5 Ways to Feel Less Exhausted

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There are times when I call my mother and declare, “I’m so tired, I could cry,” to which she always gives the same response, “Go to bed, then!” There are so many reasons to feel exhausted: work, home life, housework, hormones, children, and even socializing can feel like a chore after a full week at the office. The daily grind can take its toll on you, leaving you feeling too drained to work out, or start that passion project. If you’ve reached the point where you’re ready to make a change and reclaim your energy levels, here are five ways to change your mindset and patterns so that you can feel less tired.

1.Get to the bottom of what’s really draining your energy.

It’s common to get home after a long day of work or an outing with the kids and contribute your exhaustion to life itself - not one specific, changeable element, but rather, the sum parts of a hectic existence to which you are doomed. The key to shifting this is to identify which aspects of your day you find the most draining. Is it your hour-long commute? Talking with people in meetings, or on the phone? Sitting behind a desk for too long? Housework? Narrow in on what the biggest energy zappers are for you. Be as specific as possible.

For me, if I talk too much throughout the day, I feel wiped when I get home. I am an introvert, and so I prefer to be alone; non-stop interaction with others can leave me feeling drained, even if the interaction is positive. Figure out the specifics of what’s really draining your energy and then try to make shifts to according to what you need once you hone in on the root of your exhaustion.

2.Be willing to make changes.

Your mind willing fight for its limitations, meaning, it’ll tell you all the roadblocks before it offers solutions. It’ll tell you there is no solution, and that your life and schedule is what it is, with no possibility of change. I had a friend who would get home from work and entertain her kids all night. She never felt recharged. When I suggested that she take 30 minutes every evening to retreat to a smaller room in her house (that she could turn into a personal office), she gave me a list of reasons as to why her children, all of whom were over the age of 11, would never allow it. When you’re not willing to look for solutions, you’ll find every reason as to why your schedule, lifestyle, and the specifics of your circumstance can’t change. You’ll always see the no before the yes can emerge, unless you’re willing to welcome new possibilities into your life and shift your perception.

3.Do whatever it takes to sleep more.

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Go to bed! Turn off your television! Close the tab with YouTube and Netflix, and watch The Great British Baking Show another day (it’s so good!). If you’re not sleeping enough, not only are going to feel grumpy and more easily triggered by negative circumstances, your body will increase its production of cortisol, which will lead to weight gain. Commit yourself to doing whatever it takes to sleep more. That might mean that you can’t chaperone the kids to five different after-school programs, or you rearrange your schedule so that you’re not folding laundry at 9:30 p.m. on a Thursday. Make sleeping more a priority, and shift whatever it takes to make it happen.

4.Figure out what makes you feel recharged.

While things like errands, housework, commuting, or interacting with others might leave you feeling drained, meditating, going for walks, doing arts and crafts, or playing with your dog might help to give you a boost in energy. Figure out what gives you an extra pep in your step, and make time to recharge. For a while, I watched Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee every morning because it made me laugh and lifted my spirits. Often, when I felt drained, I put on something funny, as it provides some levity during times of stress or fatigue. Find what works for you, be it a fun hobby, or sitting on the floor reading magazines and eating cookies.

5.Reconsider your life choices.

So much of our life is a result of plans we hatched when we were 18 or 19, mere students in college, before we knew about “real life” or what it really meant to have a career and exist in this world as an adult with responsibilities. It very well may be that the decisions you made 10 years ago have left you with a schedule, or a profession that is not in alignment with your well-being. If you feel inordinately drained, like you are betraying some part of yourself - your authentic self - by staying in a situation that doesn’t contribute to your happiness, then it may be time to reconsider your path. This doesn’t mean that you should jump ship immediately, but rather, take time to consider options for down the road.

What it does mean is that you can start asking yourself the following:

  • Where would I like to be in three years? In five? In ten?

  • What could I do today that would put me in a better position in the future?

  • Would I have to go back to school?

  • Take a pay cut?

  • Take an online course?

Decide that you are responsible for designing your life, and it may require a bit of rethinking. Move forward, and don’t be afraid of change. If your’e unhappy, but you feel tethered to a mortgage, a profession, or a location, ask yourself if there’s something you’re unwilling to do that would radically change your life. It’s scary, but what could you do that would dramatically change your life? Consider what your schedule, duties, and lifestyle could look like, and begin to entertain new possibilities. There are many ways to feel less exhausted, once you commit to doing whatever it takes to make your life the best it possibly can be.