Rest: The Buzzword
Right now we’re at a time when #selfcare is so popular and we’re beginning to admit to the importance of prioritizing our health above our productivity. But while we’re all chasing after the illusive rest… do we really know what we’re doing? Do we really know how to rest? Does a list of “self care” really spur the rest we need? Maybe you’re trying really hard to eat well or get your 8 hours every night, but what you’ve found is that you’re still showing signs of exhaustion…in your head….in your heart…the places that truly matter.
Biggest Signs of Emotional Exhaustion
Whether it comes along with panic attacks or is just your garden variety pit-in-your-stomach it’s probably a sign you have exhausted your emotional resources and your mind is trying to let you know that! There are moments in life when anxiety is a natural response to things going on around us, but there are many times when that response isn’t totally warranted.
This one’s pretty easy: you catch yourself snapping at your loved ones or your coworkers (even if it was deserved, it’s just a little out of your character.) At first, you just brush it off and think it’s because they were just being REALLY IRRITATING (understandably). But when you find yourself dolling out sharp remarks more than once or twice, it’s time to replenish your emotional bank, friend.
Again, sometimes a natural response to circumstance – but so often this slips through the cracks as that. Stop yourself. Is there REALLY that many life and death situations on your plate? No? So why are you so overwhelmed? Because you’ve reached the end of your emotional rope.
Whether you’re a up-at-5-am-working-out kinda person or a binge-watch-friends-for-the-eighth-time kind of person you know what is a typical amount of energy for yourself. If you find that your energy is drained and you just don’t have the gusto in your step that you’d like to have, it’s probably emotional rest! Maybe you got enough sleep, maybe you’ve eaten adequately, but you haven’t recharged your batteries in the way you need right now.
Lack of Creativity
This is the one that really gets me. I think it’s because I’m so good at “fixing” all of the other signs to check my emotional rest. Lethargy – more sleep. Short Temper – calming tactics. Anxiety – affirmations. But for me, this one creeps up on me while I’m too busy hitting the “checklist”. When you’re at your emotional brim, creativity will spill out and over freely. But when you’ve depleted your emotional capacity, creativity is one of the first things to go.
So What Do You Do?
I really believe that giving examples of what to do when you’ve reached emotional exhaustion will help you, but I also think that depending on what type of person you are it could hurt your journey to emotional wellbeing. If you’re the person who can look at a list of recommendations and freely pick something that sparks interest in you – then keep a list of things that work for you and skim through it whenever you’re feeling out of sorts. But if you’re the one who sees a list of recommendations and believes you have to truck through every single one of them until you’re “cleansed” then you probably just need some real peace and quiet without much going on (I know you, productive friend).
Emotional rest comes from having the freedom to do things that spark joy in our souls, having the freedom to relax and be at peace for more than 1 minute per week, and from having meaningful connection. Because every one is different, different things will fill your emotional cup. Sometimes it’s based solely on your personality, and othertimes based on your lifestyle. Because of that the things that fill you up WILL change throughout your life depending on what season you’re in. What worked in the past may not work for you anymore and that’s OKAY! Try something new, let yourself discover what resets you. Prioritize the TIME to do this REGULARLY. If you have one hour every day to devote to yourself – AMAZING. But if you only have one hour every week – GREAT! Just do it. Some people need quiet, still moments to recharge the old emotion batteries, while others need engaging activities to get them back in the flow of positive emotion. And yet others of us need both.
See my post about replenishment activities for somethings to try and recharge your batts!