author / blogger


Sleep On It

We hear the word 'exhaustion' bandied around a lot. We are "exhausted" at the end of the working day, "exhausted" walking up a flight of stairs, we're "exhausted" listening to negative conversations or dealing with negative people for hours on end. Like so much of the language we use, it has become distorted over time; words that were once reserved for the most extreme feelings or situations are now commonplace in our day to day lives. 'Awesome', for example, was once intended for the sight of an incredible awe inspiring view, a breath-taking feat of human strength; now its an unthinking response to someone handing you a cup of tea. [Just for transparency, 'awesome' is not commonplace in my own vocabulary because I've never seen anything that impressive and I’m not a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle].

But being 'exhausted' isn't something to be proud of. It isn't something to be praised for either. It's a sign you have overworked, have pushed your body too hard. It's a physical reminder that you need to take care of yourself and SLOW. DOWN.

When we become so attuned to this feeling of exhaustion we often take it for granted. An unfortunate result of this can be that we may overlook issues which might actually be symptoms of a greater problem. Everything is just placed in the 'exhausted' folder.

I have a chronic illness so i feel exhausted most of each and every day. I don’t use that phrase lightly; i know the difference between feeling a little tired and feeling utterly exhausted. I know how it feels to feel ready for bed as soon as i wake. I know how hard i find it to literally keep my eyelids from drooping when the clock strikes midday. I know how it feels to have every available muscle in my body screaming out for respite at the end of another work day.

I don’t take massive issue with people using the word 'exhaustion' you understand; i am well aware language changes and adapts to the climate over time, that’s human nature. But my worry is how readily we use a word which implies a more worrying concern. Why are you exhausted? And more importantly why do you think its in some way impressive?

We can all strive to work hard, and to the best of our abilities without endangering our physical health. The need to work and work until we are nothing but empty husks is learned behaviour that can be changed by laying down some personal ground rules. Learn where your limitations lie and make peace with having them.

Despite what every 'motivational speaker' from here to kingdom come professes; we can't always do everything we set out to achieve. Thinking positive, rubbing crystals, praying to a higher power – whatever your weapon of choice might be, 'believing in yourself' isn't always enough. Aiming to meet your targets whatever they may be, personal or professional, might need modification from time to time, and that’s OK!

The importance of factoring in rest is vital. It's not a treat to be earned, only after running yourself into the ground; its as vital to life as water and air. The stronger you feel and clearer you are the more likely you are to work-up the goods to get what you are going for. Without feeling floored at the end of it. Exhaustion doesn't achieve anything but increased mattress sales.

Night Night xo