Question (from Facebook group): “I am hitting a brick wall of exhaustion. What are the practical (and successful) ways you deal with it?”
This question just popped up in the Facebook group this morning and it resonated with me deeply. Looking back, I believed I lived in a state of emotional exhaustion for about fifteen years, and then descended into a whole new level of it when everything came to the surface in January of 2010 and I stayed in it for a couple years and am just now not feeling a low-level tiredness all of the time.
So, since I lived in it and now through it, here are some things you can do as you either attempt to stay afloat in your difficult marriage or as you wade through your separation or divorce.
God. Something, anything with God. Prayer. Go to church (even finding a new one if you need to). Journal. Doctor. It couldn’t hurt to get a full physical if you haven’t had one in a while, just to make sure there aren’t other factors besides your abnormal amount of stress at play right now.
Rest. Go to bed earlier. Try to sleep later. Take naps if you’re able.
Food/vitamins. If all you eat is garbage, that’s not going to help you these days. Every morning for several years now, I’ve started my day with a fruit/veggie smoothie. Switch out your soda for tea or water. Vitamin D is supposed to be good for mood and Vitamin B for energy. (Talk to your doctor, of course.)
Exercise. I know this is counterintuitive that when you’re tired to get moving, but energy begets energy. Take a quick walk, go for a jog, do some stretches or yoga, sign up for a class with a friend. Move a little bit more than you usually do.
Get a babysitter. You could probably benefit from a small break from the kids on a regular basis, so either try to hire a babysitter once a week or swap babysitting with a friend, either so you can run errands solo or just have some time alone in your house without the chaos.
Get it out. If you’re not in counseling, get into counseling. If you’re not in some kind of recovery group, try a recovery group. If you don’t have a mentor, try to find a mentor. You cannot get healthier if you are not sharing what’s going on. It cannot stay bottled up inside you without having adverse effects on your physical and emotional health.
Fun. I’m almost afraid to ask, but when was the last time you did something that you love to do just because you love to do it? Call a girlfriend and go to a movie or window-shopping or whatever. Get out of the house and out of your head for a few hours.
Let stuff go. I just read that worry is thinking about something at the wrong time or thinking about something that you can do nothing about. There are going to be significant parts of your situation that you have no control over; for instance, what your husband or ex-husband says or does or doesn’t do. We must get to a place of handing over everything that is not in our control to God and walking away so he can do what needs to be done. Easy? No. Necessary? Yes.
If you are looking for someone to validate you that it’s normal to be exhausted while living in a difficult marriage or going through a divorce, you’ve found it. It is. In fact, I’d almost be more concerned if you seemed totally fine. These circumstances aren’t what you were created for, so of course, they are going to take a toll on every aspect of you. So, do your part, and then ask God to bring you healing, rest, energy, and joy along the way.