This Is Why You Feel So Tired
Too busy to read? Listen to this blog post here!
How are you feeling?
And specifically, how are your energy levels? Did you feel drained the moment you opened your eyes?
Maybe you bounced out of bed this morning, ready to take on the challenges of the day! Or did you slump to the kettle, desperate for your caffeine fix?
If you’re slogging through your to-do list each day, eyes stinging, patience THIN, then you’re not alone. Many of us feel chronically depleted – more than you realise because we often try to hold it together, hidden with a false smile.
My friend, if you feel worn-out in body, mind and spirit, this blog post is for you. I have laid out 6 reasons why you feel so tired and I end with my thoughts on what you can do about it. These might not be what you expect – but they are real. And they are painful.
1. Living as a woman in our culture is exhausting
It feels like you just can’t win.
There are so many expectations on you as a woman. You will be judged on your career. Your behaviour. Your choices. Your body. Your style. Whether you’re married. What kind of wife you are. Whether you’re a mother. How you parent.
Strangers have expectations of you. Your family has expectations of you. Your friends have expectations of you. You even have self-imposed expectations of yourself. And these are all damaging to our self-esteem.
And then there are comparisons. Why can’t you be more like her? Why can’t you ‘have it all’? What even is ‘it all’?
Empires are built on the fact that women are filled with self-doubt and self-loathing – so it truly is a powerful rebellion to accept and love yourself in this culture. This is why you feel so tired.
2. Fighting to have your voice heard is exhausting
We are so deeply indebted to the many brave women who came before us, who sacrificed and fought for the freedoms that we enjoy today. But the battle is not over.
Our opinions are often overlooked. So we learn to bite our tongues. And tone it down. We doubt ourselves, second-guess our instincts, ask permission and seek approval.
There is no equality. Not in the court-rooms. Not in opportunities nor pay.
- And for my sisters of colour, I see the additional weight of racism on your shoulders.
- To my disabled friends, I know you face extra discrimination that I can never understand.
- For those with different sexual persuasions, I know you face homophobia on top of this.
- And all of you who identify as female, I see your struggles with transphobia.
You have to fight, just to have your voice heard. This is why you feel so tired – body and spirit.
3. Being ‘the weaker sex’ is exhausting
While you are fighting to hold it all together, to have your voice heard, to live up to the endless expectations… there are moments when you suddenly remember how vulnerable you are, simply because you’re a woman.
When you realise that you could be in danger right now, and you place your keys between your fingers for protection. When you squeeze your bag to check if the rape alarm is in there. When you check who is around you and pick up your pace. When you wind up your window as fast as you can. It spikes your adrenaline and switches on your flight or fight instinct.
And let’s not forget the sobering, sickening fact that many women are harmed at the hands of their intimate partners every day.
Sometimes being a woman is enough to make you feel scared. That is why you feel so tired.
4. Being ‘the keeper’ is exhausting
It’s likely that you keep your household’s schedules. Housework, practices, games, lessons, projects, parties, dinners, appointments, homework.
You’re the one who reminds, pre-empts, upholds traditions, creates rituals and makes things special.
You decide what to cook every single (bloody) day. You make sure there are clean clothes. You know where everything is in the cupboard. You know if there is enough milk for the morning and toilet paper always.
Even if you receive support – you’re ultimately responsible for the running of the house. And this is why you feel so tired.
5. Worrying about everyone else is exhausting
You expend a tonne of energy worrying about everyone else. You drop everything with little thought for yourself – and use up for precious time, energy and money on everyone else. You feel anxious about other people’s problems and lay awake at night. You have a big heart, which is easily wounded and you want to make sure everyone is okay.
You worry about other people to the point where you can’t say no to them. And that’s not because you’re weak. It’s because you’re tired. It’s one less battle to face right now if you just say yes. And this is why you feel so tired.
6. Neglecting yourself is exhausting
While you’re taking care of everyone else first – you’re totally neglecting your own needs.
Maybe you’ve forgotten that you have needs. Or apologise for needing anything for yourself.
You don’t fuel your body with nourishing, nutritious food. You don’t galvanise your muscles with regular activity. You don’t energise your spirit with stimulating experiences. You don’t take time for self-care. And that’s not because you are lazy. It’s because your tank is empty. And this is why you feel so tired.
Always remember you have a choice
I know that the obstacles you are facing are very real. They are heavy. And it might feel like there is no way around them.
But hear me say this, with nothing but love and compassion.
You are not a victim.
You DO have a choice, no matter how hopeless you feel right now.
You can choose what you focus on – and what you put energy into thinking about.
You can choose the next action you are going to take. You can get up and take that action – and we need you to take action!
- Sister, we NEED you to channel some energy towards yourself. We NEED you to be nourished and nurtured and strengthened.
- We NEED you to take up your space – to own your life, to reach your potential.
- We NEED you to inspire and liberate more of our sisters to stand up too. And together we can help to support the women around the world who need us most of all.
How To Manage Exhaustion
You are so tired. And you have every reason to be tired.
But change starts with you. Here are ten things you can do to manage your exhaustion:
- Hydrate!!!!!!!!!!! Drink enough, it’s essential to every single cell in your body.
- Make your bedroom your sanctuary and go to bed on time. And don’t bring your phone into your bedroom.
- Be aware of the way you fuel your body. I know you’re tired but reach for nourishing foods and watch the alcohol and caffeine.
- Remember that being busy is not proof of your importance. And feeling exhausted is not proof of a productive day.
- Manage energy-zapping stress with meditation, journaling, talking to a friend, hire a coach or mentor.
- Become aware of your natural rhythms – and work with them. Take regular breaks – don’t be ashamed to nap.
- Move your body regularly – especially outside! It will flood your system with energising endorphins.
- Take impeccable care of yourself – as though you are your own mother.
- Seek out fun and stimulating experiences – to make you feel alive!
- See the doctor if you are worried.
Modern life for a woman is exhausting – and yet it can be incredibly fulfilling. There are many simple and practical tools that you can use to manage your energy levels. By starting choosing to take action and use those tools, you will make ripples of change that gradually improve life for all of us.
One thing is for sure, you won’t change the world until you learn to channel some energy towards yourself and your dreams. And you deserve nothing less!