Exhaustion is part of life; I am sure we have experience exhaustion at some point in our life. Regardless of what we do as a profession, from the moment we open our eyes in the morning, our energy levels will start to depreciate. Whether you are studying, working in an office, dealing with people or computer, using your physical, emotional, or intellectual energy, it will add to your tiredness for certain. Our body is pretty much like our smartphones - whether we are actively using or it's in idle, there will be energy loss.
Our body is pretty much like our smartphones - whether we are actively using or it's in idle, there will be energy loss.
Fortunately, just like our smartphones, we can charge and refill our drain energy gauge. However, I will only discuss strategies to recharge our energy storage in the next blog article. I would really like to emphasize how physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health is linked and it is important to pay attention to every single aspect of our holistic wellbeing.
We often undermined the importance of our physical needs - exercise, health meal routine and healthy sleep hygiene. I found myself feeling stressed lately due to the overwhelming workload at school and endless deadlines and student referrals that I need to follow up. Even back at home, when there shouldn't be any stressor from the day, I felt stressed. It only occurred to me one day, when I was sitting quietly and started to reflect what is causing this stress at home that I realised it was physical tiredness that intensified due to the lack of physical activeness - exercise, and lack of healthy sleep hygiene.
Given my new realisation, I started taking care of the physical health (at best as I could...), knowing that there's little I can do to remove the stressor at work, but I can focus on my physical needs. I find that it helps to replenish the energy that was drained at work. Make it manageable at home to enjoy my off-work time.
It may be different for you, but for me, stress often presents itself in the form of emotional distress. I can be emotional and just wanting to get away from reality into the world of gaming. Because emotions is an intangible and subjective concept, no one way can guarantee pleasurable emotion. Healthy emotion health doesn't mean that we don't feel the bad emotion (sad and anger), but it means that we are able to feel various emotions depending on the situation we are in a certain time. Think game night, unless there's a reason behind it, we wouldn't feel extreme sadness while we are enjoying with friends, no? However, emotional health is greatly linked to our physical health, hence one way to maintain healthy emotion health is also to maintain healthy physical health.
This is quite obvious, when we are emotionally and physically drained, it is near impossible to perform at our best mentally. I see this a lot from my clients, friends, family and of course, myself. Rest, rest is also a very strong remedy for mental exhaustion, as well as physical and emotional.
Note that I use spiritual, and not religious. This is our inner psyche, our psychology, and how we generally feel inside our soul. For me, it is heavily linked to my religious belief - which is a Christian. That God fills this spiritual gauge for me. You may have your own sense of spirituality, be it connection with people, connection with the world, connection with things you are passionate about, things that can fill that gap and keep you moving even when reality is draining your energy. I couldn't find anything else that can fill this gap as effective as connecting to God.
Recently I've got the chance to hear this sermon on 1 King 19, in summary, the take away I got from it is that we need to be quiet in life, take the time off and put effort into listening to His voice. It may also mean that we need to take solitude, away from the noises and busy-ness in life. If you got the chance, read 1 King 19: 1-18 and try you'll get the essence of my summary - that God first takes care of our bodily needs, then emotional and mental needs in life. But most importantly, is that despite the physical, emotional and mental exhaustion, Elijah has always maintained a spiritual bond that allows this healing to take place.
Whether or not you believe in the Bible, there is a lesson to learn - we need to take care of our wellbeing holistically without compromising any part and with time, we'll feel better.
For those of us who are supporting friends and family, let us try not to jump into solving their problem but first fill their spiritual sense by connecting, taking care of their physical, emotional, and mental needs first. With the right time, solution can come later after the body is rejuvenated.
Lastly, of course, this is based on my perspective of a Christian, psychology graduate/ counsellor, and a gamer. Remember that if you are struggling in keeping yourself charged and feeling burnt out In life, do seek support. Talk to people you trust and seek counsellor or therapist help if needed.
Let me know if this makes sense for you, if not, feel free to discuss below!