Wayne the cat

Full frontal with fatigue – 5 signs you are overdoing it.

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One of the most common presentations I see in the clinic is ongoing fatigue.* When I listen to some of you and what you get done in a day, I feel like I need to go have a nanna nap myself!

Many of you are such busy beavers, never really taking time for yourself in the week to just rest for a bit. I have also noticed there is a lot of guilt around just ‘chillin’ out’.

Are we potentially making life harder and less healthy for ourselves by constantly overdoing it?

Constant fatigue can interfere with our ability to perform at work, with personal relationships and can generally reduce our enjoyment of life. BOOOOO.

How to know if you are overdoing it?

1. Tiredness

It’s normal (and quite okay) to feel tired at the end of a long day but if you are feeling constantly tired and struggling to get out of bed in the morning (which may always be the case if you are a night owl!) or it takes you hours to feel alert and your coffee intake is increasing…Houston, we have a problem!

When we feel overwhelmed with what we have to get done in the day, fatigue will tend to show up as a way of coping. Check out this blog post I wrote a while ago about overcoming overwhelm.

2. Can’t be arsed.

Oh motivation, you wily minx. When you lack it, it is a sure sign you have been overdoing it.

When I’m feeling good, I’m an ideas person, I feel like I can take on the world. Ideas flow, my house is spotless, I make nourishing food, practice yoga regularly and being generally fabulous is fairly effortless.

Sadly, I can only do this for so long, then I’d just rather procrastinate (hence, no newsletter for two months…) and watch bad television (‘Hello, my name is Marnie and I watch Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’!).

I could beat up on myself, but what’s the point? Life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon (of the good kind) and sometimes you just need to stop for some refreshments.

When your tank is empty, the solution is not to push yourself harder, but invest in your own recovery and be kind to yourself. Take a few days to rest and ‘take it easy’. When you return, I guarantee your work will be of a higher quality because you are once again motivated.

3. What was I just saying?

Are you bumping into or dropping things more often (for us ladies that’s often the case around our periods too) or are you feeling like your memory is failing you or you have constant brain fog?

Concentration actually takes a lot of effort and energy, you know, so try having a few mindful moments throughout the day. Staring off into the distance or naval gazing has been shown to help us be better at problem solving.

4. Oh great…ANOTHER cold!

Getting a cold is often a sign that you’re run down, as it means your immune system is otherwise engaged or compromised. Or, you might not actually get a cold, but constantly feel like you are on the verge of one, scratchy throat, tiredness, headaches and sinus problems.

If this is happening to you, then your body clearly lacks the energy to win the battle. If you don’t take time off soon, you may be forced to…

5. People start commenting.

Almost as bad as being asked, ‘what’s wrong?’ (nothing, until you asked!), is the well-meaning, ‘you look tired.’

When you work too hard and you start to run your body down, you may find that it starts to show up physically. Your hair, skin and nails might look dull, darkness under the eyes may develop from not getting proper sleep. Don’t you just love that ‘worn look?’

If you look in the mirror and get a nasty shock… then it might just be time for a holiday!

Want to know one of my secrets (of which there are many…) to increasing stamina and endurance? Read the next blog post.

*if you are constantly tired, it’s important to first rule out nutrient deficiencies or underlying pathology – of which we will talk more about next month (if point number two doesn’t take control of me again…).