Why Am I So Tired?

How many answers are there to the question ”Why Do I Feel So Tired?”

Millions!  And for every single answer, there are millions of possible solutions.  Which rather suggests it’s not a problem that’s going to be solved quickly, well not if you start churning through them all.

The problem is often that we like to explore all avenues, and the internet today gives us so many ideas and options.

Off the top of my head, the top answers to the “Why Am I So Tired” question is:

  • Wrong Diet
  • Not Enough Exercise
  • Too Much Exercise
  • Not Enough Sleep
  • Too Much Sleep
  • Psychical Illness
  • Depression
  • Underactive Thyroid
  • Anaemia
  • Menopause

and there are loads more…

Of course, you should explore any health concerns with your doctor, but did you notice there is something missing from this list?  It’s just that you’re tired, you need a break, it’s time to rest and rejuvenate.

It’s ok to be tired.  It’s ok to need to stop for a while.

When was the last time you took a proper break?  Not one of those breaks where you’re so knackered you had to stop because you couldn’t possibly carry on any more, and so you lay down or sat in front of the TV feeling guilty about what you’re not doing?

An article in the Harvard Business Review, Resilience Is About How You Recharge, Not How You Endure, is a good read and explains it very well.  It also gives the idea a tad more gravitas than little old me.

The idea they put forward is that resilience is about working really hard and then stopping, recovering, and having another big go.  It’s not about plodding on relentlessly no matter what.

I learned this lesson recently when I organised a really big event.  The planning went on for months and work for the actual event went over 3 physically and mentally draining days of setting up, running the event on the day and then clearing up afterwards.

What I didn’t factor into the planning was that I would be totally knackered afterwards which meant that the tasks I’d scheduled for almost immediately after I’d got this event out of the way either didn’t get done or weren’t done properly.

I love my business, not every single aspect of it, but most of it.  This means I find it difficult to stop doing things with it and for it, difficult to stop talking about it and difficult to stop thinking of new ways to do things.  But now I also know that making time to rejuvenate my body and my brain is also the way to get more done, be more creative and live a richer life.

But none of this means it’s easy to stop, wind down and let go.  Here are a few techniques I found worked for me…

  • Make a decision to have 24 hours off.  No email, no writing, no nothing apart from crap TV and a good book.
  • If you’re feeling a bit jaded but still want to do some work, how about working from bed or the sofa?
  • Do take a bit of exercise and preferably by some trees or water.
  • Book a break of at least 4 days off and stick to it.
  • Have at least one full 24 hours off every week or 10 days.
  • Let yourself have the break in the knowledge you will come back fighting fit and get loads more done as your new revitalised self.

Sometimes, you just need to let yourself get bored.