Weary But Still Here: 7 Strategies for Soul Fatigue

I don’t know about you, but I am tired.  Like bone tired.  Soul is just wore out tired.  It seems like every single day there is something terrible that has or is happening in the world, in our country, and in our communities.  It’s all over the news stations.  And Twitter.  And Facebook.  And Instagram.  If you’re not on social media often, then some well-meaning family member, friend, or colleague texts you about it – with video so you can get the full experience.

It seems as though 2022 just can’t get it together and each week, each day is another episode of ‘Hold My Beer’.  And it does not seem like it’s going to change anytime soon, especially with the upcoming elections, the continued fight for equity and inclusion, and still adjusting to life with COVID.

I am not going to suggest we should just get over it because being numb to these things can also not be healthy.  However, we cannot become so overwhelmed by them we are robbed of living each day fully in the present, continuing to thrive despite some pretty significant challenges.

Please know it is okay to grieve the losses you have experienced and to grant yourself compassion as well as grace.  We have all been there, including mental health professionals.  We all live, love, and work in the same communities as everyone else.  As such, we are not immune from the onslaught of hatred, bigotry, death, and fatigue from fighting the same battles our parents, grandparents, and generations before them faced.

While there is nothing wrong with experiencing and expressing fatigue, it is also important to heed the messages your mind and body are trying to tell you via this feeling.  Fatigue can impact your spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical well-being and there are some steps you can take to mitigate this impact.  Please note if you are experiencing physical fatigue or exhaustion where you find it difficult to function on a daily basis, it is important to also check with your physician to determine if there are medical reasons that may account for what you are experiencing, such as anemia, which often requires medical attention.

Below is a brief list of some actions you can take to counter soul fatigue and take care of yourself.

1. Make sure to get an adequate amount of sleep every night; most adults require 7-8 hours of sleep every night.  However, your needs may vary.  One way to determine if you have your sleep sweet spot is to assess your level of restfulness upon awakening.

2. Limit your exposure to negative social media.  For example, consider placing a temporary block on some accounts that tend to share stressful content and instead enjoy content that inspires you, such as how to master cooking the perfect jerk chicken mac and cheese or learning a skill you have always found interesting, such as making body butters.

3. In addition to limiting the type of social media you expose yourself to, consider limiting how much of your day you spend on social media.  Some of you may still be homebound due to COVID concerns or other health issues and rely on social media to stay connected to the outside.  In those cases, consider viewing online classes or humorous videos or movies as a break from social media.

4. Try to nurture yourself with healthy foods such as whole grains, vegetables, and fruits while limiting your intake of refined foods and saturated fats.

5. Nurture your spirit on a daily basis via prayer and/or meditation.  Also, engage in mindfulness practices to help center yourself and bring your attention to the present moment.

6. Reach out to your friends, loved ones, and other supportive people.  When you are tired, there is the temptation to withdraw from others.  I encourage you to not isolate yourself and to trust your judgement in whom you receive your support from.  Also, there was a reason why you broke up with that person or why you limited your interactions with a toxic family member – now is likely not the time to re-engage with such people.

7. Consider reaching out for professional support from a trained mental health provider who is sensitive to your needs.  At JHS, we provide telepsychology services to residents in over 25 states in the U.S. and many of our openings are during the weekends and weeknights to accommodate your schedule.

If you are interested in learning more about developing your own personal strategy to address soul fatigue, or any other issues, give us a call or send an email.  You don’t have to go this alone!

Be well and stay unapologetic,

Dr. Tonya