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Hey Self?...Help!

Updated: Apr 2, 2021

Anyone Else Tired?

I wrote this one back in September 2020, but the themes resonate today, so I'm bringing it back.

Yep, that's me folks, and that's me fatigued. I'm tired. And I know I don't have it as bad as others, and frankly I don't believe I have it that bad at all. I'm more or less healthy (no COVID), and my family is too; my kids are in daycare and so far we figured out the hybrid kindergarten situation (2 hours in the AM, then a pod for play and remote instruction time at home with a small group of peers led by a family-shared nanny/babysitter/e-learning leader); I'm employed and my wife is too; we have a roof over our head and can put food on the table. See...not that bad. I can't imagine what others must be going through.

There's not much I, you, can do about the events that unfold around us, but find ways to take it all in, digest what you can, and move forwards with as much positivity as possible. But...I'm tired.

Self Help time! For my own edification, I wanted to find simple, and time effective, ways of getting some energy boosts. I turned to an old trusted source WebMD for support, and I think there's some gems to take away from this 2014 article by heath writer Peter Jaret. The article lists 9 things you can do to get your energy back.

Another article I found very helpful was from Tiny Buddha founder Lori Deschene on how to deal with exhaustion. Lori provides a nice list of helpful things to implement. Much of what she says seems straightforward (eat better, getting more light (sun or lamps)), but I gravitated towards the less obvious, one in particular: "Be gentle with yourself." Do you do this enough? I know I don't. Deschene's simple advice to do breathing exercises seems so simple, but also too important to ignore.

Being fatigued or tired un-focuses our minds and lures us away from productivity. Anything we can do to be more mindful is the key. Mindfulness isn't fluffy pop-science ; it’s a psychologically researched technique to help us focus on the present without judgement. From Psychology Today:

"The goal of mindfulness is to cultivate perspective on one’s consciousness and identity that can bring greater peace mentally and relationally. Mindfulness may also be used in mindfulness-based therapies, to address stress, anxiety, or pain, and simply to become more relaxed."

I'm no Buddhist, but I can appreciate the clinical relevance and simplicity of relevance mindfulness: If you're always focusing on the present, then you control the past and future.

World renowned Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh (pictured above) says it best: “Mindfulness is like that—it is the miracle which can call back in a flash our dispersed mind and restore it to wholeness so that we can live each minute of life.”

So maybe there's something to being tired; to be slowed down to a mindful pace to immerse yourself in each passing moment to enjoy it for what it is. Noodle, on that...I'm going to bed.

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