snap the picture for the first time his fiance comes over to meet you...and someone asks how you are...why not mention, "I'm watching my kids get ready to learn to clean up" over "I'm so tired?"
It's like telling someone that you're fine when you just won the lottery.
It's about focus. The more you focus on what you are gaining, the less horrible you will feel.
3. Take a good look at fatigue
When you look at it closely, it doesn't feel so nice.
It's uncomfortable. It makes you want to shut your eyes.
But that's about it. The sensations of fatigue is doable. Telling ourselves how horrible it is, creates suffering.
What if you told yourself, "No big deal. I'm tired. I feel like closing my eyes...and that's it. I can do tired."
4. Give yourself permission to rest
When you decide that resting is genuinely what you would rather be doing, give yourself permission to do it and accept the consequences. Maybe you miss the event. Or the meeting. If you decided it was worth it, be the one to back it up and own it. Don't wait for someone else to give you leave or permission. You are the one with the responsibility to take care of you.
If you find that you are giving seemingly less important things priority over sleep, maybe it is time to ask why and take a look.
I'm literally excited for you to feel tired. I'm sorry (not sorry). That moment when you think you're in a runaway buggy and then realize that you can grab the reigns and shout, "Whoa!" any old time is just amazing.
What in your life is important and significant enough to keep you awake? I would love to know.
Here was one of mine.
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