It’s Friday again. Chances are, you feel drained. Maybe even stressed, tired, or burned out? It’s inevitable given the way we multitask to balance work, family, friends, and other commitments. By taking stock in what you are asking yourself to do in a day, you are taking the first step towards saying goodbye to exhaustion and start feeling better. Here are a few common causes and cures of exhaustion that could change your life.
1) Your breath. Most of us are shallow, rapid breathers. This type of breathing can be caused by poor posture or stiff muscles and can lead to poor oxygen supply making us feel slow, fatigued, and exhausted! To practice deep breathing, start by lying on your back in a comfortable position. Put your hands on your belly underneath your rib cage. The tips of your two middle fingers should be barely touching. Breathe in fully through the nose & feel your chest expand — you will notice that your fingertips move apart slightly as your chest expands with air. For best results, practice deep breathing every day for a couple of minutes. Over time, you will notice a rise in energy levels.
2) Lack of connection. Do you remember your last beach vacation? How did you feel as you sat back in your chair looking out at the ocean? Relaxed, huh? There is something about a connection with nature that makes us feel less drained and less anxious. In our day-to-day lives, especially now that winter is lurking, we may go for days without seeing the light of day. We spend our entire day inside buildings with artificial light. As often as you can, talk an early morning walk. If that is impossible, get yourself outdoors for a fifteen to twenty minute walk at lunch time. Pay attention to the scenery or to your breathing — whatever works. Do not read your email on your smartphone; that’s defeating your purpose of connecting to nature!
3) No motivation. We all need a sense of meaning and a sense of joy to ground us. Getting caught up in the grind can be really depleting if you don’t have something that brings you happiness to balance it out. If you identify with this, I want to encourage you to write a few things down. Start off by listing the things that cause you to feel stressed and disconnected from the world. It could be a strained relationship with a family member, a recent break-up or job loss. Whatever it is, write it down & also write down your reaction to the stressful situation. Next, write down the things in your life that give you happiness and satisfaction. This will likely be a much shorter list, but your job is to start doing more of the things that make you feel connected and happy and less of the things that make you feel stressed and miserable. You might find that waking up early for that yoga class is worth it even if you are tired because you leave feeling energized and accomplished. Whatever it is, follow the positives and you are guaranteed that little spark you are seeking.