I’ve been hearing a common theme among the women I’ve been talking to: they’re feeling tired all the time, exhausted, depleted, and drained – all the time.
Some of them are moms who are trying to divide their time and energy between parenthood, career, and life. Other women are simply trying to juggle between their zillion roles.
A few days ago, I had a conversation with a woman who is currently in between jobs and even though she is currently not working, her days are so full that she’s not sure how she can fit a new job into her busy life.
Why are women tired all the time?
You might think that the reason we’re tired all the time is that we don’t get enough sleep. This is true at times, and we all know that getting eight hours of sleep is critical for our wellbeing, but many of the women I meet who get enough sleep report that they are still exhausted.
Awareness is always the first step. So let’s take a little “reality check” and find out what prevents us from feeling vibrant, energetic, and fully awake:
- Making the word “over” our middle name.
- Messing with our emotions.
- Trying to be perfect.
- Lacking joy.
- Disconnection from purpose and spirituality.
Many of us have too much on our plates! We tend to over-schedule, overdo, over-give, over-care, over-think, over-worry – There are so many verbs that can be perfectly modified by the word “over”! Society teaches us to connect self-worth with doing. No wonder we push ourselves to be more productive! Life requires a lot of effort and hard work. The pressure of being “over-the-top” drains us.
Taking on too much and feeling pressured and overwhelmed does not feel good. We feel sad, angry, frustrated, and disappointed in ourselves. We see those emotions as negative because they don’t feel good. But let’s look at “negative” emotions as an indication, an indication that something is off, that something needs our attention.
It is unhealthy to hold onto “negative” emotions for a long time. Eventually, the emotions turn into physical symptoms. We want to feel the emotion, to own it, to welcome it, to recognize its message, and then to release it.
Recently, my daughter, who studies overseas, came to visit. We had four wonderful weeks together. I admit, I caught myself trying to be perfect – the perfect mother, the perfect wife, and I added “over” to my middle name. I over-cooked, over-pleased, and over-entertained. Not surprisingly, I felt completely exhausted the day after she left. For the next few days after she left I felt tired all the time. It takes a lot of work to be “Miss Perfect!” My awareness helped me to catch myself, and there were some days when I did remind myself to relax and go with the flow and maybe invest 80% (instead of 120%) of my energy into my doing.
Growing up, we were programmed to believe that having fun is a waste of time and to feel guilty when we enjoy. We learn to measure our success by the level of our productivity, but connecting self-worth with productivity makes us overachievers and leads to a lack of joy. We don’t take time for pleasure, fun, and enjoyment. We say we will “find joy” when everybody else and everything else has been taken care of. But sadly, this day never comes.
When we are tired all the time, we get into survival mode, where we just try to make it through the day. Our exhaustion is not only physical; it can be a combination of physical, emotional, and spiritual exhaustion. Even women who maintain a spiritual practice (Reiki is my main spiritual practice) say that they get into this vicious cycle of being too tired to pray or do a spiritual reading like they used to, which makes them feel even less purposeful.
My intention today is to help you identify what is causing your exhaustion. This article does not offer a solution. A solution will come in the next article
Once you identify what is causing your chronic fatigue, your new clarity and new awareness will create change. After all, you can’t change if you don’t know what needs changing, right?
Which of the five reasons above speaks to you?
What might be another source of exhaustion that is not mentioned in this article?
What is going on in your life that makes you so tired? Why are you tired all the time?
Please share in the comments area, and let’s have a conversation.