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Mental Health: Are You Exhausted?  Previous Next

Are You Exhausted?

by: Susan Dunn, MA, THE EQ COACH

As I write this, it’s the end of the summer in the Western Hemisphere, and people I've talked to in the past week, from all over the world, are reporting to me that they're "exhausted," "worn out," "tired" and "feeling low."


This time of year in the US it could be any number of seasonal things. The heat, or the adjustment to getting the kids back to school, or sending one off to college for the first time.

Or is it because your vacation’s over and there’s nothing to look forward to until Christmas? Did you blow your diet and exercise on your vacation, and now 5 pounds heavier, sluggish, and still eating junk food, so you're not getting enough nutrition? Did you overspend on your vacation and have to deal with those bad feelings? Did you have a disturbing family reunion?


“Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary,” said Mother Theresa. “What we need is to love without getting tired.”

Love begins with an emotion, and it ends in the day-to-day living of it, through actions, so in that sense it’s work. However, it’s one of them most rewarding “jobs” you can have.

If you're tired, take some time to reflect and figure out where this is coming from. What is it your tired of? What is it you’re tired from? What would give you energy back? Is it too hot to sleep? Or maybe sales are down as they often are in this quarter.


If you need to rest, please do, and do see a healthcare professional if you suspect physical problems. Whether the fatigue is mental, emotional, physical or spiritual, attend to it. You may need to sleep; to baby a bad back; to get a facial or massage, something just for yourself; to stop thinking and studying and go stare at the ocean or a tree; to meditate and get back in touch with the spiritual; to take a time-out from an intense relationship so you can return refreshed; or to jog and sweat the toxins out of your body and the cobwebs out of your head. If the fatigue is from boredom, you get your passion back by using it. You can jumpstart yourself. Try something new, or find something new in an old interest.

How about a new book or an Internet course? Or study something you've been meaning to, go meet that new neighbor, or start pariticipating in a new group. Houses of worship are starting up their fall programs now and would welcome you among them.

I bet you’ve enjoyed music, but probably have never studied it. The Greeks considered music a force that could change the course of rivers, tame wild beasts, change our hearts and souls, and heal us. The god of music was also the god of medicine. To broaden my understanding and appreciation, I’m currently enjoying studying opera. Librettos and commentaries are available free on the Internet. I just returned from seeing "Turandot" in Santa Fe, and plan to see “Orpheus and Eurydice” in Chicago in March.

In addition, I have a series of tapes from The Teaching Company called “How to Listen to and Understand Opera.” (I'm not an affiliate, but would be if they offered it!) The Teaching Company offers “the joy of lifelong learning every day.” You’ll never end up with a broken heart if you fall in love with learning! They offer an outstanding variety of listening tapes and CDs on various subjects taught by the greatest teachers in the world in their fields. They choose only the top 1% of professors in the nation (they go and listen to them teach, and also have them audition). These men and women are not only gifted scholars, but enthusiasts, communicators, and yes, entertainers. (Is there anything more inspirin than a great teacher?)

If opera doesn’t excite you, how about “Great Battles of the Ancient World,” “Biological Anthropology: An Evolutionary Perspective,” “Business Statistics”, or “The Ethics of Aristotle.” You can listen to these tapes in the car!

On the other hand, if you’re an extravert, energizing yourself means being around people. New interests can lead you to new people, who in turn bring new things into your life.


Emotional intelligence starts with self-awareness. Knowing how you're feeling right now, and knowing why. When you're feeling "tired," does it help for you to go with it and ride it out, knowing it will pass; or is it more helpful to jumpstart yourself with a new interest, an outing, or being around people?

Someone said the answer is always salt -- the sea, tears, or sweat. Might we add to that internal salt – as in neutraceuticals?

Whatever it is for you, it’s up to you to find out. Just remember, “the world is so full of a number of things, we all should be as happy as kings.” I challenge you to go find that number of things.

©Susan Dunn, MA, The EQ Coach. Providing coaching, Internet courses and ebooks around emotional intelligence for your personal and professional success. Susan also trains and certifies EQ coaches worldwide. for information on this fast, affordable, comprehensive no-residency program and increase your EQ while you train. For free EQ ezine, .

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