Fatigue is a funny thing. Many of us humans like to live organized, compartmentalized lives. “Let’s put work here, relationships there, health over yonder – yes, that’s a good start.” It’s as if we are walking through life in a three-dimensional game of Tetris. We like lines, boxes, and boundaries. The infantile desire to be swaddled has never truly left us. It has simply evolved. What the babe in the blanket knows, however, and what we have forgotten, is that every bit of our existence is interconnected.
Our needs, as dictated by Maslow, are fairly basic. It’s not until one of these things is knocked out of place that we are reminded of the frailty of our existence. The infant knows this well. Full tummy, clean pants, tight blanket, hold me, love me – happiness. The spine is also a perfect analogy for this. One vertebra out of alignment causes an almost disproportionate amount of discomfort to one or more areas of the body.
Which brings me back to fatigue. It is so basic, so fixable. Yet the effect it has on a person’s body, mind and soul is quite dramatic. Have you ever seen a toddler throw itself on the ground in a state of utter despair just because they want to go to bed? Their little toddler world may as well be ending in that moment. Their state of happiness and well-being is very clearly connected to feeling rested. What a brilliant design: that which we try so hard to separate is brought back together by something as simple as being tired.
When stress and lack of sleep get the best of you, it affects you in a holistic sense. Your optimism dwindles, your confidence wavers, your light dims; you feel incapable. Suddenly those decisions you’ve made, which made so much sense at the time, seem non-sensical. Doubts about your past, present and future flood your mind. Your soul is troubled as the rock you thought you were standing on now feels like sand shifting beneath your feet.
All these thoughts aren’t the true message. What your body is really telling you is: sleep. Rest your body, rest your mind, rest your soul. In that order, if you can. Acknowledge your fatigue as a reminder of the importance of self-care. Then give yourself permission to nourish those parts of your life that have been neglected. After all, they are all connected.