2020 - The year of exhaustion!

2020 has definitely been a year for the books.  To sum it up into one word, I would say EXHAUSTING.  If you have been feeling totally exhausted lately, you are not alone.  I am currently resurfacing from a period of rest after I crashed from exhaustion the week of Thanksgiving.  This is not my first crash of 2020, but I would definitely like to work on it being my last.  So how do you get rid of the exhaustion?  Below are some tips I have found to be helpful with moving forward.

First, we must recognize and admit to ourselves when we are exhausted.  When we continue to ignore the fact that we need rest, we end up not doing our best.  We can start to overlook important details.  When we continue to push through in an exhausted state, we are not helping ourselves or anyone around us.

Once you have acknowledged you are exhausted, take inventory of your life. 

*What is working in your life?

*What is not workin in your life?

*What adjustments could you make moving forward?

Go through your to do list and calendar for items and events that could be postponed, dropped or canceled.  See the handout I created below to help guide you through this inventory.

We can learn to take brain breaks.  I cannot remember where I heard the term brain break, but I have loved the concept ever since I learned it.  Our minds need a break from constantly obsessing over all of the personal and professional stuff on our to do lists.  A brain break could be listening to a good story, reading a chapter in a good book or even listening to a Podcast while going for a quick walk.  This change could be just what you need to put your mind back on track to focus on what needs to be done.  Changing up what your mind is focused on can change up the cycle of working and pushing yourself into exhaustion.

Do you know what makes you happy?  Finding something that is fun and will bring us joy gives us the desire to do more.  So figure out what makes you happy.  What “fills” your cup?  Do you enjoy baking?  Do you enjoy meeting friends for lunch or drinks and dinner?  Are you at a loss of what makes you happy these days?  Start with something quick and easy.  Choose a TV series, a good book or a hobby-type project you can finish in a short amount of time.  This is a brain break activity that should not add the stress of “When am I going to find time to finish this?”

Fueling your body properly, moving your body daily and getting some sleep can get you back on track.  When we are pushing ourselves past our limits, our health and rest are usually the first things we slack on, which causes our exhaustion to creep in quicker.  You should be drinking half your body weight in water.  You should move your body for at least 30 minutes per day at a minimum of 3 days a week.  Add more fruits and veggies to your diet and remove as much processed foods as possible.  (Scroll through my blog for some healthy recipes.)  Get a minimum of 6 hours of sleep per night.  Start with when you want to wake up in the morning and go backwards to figure out what time you should be in bed and ready for sleep. 

Yes, 2020 has been a year no one was ready for.  However, just because the year changes, it doesn’t mean our stress from this year will automatically go away.  Take the time now to figure out how to control your stress and exhaustion better so that even when life gets turned upside down, you can still cope.  Below is a guide I created to help you work through this.