Why We’re Tired

“I’m so tired. It’s hard to be my best self right now.”

Two clients volunteered that statement to me last week. Privately. Sadly. Almost sheepishly, since they’re tough executives.

So many of us are tired. When you slow down to reflect for a moment, you’ll know why. It’s a natural result of the upending of our lives. Fatigue is also a natural side effect of grief, and many of us have things we’re grieving right now.

Yet, this is when we desperately need to be our best selves. The crisis and its implications are still in their early stages. What we do together now will affect many people for a long time.

How To Build Rest Into Our Everyday Lives

That’s why now is the perfect time to practice rest. Rest is an act of defiance in a crisis. It confronts the narrative that you’re the hero, that you have to solve everything. By resting, you’re acting out the truth that you’re a creature, a pretty limited creature in the grand scheme of things. You can contribute to solving the problems around you, but you also must rest.

Here’s how you can build a habit of rest in your life, even in a crisis:

  • Sleep. The vast majority of us need 7+ hours of sleep every night. And you know that it’s best for those hours to be on a regular schedule. Make a bedtime. Stick to it. If sleep is a challenge, stay in bed and “rest your eyes” as my dad used to say. It’s a good time for practicing your Action Replay.
  • A Day of Rest. Many spiritual traditions have a day of rest built in each week. Even if you aren’t religious, this is a smart thing to do. Given that you’re probably working at home right now, you may need a way to remind yourself that your chosen day is set aside for rejuvenation. In our house, we light a particular candle each Sunday as a reminder that that day is different.
  • Pause. Take a break three times each day. Take a walk around the block, if you’re allowed. Listen to a great piece of music. Look at a beautiful picture. Remember that you’re part of a world infused with beauty.

It’s normal to be tired. Don’t let that stop you from being your best self. Rest.

Be bright