Today’s 24/7 always on lifestyle directly impacts our ability to switch off our minds and relax our bodies. Working life no longer finishes at 5pm, friends are globally connected via social media and smart devices, we have everything at our fingertips yet are more stressed and exhausted than any generation before.
This lifestyle ultimately takes a toll, woman in particular struggle to find balance and the space and time to recharge and regenerate.
Exposure to environmental toxins in our air, food, household, beauty products and the stress of managing everyday life has led many to reach our individual tipping point.
One day our bodies say enough and our stressed immune systems so overloaded catch another unnamed virus. But this time is different, this time after a few days you don’t recover, your body doesn’t bounce back the way it did before and you feel physically and mentally exhausted.
Unable to work, socialize or leave home, routine everyday tasks like taking a shower become a challenge, you are beyond tired and you have no idea why.
This was me in 2011, what I now understand was that I had reached my individual tipping point.
The years of pushing my body to its limit and beyond, being the little engine that kept on going, staying in a marriage that no longer served either of us and working the crazy hours that we all do had finally taken a toll.
I pushed myself beyond my edge, past my tipping point, the wheels fell off the little engine and it stopped going. I would eventually be diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) after many months of misdiagnosis, fear, confusion and complete exhaustion. It was both a relief and scary as hell as there is no cure.
And this happened how?
The jug of water
Imagine a jug of water which is half full of water, this is your body in balance.
Now add a stone to the jug for every caffeinated drink you have, every time you feel stressed, less than seven hours of sleep, working crazy hours, eating processed foods, drinking a glass or two of wine every day. What happens? The water level rises closer to the top of the jug.
Now every time you drink water, take a long walk, gently exercise, eat food that didn’t come out of a packet and was ready made, sleep at least seven hours …you get the idea you take a stone out of your jug. You are balancing your system, supporting it to maintain equilibrium.
What happens to most of us is that we keep adding the stones at a rate that is far faster than they are being taken out.
If this goes on for too long, it can (and this won’t happen to everyone as we all have different tolerances) lead to burnout if not addressed and believe me you do not want to go there.
For me it led to CFS, this will not happen to everyone but I am pretty confident that many of us are walking about exhausted and could all benefit from looking at how we are filling our jugs on a daily basis.
Ok so what do I do if I feel beyond tired?
Speak to your GP/health practitioner/naturopath/acupuncturist whomever is your go to for health practitioner for advice.
I am not a doctor, the things I write about are the things I have done, my recovery recipe that worked for me in tandem with my GP and my acupuncturist.
Start to make small changes
Take a look at how you are filling your jug. Where do you think your water level is? Are your stones close to the top? What are some small changes you think you could make?
- Only one coffee per day instead of two or three?
- Taking the time to cook a meal at home with friends or family
- Taking a pause throughout the day to breathe slowly and deeply resetting your nervous system?
- Walk in nature instead of that high impact workout at the gym on a static treadmill
- Curl up on the sofa with a book and a nourishing turmeric milk latte
For the next week take a note of how you are filling your jug. What makes you feel good? what doesn’t? This is the perfect place to start, then you can start to think about what areas you can incorporate to take the stones out to or some you can let go of bring the jug back to balance, helping your body to work less to keep that little engine going.
No one knows you like you.