Monday, September 17, 2012

What to Do When Overwhelmed By Exhaustion

CFS = Chronic Fatigue Syndrome*

What should you do when you are overwhelmed by exhaustion? STOP! Stop doing. But stop doing    WHAT? Whatever it is that you are doing, duh... It sounds like a no-brainer, doesn't it? But with the reality of life such as cooking, cleaning, taking care of the house, the dogs, and living the life of luxury of a disabled person and not working, HA (Had you going for a moment there didn't I. If you believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you). Something has to give. 

The first thing you need to do is rest whenever possible. Next if you aren't use to prioritizing now is the time to start. First on that list should be REST. If you don't rest optionally now and force yourself to keep going, your chronic illnesses will force you into a mandatory rest or heaven forbid a permanent rest in peace. Understand that this may even mean missing things you had really wanted to do and looked forward too. It stinks; you can throw a tantrum if you want. But I'd suggest you don't. It takes too much energy. 

Simply tasks as much as possible and/or delegate them. Can your kids safely make dinner while you supervise? Must your dinner be served on real plates when paper would do? Face it, it is either going to be the paper plates that turn into fertilizer for the earth or you. What's it going to be? Frankly, I'm too young to die; therefore, at my house it is often paper plates and takeout meals. Or it might be meals I prepared on "good" days.

Finally, it is important to make peace with the fact that you can't do everything. Not even healthy people can. We all have just 24 hours in a day. So rather than issuing a statement about the fact that I'm so sorry I haven't been blogging for X number of days, I'll simply tell you I was exhausted by life. I'm sure you've all had days, weeks, months, and unfortunately for some of you - years like that. I wish all of us a refreshing rest.

*The cartoon is from a blog called My Burn Out Thing. Megan Hills is the fabulous Cartoonist.


  1. Good points, Suzy, and I often have to remind myself not to feel guilty when I don't have the energy to function "normally". Thanks!

    1. This is something I've been reminding myself of the last several days

  2. I see you haven't posted this year. I hope this doesn't mean you are too low to do so. Thanks for this article although I wish you'd gone further. Sometimes stopping means stopping life entirely. It seems I spend weeks and months lying down staring at the ceiling. Not cooking, cleaning, showering, etc can be the definition of rest and the definition of of exhaustion can be a forced stop to all activities.

    Not lazy (or stupid) just sick.