Tired or just plain exhausted?

 

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With Christmas all but a fading memory, it not unusual for people to feel fed up and fatigued at this time of the year. In Britain it is estimated that at any one time 1in 5 people feel unusually tired and 1in 10 have prolonged fatigue, according to the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Essentially, there are two main types of tiredness. There is the type of tiredness that is like a solitary grey raincloud. This is the type of tiredness that is transient. It might seem like it is with us for a while, but it will pass and usually it is the result of a busier than usual few days, several bad nights in a row or as a result of a stressful event you have just passed through.

The other type of tiredness is more like a grey oppressive sky, heavy and unmoving. It is typified by of a chronic loss of energy that accumulates over months. It may not always feel like tiredness or physical exhaustion but it doesn’t seem to shift.

Often the signs are subtle, perhaps hidden behind behaviour traits that might easily be missed such as:

1) Finding yourself constantly checking your texts, emails and phone messages.
2) Difficulty relaxing or switching off.
3) Forgetting about tea breaks or unable to relax over a meal.
4) Piles of unread magazines with articles you must read.
5) Having too much to do that you can’t take a day off.
6) “Switching off,” by eating, drinking or spending too much.
7) Losing yourself in mindless TV.
8) Working harder and harder just to stand still.

All these types of behaviours are signs that you need to stop and take a break. Powerful indicators that you need to take time out and really look at what is important. It is as if you have “over- ridden” the “over-ride” switch. This type of behaviour, whilst aimed at improving our lot, simply puts the rest of our life at risk of failure and leads to what psychologists call ” burnout.”

So what can be done to address the balance?

Here are a few pointers:

1) Start the day with a relaxing activity such as yoga, meditation or a fifteen minute walk.
2) drink more water, adopt healthy eating, exercising and sleeping habits.
3) Set “boundaries”- learn to say “no.”
4) Take time to disconnect from technology, put away your phone, lap-top or tablet.
5) Discover your creative side, take up a hobby or other activity that has nothing to do with work.
6) Finally, slow down, get support and re-evaluate your goals and priorities.

Make this the time to put the spring back in your step.

Until next time, Steve

www.facebook.com/yourmentalhealthmatters

www.facebook.com/bexhillmindfulnesscentre

Twitter @cbt4you

Steve Clifford                                                                                                                           Senior Accredited Integrative Psychotherapist.                                                                       Accredited Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist.

Image:By Evgeny Galkovsky aka ZheGal (vk.com/limon_kiosk) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Why Self-Esteem Matters

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What is self-esteem?

Self-esteem is the way that you think about yourself. If your self-esteem is low, the thoughts you have about yourself are likely to be negative and you are likely to focus on what you think are your weaknesses.

Having low self-esteem can affect every area of life including work, personal relationships and your ability to socialise. Tackling low self-esteem and boosting positive thinking can really improve your sense of well-being and your mental health.

Here are a few tips you might find helpful.

  1. Stop comparing yourself to others. You will nearly always home in on their strengths and that will make you feel worse about yourself.
  2. Stop putting yourself down. Every time you that it will erode your self-esteem.
  3. Listen out for compliments, learn to accept them and say “thank you.”
  4. Find an affirmation, a statement such as, “I am confident and competent,” write it down and read it every day.
  5. Read everything you can about self-esteem, devour books, blogs, websites, etc, and make improving your self-esteem your mission in life.
  6. Avoid people who are negative and put you down, instead mix with people who are positive, confident and supportive.
  7. What do you like about yourself, however small? Kindness, friendliness, reliability, etc. note these down.
  8. Make a list of your past successes, however small, like learning to ride a bicycle or playing a musical instrument. Write these down.
  9. Try to do more of the things you love, rather than the things you think you ought to do.
  10. Finally, be true to yourself. Respect yourself, live your life, not a life dictated to you by others.

Begin to make these positive changes today – Good luck.

Until next time, Steve

www.facebook.com/yourmentalhealthmatters

www.facebook.com/bexhillmindfulnesscentre

Twitter @cbt4you

Steve Clifford                                                                                                                     Senior Accredited Integrative Psychotherapist.                                                       Accredited Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist.

Image: By Samael Kreutz from Concepción, Chile (Broken Heart) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons