November 7, 2018

Dangerously Tired

By Pamela Larkin
Mental Health & Wellbeing

Have you ever found yourself enjoying a McDonalds breakfast sandwich when all the sudden you started crying?  Or perhaps you finished a highly stressful shift at work and once things started to slow down your chest began to pound?  Maybe, instead of going home to spend time with your family, you take a longer route home? These are just a few tell-tale signs of being dangerously tired.  Becoming dangerously tired is wounding to one’s body, emotions and thoughts.

How to Tell if You are Dangerously Tired

Being “dangerously tired” is a phrase that many have used to describe moments when we are at a point of depletion.  This phrase is synonymous to “burn out” or “compassion fatigue” or being “outside of your window.” While there are different ways to describe it, the signs are the same:  avoidance, excessive worry, difficulty with under/over sleeping, lack of motivation, decrease in experiencing joy, or a reduction in our capacity to withstand difficult situations.  What used to refresh you, no longer seems to.  With that, comes the fear that no amount of resting will ever make you feel whole again.

What If This is Me?

Take heart and know that there is rest for you.  Here are some steps that I recommend towards restoration:

Cease from Working  

Generally speaking, this encompasses anything that drains you.  It often means scheduling time off or vacation time at your place of employment.  If home life causes a great deal of distress, having some time away for a few hours is helpful.  For those that are students, deciding to take a break from homework, emailing, posting online boards is essential.  It may mean ceasing from activities of grieving and fighting against hardships and injustices of the world.

Take Care of Your Body

Sleep, eat, take a hot shower or bubble bath, work out.  Giving attention to the body is an act of generosity and kindness to yourself.  Oftentimes our body is sacrificed for the sake of our commitments.

Practice Self-Care

Practicing self-care, while there are individual preferences, does not mean that you need to be completely by yourself.  Many find that they are restored in the company of others. When discovering self-care practices, it’s important to distinguish between activities that are escapist in nature vs. those that may help to temporarily distract from the worries of life.

Pay Attention to Your Longings, Desires, and Passions

When we are dangerously tired, it’s often because we are either not doing what inspires us or our motivation is low.  Recalling who you are and what drives you is the sunshine & water necessary to help a garden grow.

Therapy Can Help

If identifying practices of self-care or discovering your longings and desires seems too daunting of a task, therapy is a great space to find your rest.  I’m available and would count it an honor to journey with you from a place of weariness to optimal joy.

Written by therapist Pamela Larkin

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