7 Strategies for Breaking through an Exhaustion Cycle

by anne preston on May 12, 2010

be mindful of your tirednessExhaustion happens because you were not paying attention to “something”.

I am not talking about clinical exhaustion – if you think you have that – make sure you see your doctor.   I am talking about the kind of exhaustion that sneaks up on you slowly over time while you weren’t paying attention.  You know what I mean; it’s the kind of tiredness you could even deny is there; the kind you feel you can push thru – until you hit a wall, or feel totally depleted.

It’s like you have an energy bank account – and you can toddle along, thinking your resources will always be there – until you go into overdraft.  Once you are in overdraft, (exhaustion) it’s almost impossible to take on something new, or to try to grow, change or evolve.

Without filling up your energy bank account – it’s hard to have the room to make the changes you want to make.  If you fall into this category; deal with this first, before you start to expand even further.

Exhaustion will often keep you at a low level of vitality.  After all, it’s clear that not all of your needs are being met.  If you want to move from surviving to thriving – you might want to take note of these 7 strategies for breaking through an exhaustion cycle:

Strategy #1 Pay attention to your mind
Stop taking things for granted.  You are not guaranteed anything in life.  What you ignore and under appreciate today – may be gone tomorrow.

  • Be mindful of  your thoughts.  Are you experiencing brain fog?  That’s a clear indicator of a little bit of overwhelm.  Taking a break long enough and stepping far enough back to get renewed clarity may just be the ticket to lift that foggy feeling.
  • Be mindful of the thoughts you share.  Are you talking about your low vitality level? That’s a sign.  Instead of telling other people about it – get really present to what is going on for you.
  • Be mindful of what you are pushing away because you are tired.  There may be some really great opportunities – that if you were out of the cycle of exhaustion you just might love to do.  Take the time to replenish your energy before you make too many decisions.

Remember, you are not a unique creature – you need to recharge like every other human, battery and plant on this earth.   Did you really think you could get this past yourself?

Strategy #2 Pay attention to your body

Have you been thinking of your body as your very best friend?  Have you been treating yourself – as you would treat your very best friend?  If you haven’t yet tried that strategy; forgive yourself for not appreciating your body for supporting you for all these years – and start paying attention.

Pay attention to what you are ingesting.  Feed yourself with appropriate amounts of nutrient dense foods – and your body will thank you.

Paying attention to getting the rest your body needs. Are you getting adequate amounts of sleep each night?   Do you need to take a nap? Or time to fully rest your body? Or pamper yourself?

Pay attention to your feelings.  Your feelings may be sending you some messages about what you need.  For example, feeling a little angry, may be telling you that you need some additional boundaries.

Our feelings are like doorways to expanded awareness if we allow them to be.   Instead of pushing away your feelings at times when you feel depleted.  Check in with them.  They may have a message for you.

Strategy #3 Pay attention to your spirit

On the practical side, your spirit is about what you are here to offer the world.   How much can you really serve when your own tank is not full?

Paying attention to your soul’s deepest intentions for you is something you might often think to check in with.  Your soul has deep dreams and wishes for you – are you in tune what it is you are truly here to do?  Are your behaviours and actions in alignment with your soul’s purpose?

Additionally, paying attention to the “oneness” of humanity can also be something to awaken to.  When you remember you are not alone – and are a part of the whole – you may be less inclined to take on all burdens yourself.  You also may feel more present, more connected and more supported as well.

Pay attention to the natural rhythm of the earth, and of your heart.  There is a sense of calm and rest can come when you slow down to meet the pace of ease.

  • Tip: listening to music that has a beat slower than 60 beats per minute (slower than your heart rate)  second is one way to assist you to slow down a little (Try Brahms or Spa music)

Strategy #4 Pay attention to your environmental needs

Pay attention to the natural cycles your body undergoes. Just like the four seasons, your body needs a time for rest before a time of growth. Look to nature for some insights here.

Pay attention to your relationships.  Is there a possibility you could give the gift – of letting someone help you?

Pay attention to your nature surroundings.  Is there somewhere inspirational for you? A place where you feel a deep sense of restful peace where you can spend time recharging?  A walk on the beach? Or a trek on a woodland trail? Or sitting underneath a grand tree?

Pay attention to your home environment. Is it draining you?  Is it time to clear some clutter?

Strategy #5 Pay attention to your decision making

By paying attention to your decision making and to the commitments you make, you can avoid over committing yourself.

How are you at saying no? If you are feeling tired one of the things contributing to it – is you are under using your capacity to say No.  When you don’t say NO enough, you just might over committing yourself.
Additionally, when you say a luke warm YES to someone – that also is a signal of drained energy.  Just on an energetic level – you know you are not 100% behind your yes – and that can be draining to your soul.

Pay attention to where you might be delaying your decisions (aka procrastination).  Have you put anything on hold lately?   You know what I am talking about; it’s all those things that you put on a “pause list”.  The things you intend to do (one day) and just keep tolerating them as not yet done.   It’s the things like replying to letters and emails, sending Birthday cards, putting energy into a friendship or relationship and going to your health care professional.  It’s also the things like cleaning your car, washing the walls, or the blinds.  It’s all the little things around your home that need fixing or the light bulbs that need replacing.

If you are saying “yes”, I do have lots of things on my pause list.  Are you aware of the effect it is having on you?

Do yourself a favor, right now. Even if you do nothing else after reading this article; pick 10 things you could complete on your “pause list” right now – and make a plan to get them accomplished in the next 24hrs. No excuses.

Almost everyone who puts some focus in to clearing things off their “pause list” receives an almost immediate benefit of an energy boost.  The truth is you really can’t know the drain these things are that you are tolerating are having you, until after you have taken them off your pause list.

Strategy #6 Pay attention to your support needs

There is no sense trying to be Charles Atlas and carry the world on your shoulders. It’s not sustainable.   Instead, look for opportunities for delegation, outsourcing, shared contribution.  You don’t have to do it all alone.  Really.

Strategy #7 Pay attention to your emotional needs

Bottom line: Take care of your emotional needs first, and you will be better able to help others.  With out your own needs tank being full – it is almost impossible to give to others from a place of complete loving service.

There are universal emotional needs we all need to have met according to our own unique nature.  Needs such as feeling appreciated, confident, free, fulfilled, heard, helped, listened to, loved, needed, productive, supported, understood, valued…etc.

To stop and to take the time to recharge is both an act of loving yourself – as well as loving others – as you will be better able to care for them – when you have taken care of yourself first.

In short – if you are not getting some of these universal needs met – it is draining you.

The good news is, if you manage your fatigue well – and really pay attention to replenishing all of your energy banks – and I will say even – overfilling your bank – you could just end up with a super compensation effect. – Which could lead to improved personal performance and you being able to be of even better service to the world.

By filling up your energy bank – you will begin to create the room you need to make the changes you want to make.   They key is to deal with the exhaustion first – before you try to expand yourself further.

You may not need all the strategies in this article to assist you to break your exhaustion cycle – so take what you need and leave the rest.

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