My work involves a great deal of mental challenges with occasional periods of physical exertion. It is the mental tiredness that wipes me out the most. When I am physically tired, it really is an almost “feel good” tired. As if I earned the right to be tired. Usually rest and sleep will relieve me of my physical tiredness.
When I am mentally tired, it seems that rest just isn’t enough. Even when the body is at rest the brain can still forge ahead in high gear. There have been times when I thought I was distracted and trying to avoid the challenges of the day when a solution or clue will suddenly pop into my head. I guess that means that my brain was working on the problem anyway.
To ward off the tiredness I try to keep my blood sugar levels up and drink coffee. I believe most people do this. I am not sure it really works, as it seems just to allow you to go further than you normally would. So I know that fresh water and carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables would serve me better, but unless I plan ahead and takes those to work with me, I usually fall back on snacks and coffee, knowing I failed to have a healthy snack and stumble stubbornly ahead.
Like many places of employment, management, colleagues, and customers can enter panic mode and invite you along. I have been doing my job in logistics for about a quarter of a century. Everything can’t be a priority, even though it sure seems like that is what needs to happen. So, I pick out what I can do, get it done quickly and move on from there despite the panic filled queries that can sometimes bombard.
Worrying gets me – let’s see – ah, yes – nowhere. I need to identify what is within my control, ask for help from those who do have control, and do the best I can. If worrying leads to planning, then I am all for it. But mostly, worry leads to more worry and fear and can be downright paralyzing.
I also try to step back from the situation and look at the broader picture to make sure I don’t miss the forest for the trees. Sometimes we can be too close to a problem to see it in a different perspective.
Multiple challenges, conflicting priorities and poorly executed stress management can leave you mentally tired even to the point of exhaustion. It can affect your ability to think and cause you to feel physically tired. The Mayo Clinic suggests eight tips to manage stress:
- Think positively – optimism helps you to cope better
- Embrace spirituality – exploration of your spirituality can lead to a clearer life purpose
- Protect your time – learn to say no to demands on your time when you need to recharge
- Keep your cool – focus on what you can do to gain control of the situation
- Try meditation – focus your attention on one thing, such as visualizing an image
- Seek out work and life balance – too much of either can interfere with the other
- Keep a strong social network of friends, family and peers
- Change your emotional response – think about stress as your reaction to an event rather than the situation itself
In today’s world, it is very difficult to juggle all our responsibilities, obligations (voluntary or not) and goals (self-imposed or not). At times, we expect too much from ourselves. Of course, sometimes we expect too little. We need to give ourselves a break, take a little time to see what is important and move forward from there. Let’s use our stressful situations to learn new approaches, create stronger relationships and build our own character. We are where we are and who we are, and we can decide to move forward in a positive direction. Well, there is another curve in the path up ahead, see you there.