“Sleep is one of the most under-appreciated facets of health” – Dr. Wayne Scott Anderson

Woman tired looking over a rail into the distanceIs your body trying to tell you that it’s rundown? Begging you to swap that afternoon coffee for a nap? Are you reaching for the snooze button over and over again every morning?

When we’re exhausted, either physically, mentally, or emotionally, our bodies have many ways of letting us know.

All too often we take our bodies for granted, as we ignore their warning signs. Ignoring what our body is trying to tell us, however, can be incredibly detrimental to our health. And when we continually reject our body’s needs, it will begin to reject us. If you’re experiencing extreme exhaustion, your body might be trying to convey some or all of the following messages.

You’re dealing with too much

We aren’t meant to live our lives in a constant state of exhaustion. So, if you feel chronically fatigued, you may be on the edge of burnout.

Your body is trying to tell you that you have accumulated too much – there is too much on your plate, too much to do in too little time, too much going on without enough energy to process it all, etc.

The more exhaustion accumulates, the more it encompasses us, and the less we are able to accomplish. This is extremely taxing on our mental state, and will eventually lead to burnout.

You could be on the verge of depression

Depression and exhaustion are very closely linked, as fatigue is one of the major indicators of this mental health disorder. People who suffer from depression often experience little interest in daily activities, even the ones they once dearly loved. They feel hopeless and worthless and often use sleep as a coping mechanism.

The emotional toll of depression is exhausting as well. Day-to-day activities are seemingly impossible, and simple acts such as making your bed or brushing your teeth can cause a wave of fatigue.

You might be suffering from anxiety

Similar to depression, anxiety and exhaustion also frequently go hand-in-hand. People who experience anxiety are in a constant mental state of high alert at almost all times, including the hours when they should be sleeping.

Instead of sleeping soundly, people with anxiety are often up in the middle of the night wrestling with their anxious thoughts. They not only have trouble falling asleep, but they have difficulty staying asleep as well. This insomnia then causes extreme fatigue and exhaustion during the day.

You aren’t taking enough time for self-care

We live in a “go, go, go” society that prides itself on high production in minimal time. Exhaustion has almost become a token of success because it means we have an increased level of productivity. This is extremely damaging to both our physical and mental states because our bodies are not meant to run on as little sleep as possible.

When we live at such a fast pace, we focus solely on what we need to do for others as opposed to what we need to do for ourselves. If you’re constantly exhausted, your body might be asking you to spend more time catering to its needs.

Ironically, our bodies are a lot smarter than our minds, and, when we listen, they have the ability to tell us exactly what they need. It is difficult to listen to our bodies, however, when we run them down to the brink of exhaustion. If you’re worried there’s more to your exhaustion than a mere lack of sleep, contact me regarding mental health counseling to get the help you need.