Feeling tired has become a 21st century way of life, but we aren’t designed for it. Fatigue is not a ‘normal’ state to be in all the time. It has been normalised by the way we live, but it’s not natural. So it has a profound impact on our health and happiness.
Mothers often put their fatigue down to just part of the job, but it isn’t. I know I thought my tiredness was just from being a mother, but at some stage I began to question if it might be something else. I wondered if it would ever end, and if in fact there was something else behind feeling tired all the time.
Turns out it was a lack of nutrition. A lack of balance. A lack of stress management. Too much coffee. Modern life rubbing the wrong way. Motherhood was part of it, in that I had extra responsibilities and time constraints, but my fatigue was a direct result of failing to properly look after myself. It is possible to be a mother, to be busy, and not be tired.
With busy lifestyles, we become accustomed to shrugging off tiredness and getting on with things, using coffee and other quick pick-me-ups throughout the day to keep going. We skip meals when we feel too busy to bother to make them or we make poor choices for the same reason, and we wind down at the end of the day with a glass of wine more often than not.
It’s common to stay up later than we should, spend more time sitting in front of computers than is good for us, and to not get enough sleep so we get up in the morning feeling anything but rested.
We stretch ourselves from dawn to dusk, and then some more, to cover family life and work life, and believe it’s normal to feel worn out, that it just has to be that way.
It might be normal in the sense that everyone seems to be tired, but it’s not natural. The modern western way of life is not condusive to the natural needs and rhythms of the human body. But nourishing yourself properly in terms of your mind, body and spirit enables you to handle it better.
A poor diet, too little rest and proper sleep, a lack of movement, and no stillness and space for mental clarity all make living life today harder to cope with. It can lead to exhaustion and adrenal fatigue which in turn can lead to further complicated health issues.
Running on empty, or ‘soldiering on’, can lead to many symptoms from just being tired all the time and wanting to go to sleep a lot, to digestive issues, irritability or being highly strung. The constant stress load on your body is setting it up for disease and illness in the short and long term as it compromises your immune system.
Fighting fatigue is about more than just getting some extra sleep. It’s about reviewing the way you live – what you eat and how you eat it, your time in nature, your hobbies, your work life, your relationships, downtime and quiet reflection, and your movement and exercise.
When life is busy, it’s more important than ever to nourish yourself in all areas so that you can not only cope with life, but actually enjoy it.