How do you know when you’re feeling tired?
And I mean ‘tired’ in every sense of the word; physical, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Have you ever really thought about this? Fatigue is something we don’t always think of as being a sign we need to slow down. Sometimes we see it as a barrier – something to push through. Sometimes we think we’re being lazy, or it’s just been ‘a big week’.
I always ask my clients about their energy levels, and if they tell me they’re feeling a bit drained and flat, I ask them why they think they’re feeling this way. Is it because of something that’s happening at work? With a partner? A friend? Family stuff? I always ask if it feels like a mental drain, or a physical or emotional fatigue. Where do you feel drained, and where is your energy leaking to? One thing I love seeing in my clinic is when my clients start to become more perceptive of their own energy stores, and more intuitive when it comes to knowing how to look after themselves. I love when my clients come back after a few sessions and they say ‘You know what? This week I knew I was feeling a little more fragile and tired, and I went to bed earlier, and I did more yoga, and I took it easy on myself, and I feel so much better for it.’
What does your fatigue feel like?
It’s important to work out your particular ‘brand’ of fatigue so you can be on the lookout for it. Is it a dragging in your bones? A heaviness on your chest? A deep aching message to slow down, lie down, and take a break?
One of my biggest telling signs is when I hear myself tell my hubby “I’m tired”, and he answers “I know, you keep telling me.”
Yep, kind of obvious, right? But sometimes I can’t even hear myself say it, so having it mirrored back to me helps me see what’s really happening.
Another sign is I start to get this angry, irritable feeling when I look at my diary or to-do list and it’s a bit heavy and way-too-full. It also happens when I find myself always saying ‘yes’ when I really want to say ‘no’. Or, sometimes I say yes to something I think I should be doing. Feeling obligated is not a good enough reason to say yes. Neither is feeling guilty, or too empathetic or sympathetic for someone else or for their situation. But sometimes I say yes anyway. Are you the same? This is what I’ve learnt: you need to do what’s right for you, even if your empathy or gentle heart wants to help someone else, even if you feel like you should (or, especially if you feel like you should) ask yourself ‘Is this right for me?’
Feeling obligated to do something takes a little piece of you and gives it away to someone else.
In Kinesiology, we understand a concept known as ‘surrogating’ where you may energetically take on someone else’s stuff or energy. Intuitive and sensitive people may do this more often than they realise, or you may be doing this and not even realising it. It has happened to me so many times in the past – I make plans with a friend who’s going through something heavy, and I leave our lunch date feeling flat. I speak to a friend who’s involved in conflict, and I leave the conversation and I feel confused. When I first started practising as a naturopath, I would sometimes even take on clients’ energies, so if a client was coming to see me at 2pm with intense fatigue, I would spend the whole morning in a brain fog, but as soon as they left, I’d go back to being ‘myself’ and my energy would return.
Or, just the beauty of energetic healing and learning how to protect our own energy stores?!
Now I am so much more conscious of taking on others’ stuff and their energy. Now, I can protect my own energy stores, because I know my triggers, and I know what ‘my’ fatigue looks like and feels like.
What happens when you always say ‘yes’?
When you say “yes yes yes” to a bajillion things, or people, you don’t get to keep that slither of time or energy that’s yours. You don’t get what’s meant for you, and if you’re like me, you can’t replenish your own energy stores when you’re giving so much energy to other people and plans. I know I’m someone who ‘fills up’ on time by myself, down time, chill time, and time out.
I recently read an interview with the beautiful Australian actress, Asher Keddie, in InStyle magazine about how she felt early on in her career, and her words really spoke to me:
– Asher Keddie, InStyle Magazine article
Isn’t that a beautiful way to reframe saying no?
Saying no does more than keep your integrity safe. It keeps your energy safe. It helps to fill your own cup, and energetic stores.
Can you say no, to save your own energy?
Even when that means saying no to things you used to say yes to. Or asking for help when you thought you could do something on your own. Or listening to your body, de-cluttering some stuff from your to-do list, your calendar, or your grocery list. Even when it comes down to just re-learning how to recharge on your own, or how to treat yourself to a new book instead of a new pair of shoes, or just tune out for a little bit of you time,
Do you deserve it?
It’s your birthright.
(Well, around here it is anyway.)
Want to know a few little secrets I know to be true?
Fatigue is not a sign of laziness.
Losing your energy is a real thing.
Saying no will define your successes in life more than saying yes will (a little message I learnt from Danielle LaPorte, which is similar to what Asher said, above.)
Becoming more intuitive is possible, you just need to slow down and listen to your body.
Listening to your body will save you.
And learning how to listen to your body, and honour it’s messages, takes time, right? But what a beautiful thing to do for yourself.
I’ve said it before, in this post about slowing down, and I’ll say it again here.
It’s okay to say no
When you say no to others, you’re saying a big beautiful, bountiful yes to yourself.
Saying yes too often and spreading ourselves too thin isn’t the only thing that can drain us.
Sometimes our bodies just get tired, for so many different reasons. They may not even be physical reasons, such as a virus, fibromyalgia or adrenal fatigue, but mental, emotional, energetic or spiritual reasons instead.
– Caroline Myss, Anatomy of the Spirit
So even if you’re not sure something is physically ‘wrong’, know that it’s completely possible for your energy to be low. This is where naturopathy and kinesiology come into their full beautiful power – prevention over cure, freedom over tension, ease over stuckness.
I’m all for that.
Can you tap into your body’s wisdom today, or this week, and start to feel where and how you’re leaking energy? How can you save and preserve it, and keep it for yourself? What do you need to do in order to feel more energetic and replete? What can you say no to, in order to say yes to yourself?Deep breath in.
* EXHALE *