The New Year has not brought about the positive fresh start I had been hoping for. The last twelve months have been hard. I have been working long hours in a pressurised environment and my marriage is in a difficult phase. As much as I have tried to be happy and optimistic and have made changes to my diet and exercise routine, I actually feel worse than I did before.
I am very tired all of the time. Even when I sleep well, I wake up without any energy in my body. I try to explain how I feel to my husband but he just makes me a cup of coffee and tells me to hurry up or I will be late. He and the other people I have confided in do not seem to understand.
I am stressed and I have been stressed for a long time. Is there anything that I can do to feel better?
Thank you for your help,
I am sorry to hear that the New Year has not gotten off to a good start. However, every new day brings with it the possibility of a new beginning at life, we do not need to wait for another year to roll around.
It sounds as though you may be experiencing fatigue. There are many possible causes of fatigue, such as lifestyle factors, possible physical ailments and mental health concerns, such as the elongated stress you have experienced over the last year which may well be the likely cause.
It is important to pay a visit to your doctor just to have a check-up and to ensure that you are physically well, especially if you are experiencing any of the following;
- Your body temperature is higher than normal
- You feel very sensitive to colder temperatures
- You have unexplained weight loss
- You are experiencing difficulty with your sleep routine
- You feel you may be depressed
- You have experienced any thoughts of self-harm or thoughts of harming another person
- Other physical symptoms such as headaches, pain in your chest area, feeling faint, shortness of breath, severe pain in your abdominal, pelvic or back region
You mention that you have attempted to make some key lifestyle changes such as your diet and beginning an exercise routine. Both are obviously very important for your health and overall well-being, both physically and emotionally. Be mindful that the diet and exercise routine you have recently adopted is the best for you and providing you with enough energy to make it through your hectic schedule.
In order to lessen your fatigue the following can be beneficial.
- Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water
- Maintain healthy eating
- Stick to a normal sleep routine
- Take part in relaxing activities such as walking, yoga or meditation
- Avoid alcohol, smoking and recreational drugs of any kind
- Avoid known stressors
The latter, avoid known stressors, I appreciate is going to be a challenge given that you have over demanding work pressures. Being mindful in your spare time about taking extra special care of yourself may assist you in balancing out the stress triggered by your work. Your experience of fatigue can be considered a message to you that if there was ever a time to prioritise yourself, it is now.
I would suggest that talking once more with your husband about what you are experiencing will also be of help to you. Perhaps sharing some information with your husband about fatigue may be of benefit, for fatigue and tiredness is not the same thing. Fatigue is something altogether different. It is beyond feeling sleepy and unfortunately, is not mended by a cup of strong coffee. It affects us in a much more profound way and can be incredibly debilitating. If you find that your husband is still unable to support you or to comprehend your experience, a visit to a couple’s counsellor may be worth a try. Counselling for yourself is also another option for you to consider. Either way, the therapy process can assist you in combatting your stress levels and prove valuable as you journey towards a more balanced life.
Remember Natalie that fatigue is a very common issue, experienced by us all at some stage or another. It is absolutely treatable. It may take some time to feel restored and that is okay. Have patience with yourself.
Best wishes to you,
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