I now have a name for what I’ve been going through. There is a name, and now a direction to move myself in to get back to myself. Here are some signs of emotional exhaustion that helped me to realize this:
- Easily irritated
- Feeling completely unmotivated, even with things I normally enjoy
- Experiencing anxiety or panic attacks
- Having trouble sleeping in the form of restlessness and easily broken sleep throughout the night
- Almost no patience and finding myself being short
- Experiencing indigestion. I have a low-grade stomach ache all the time and feel like there are butterflies in my stomach
- Crying unexpectedly (and often)
- Feeling detached from reality – going through my days without really emotionally responding or connecting to anything – feeling empty
This has hit home so hard, but there’s a sense of relief in being able to articulate all of the things I’ve been feeling and going through. Like the rest of the world, my body and mind is going through a trauma, and this list is just some of the things I’m experiencing.
So now that I have a name, I have ways to gently get myself through this. I have to rule out anything that involves the outside world, unless its my early morning walks around Forest Park before other people are out and about. This leaves me with the things I can control within my space, my apartment. The trouble here is that I have no motivation to DO ANYTHING. I don’t want to exercise, or create content (the worst feeling ever). I don’t feel like moving or thinking or feeling anything.
The other thing that has really been getting to me is how I receive love – my love language. My top two ways of receiving love are quality time and physical touch – neither of which I’m able to get right now. I can’t spend time with others the way I need to, and in exactly ONE MONTH I have received one hand hold that lasted a few moments. No hugs, cuddles, kisses. No anything. When it comes to quality time I’m infinitely grateful for the Internet, and the ability to connect with my people through texting, FaceTime, Instagram, etc., but I’m also so tired of staring at screens all the time. I need faces! Going to work more regularly last week was a big help, but I’m home today, because I knew I needed a day to just be. Also, I’m still a little sad that I turned 30 three weeks ago, and haven’t been able to properly celebrate. My 30s aren’t starting at all how I thought they would, and it makes me mad, but then I battle with feeling selfish about that. Like there are so many bigger things to think about, and people in so much work conditions than I’m in that it isn’t fair to think that. And that’s probably me being hard on myself when its unnecessary, and not helping the situation at all…
Below is a list of things I’m doing/will start doing each day to get myself through this:
- Drink plenty of water
- Get up around the normal time, but naps are OK
- Move my body for at least 30 minutes, whether it be an intense workout or gracious yoga flow
- Follow my daily skincare routine
- Replace emotional eating cravings with healthier alternatives
- Drink my Shakeology to get my daily dose of vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants, and other things my body needs to function normally
- Check in with my people
- Curl up in my hammock for some fresh air (bundle if its cold, it’ll be worth it)
- Find joy in rituals like making coffee or brushing my hair
- Epsom salt baths
- Learn how to use my sewing machine to develop my new hobby
- Take one photo each day
- Put on comfy clothes instead of staying in my pajamas all day
- Eat three meals a day instead of grazing all day
- Be available to listen to others and what they’re going through, but understanding that its not my responsibility to help them or carry them through it.
Keep in mind this is something I’m striving for, and I’m not giving myself grief if I don’t fit all of these in. Its a lot, and
This is tough, because I want to do what I normally do and show up 100% for the people I care about, but I can’t. I’m unable to be here for myself currently, and if I can’t be here for me then I can’t properly be available for others, which has also been weighing on me, because we’re all struggling and I want to help.
I hope this list helps others somehow. I know many people are feeling exactly how I am, and even if I can’t be here for you directly right now we can all do these things (or make a list of your own) for things to think about and work towards in the day to day.
We’re all having to live each day differently, and aren’t able to plan much. While I like to be spontaneous its been really hard to not be able to plan anything! But, I do know that I have the next 60 days of workouts planned for me, I have water to drink, I can still get groceries, I’m able to work and bring in money, and I can still take a walk outside in Forest Park.
I would LOVE to hear how you are getting through this, and what you’re doing to be kind to yourself. While writing this I had a bag of salt and vinegar chips in my hand, and I put it away for a cheese stick and a cup of strawberries. Its the little things!