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How Do We Deal with Overwhelming Exhaustion? Part 2

Hello again. I hope part one of ways we can deal with exhaustion has been helpful. Ideally, you’ve begun to acknowledge feeling exhausted is something you resonate with and have fully admitted that to yourself. Maybe you’ve stopped here, sitting with the realization before taking further steps. Maybe you’ve moved ahead towards removing things from your to do list and shifting your schedule. I hope you’ve turned the news off and have begun consuming light, funny and enjoyable forms of media. If you’ve done these things, I have to believe, at the very least, you’re not more exhausted than when you were reading part one. Whether you’ve begun to take these steps yourself, have sent them to someone you feel is in need, or are still playing around with the idea in your mind, the remaining action steps to combat exhaustion are highlighted below.

After switching from consuming negative content to more positive content, the next step is to begin implementing more things that are fun and bring joy into your daily life. When we put our head down and push through the daily grind, we often forget to pick our heads up, look around, and make sure we’re experiencing laughter and joy. We miss the beauty when our heads are down. I encourage you to spend some time writing a list of things that bring you joy. These things can be as small, random, abstract, weird, normal, big as you can imagine. Board games, facetimes, walks with friends, your dog, any hobby, going for a drive with the music blasting, dancing around your living room, whatever puts a smile on your face, right it down. I then encourage you to make sure you’re doing or participating in at least one thing on this list per day, if not more. After all, what exactly are we working so hard towards or for if our life is drained of smiles, laughter and joy? 

When we start a new year, many people make goals, resolutions, or intentions for the upcoming year. However, frequently when we set goals for ourselves they’re very big and potentially overwhelming goals that may take a long time to complete. It’s hard to recognize the progress we’re making towards our goal if we don’t break it down into smaller more actionable steps. The key is to set ourselves up for success, not failure, and working towards something that feels very difficult and very far away can be discouraging. Instead of focusing so much time on a goal, pick something simple and enjoyable that you can finish easily and quickly. When we set a goal and achieve it quickly, we feel more accomplished and are making progress. These goals could be to finish a book, a home diy project, a television show, etc. Our lives cannot revolve around work all of the time, a line that has become much harder to draw when we work from our home and home is where we work.

It’s very easy to let the important things slip when you’re exhausted, in order to keep up with work or other obligations. We’re quick to sacrifice ourselves and our own mental and physical health to meet demands, even if the demands are set by ourselves. Things such as eating, sleeping and moving are all part of living a healthy life. If you’ve gotten to the point of exhaustion, which it seems like you have if you’ve made it this far in the blog, pause and check in on these areas of your life. Are you drinking enough water? Are you eating food that nourish your body? Are you eating enough? Are you moving each and every day? How many hours are you sleeping each night? Do you feel rested when you wake up? If the answers to these questions are less than ideal, make the adjustments needed a priority. Maintaining good sleeping, eating and moving habits are essential for creating a solid foundation for all other aspects of your life.

The things we’re experiencing and living through are not normal, the resulting exhaustion, however, is. You’re not alone. Make a pact with a loved one to hold each other accountable and implement the steps discussed. Be kind to yourselves.

If you’ve found yourself struggling with feelings of exhaustion, feeling drained and unable to focus or be present in your life and work, it may be useful to talk to a licensed counselor for support in your mental health journey. Contact Symmetry Counseling at 312-578-9990 to set up an appointment with one of our very skilled therapists today!

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