It creeps up on you very slowly until you realize it’s too late!!!
Exhaustion affects everyone in different ways. Some people have chronic exhaustion known as chronic fatigue syndrome or ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis). Others have rarely experienced it. Our bodies can be subjected to a lot of things but when real exhaustion hits you, it needs to be addressed. It isn’t like the flu that may go away after some time, it will get progressively worse until it consumes you and you are unable to function.
Lately I am of the opinion that being busy is more of a ‘fashion trend’ rather then an actual way of life. The busier you are, the more people will think you can do it all at once, that you are superhuman and at a completely different level than the rest. The more we try to fill our diaries to the second with things to do, the less our bodies will be able to allow us to perform those activities.
Unfortunately according to society it’s boring JUST being a mother or a father these days (as if that’s not enough in itself!!!), one would prefer to be the parent, entrepeneur, professional skier, book club president, head of the parents committee at your child’ school, fitness and exercise freak and of course the social butterfly. That’ll definitely give you more to talk about at a party for sure!
What about the person who stays at home ALL DAY with no plans? No one wants to be their friend do they? They’re classified as dull!
As I get older, I realize that it’s not as attractive to take on a dozen roles at the expense of your health. Everyone’s body and mind needs a break, a rest, a moment to recharge and consolidate the information that has been gathered throughout the day.
I stress this because I have just had a period of exhaustion attack me…
It came after a weekend of solo parenting while cleverdoc was away for work. I obviously had been at work during the week and had been coming home late consecutively the last few days. With the girls being active and requiring my attention most of the time, it is often difficult to keep them entertained, so I took them to my mum’s. Taking them to my mum’s had it’s good and bad points. My mum’s house is very big and the sudden increase in space encouraged them to run around the house (next to fragile and delicate objects) with no consideration for her vases or expensive ornaments. I spent the days shielding the objects from their grasp, while frantically trying to prevent them from hurting themselves. Alyvia would be in one direction and Sophia the other! The good point being with my mum however was that she was there to cook for them (and me!) and help with the general ‘looking after’. When I had had enough, I would take them out to the local playground and then chase them round an even LARGER area. Although my mum was with me, she couldn’t keep up with the girls. They found it more of a game and ran faster and further when they were chased. Nap-time was the only time in the day that I sat down to eat and give my body enough glucose for Round 2 that afternoon. Naps are never long enough! The evenings I would barely remember as I fell asleep with the girls sacrificing my ‘alone’ time. When the weekend was finally over, the working week began and I had to resume mothering AND doctoring. Yes I have help during the week and am grateful for this but often it doesn’t involve being completely away from the children. It got to a point that there was no time for me to just sit and regroup. I could feel my body getting weaker and then my symptoms started. At first it was a headache accompanied with general body ache. After, it progressed to nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. I knew that was my body pleading me to stop and rest. I couldn’t eat or drink anything due to the constant nausea and I could barely keep my weight up when carrying the girls.
When I am extremely exhausted, physical symptoms become apparent and luckily, I know what I need to do to rectify the situation, but I see and speak with so many ladies who are multi-tasking, multi-roling mothers who don’t realise they are harming themselves by pushing their body beyond it’s limits. To those of you, you may at one time have been the talking point at a gathering discussing your ability to do it all but it’ll soon be about your INability to do ANYTHING if you don’t take the time to listen to your body.
Being busy does not equate to productivity. I am more productive after some rest in comparison to moving from one thing to the next instantly.
If any of you have felt similar to me, then you know how important it is to look after yourself.
I hope many of you are relaxing with your feet up while reading this post. If not, make sure you schedule that into your day...and thank me later!
I would love to know what symptoms are unique to you when you are extremely exhausted.