Being tired all the time, or ‘TATT’, is now a recognized diagnosis within the medical profession.
It’s becoming a very common reason for people to visit their doctor.
I spent most of my twenties and thirties feeling tired all the time. It got so bad that in the end I suffered from total burnout.
What is it that people are seeking, when they visit their doctor because they feel tired all the time?
- Is it because they’re concerned that their tiredness is due to something more sinister?
- Are they looking for an easy, quick fix, to their constant tiredness?
- Do they want a ‘recognised’ reason for feeling tired all the time, so that they don’t have to work?
The final time I visited my doctor, was out of desperation, after having my first suicidal thought. I was scared that one day my actions might lead to my son having no daddy OR mummy. With my husband having died from cancer when my son was just a baby.
I also believed there must be a reason for why I was feeling like I constantly had the flu. And yes, there was a reason for me feeling tired all the time.
The consultant called it M.E.
I called it STRESS…brought on by a poorly managed lifestyle!
I’m forever grateful for my response to the diagnosis, because it made me take responsibility for my own life.
There is no pill or potion that the doctor can prescribe for the tiredness caused by stress.
In fact, most prescribed or over the counter medication could just make things worse for you. Unless of course, the tiredness is due to an underlying condition.
If you’re experiencing any other symptoms, along with the tiredness, you must get checked out by your doctor.
Assuming there’s nothing serious causing your tiredness, there are many things you can do, to improve the way you feel. I speak from experience, having recovered from the worst kind of tiredness there is, with no help from a doctor.
Feeling tired all the time is very often a symptom of stress, and even dissatisfaction with your life. So, it makes sense to focus first on what maybe causing both of those things.
To discover the reason for your stress and/or dissatisfaction, you need to take a hard look at every area of your lifestyle.
This is not always an easy thing to do. To be able to stand back and see what areas of your life are causing you stress.
A good place to start, is to discover where your life is out of balance. And you can do this by completing a Wheel of Life.
This exercise will help you to discover where there is imbalance in your life. And once you know that, you can work on redressing the balance, and in turn reduce stress.
Wheel of Life Exercise
First, you need to decide which areas of life are most relevant to you. What is important to you? You can have as many as you like but don’t make it too overwhelming.
For example, here are some of the common categories used for this exercise:
- Personal Growth,
- Physical Environment,
You can also split some of these up, if you want to focus more specifically. For example, you may want to have Health and Fitness as separate categories.
Once you have your categories, draw a circle and divide it into the correct amount of equal sections. Like a pie chart.
Along the dividing lines of each section, mark 10 points, equally spaced. Like a ruler. 1 is nearest the centre and 10 is on the outside.
Around the outside of the wheel, write each of your categories, by each section.
If you like, you can colour each section in a different colour.
Now, with no distractions, reflect on your life. The idea is to discover, and mark, the level of satisfaction you currently feel in each of your categories.
1 being the least satisfied, 10 being totally satisfied.
Take as much time doing this as you need.
Here are some tips to help you get started:
Are you where you want to be in your career/business?
Is your current income enough to cover your current needs?
How are you set up for your future wealth?
How physically and mentally healthy are you?
Are you happy with your physical fitness?
Is your diet as healthy as it could be?
Do you get enough support from your family?
Do you spend enough time with your family?
How often do you show love to your partner?
Do you feel loved by your partner?
Are you happy with the amount of time you spend with your friends?
Do your friends make you feel alive or drain you when you meet up?
How much time do you spend on growing as a person?
Do you spend time learning and trying new things?
Hobbies & Fun:
How much fun do you have in your life?
Do you make time for hobbies?
How often do you really laugh?
Do you feel at ease in the environments that you spend the most time?
How much do you respect, love and appreciate yourself?
How connected do you feel to the inner and outer world?
Once you’ve completed your Wheel of Life, connect each of the numbers on the grids together. You will than have a spiderweb type diagram of your levels of satisfaction.
Here’s an example of a completed Wheel of Life
Take a moment to appreciate where you are now, and how far you are from where you want to be.
- If any categories have scores of 8 to 10, well done! That indicates you’re very satisfied in those particular areas of your life. Keep up with whatever it is you’re doing, to ensure you remain satisfied there. But remember too that there may still be areas for improvement. Don’t limit the potential for even more great things to happen.
- Any categories that scored between 5 and 7 shows that you are reasonably satisfied in that area. However, it’s well worth exploring how you could improve on your satisfaction here.
- Scores of 0 to 4 mean you are not satisfied, and those areas will definitely need some working on. Please don’t see these low scores as a bad thing though. It simply means there is plenty of opportunity for growth and positive change. These are the areas that you can get the most value, and in turn reduce stress!
Now that you have your Wheel of Life, have a think about the following:
- Which categories have the biggest gaps in satisfaction levels?
- For what reason did you score the way you did in each category? (This helps you to determine what you need to change and what you need to keep doing.)
- What score would you like to achieve in each category in the next month, 3 months, 6 months, one year?
- Which area would you like to focus on first, to improve satisfaction levels the most?
Remember – this is a Wheel of life. How well would your current wheel roll forward?
If it’s crooked, you’re in for a bumpy ride and you won’t get far very quickly.
How stress-free and successful will your life be, if you can’t move forward easily?
To have a stress-free life, it’s important to achieve a good balance in all areas of your Wheel of Life.
For example, you could be putting all of your time, energy and effort into your career and making huge progress. And this may have led to you feeling very satisfied with your finances and wealth.
However, the hard work has caused you to neglect your personal relationships and has put a massive strain on your health. I’m sure this would also mean you’re not having much fun in the process!
The key is to grow your wheel, by moving forward and challenging yourself, at the same time as maintaining balance.
The next step is to set goals and to take action on them!
Here's an example of some goals that could come about from the Wheel of Life above:
Setting goals is much easier when you have completed your Wheel of Life. This is because you can easily see where you are now and where you’d like to be.
- What steps do you need to take to increase your satisfaction level in a specific area?
- Write down each of these steps/goals and keep them with your Wheel of Life.
- Refer to your Wheel of Life on a daily basis, to ensure everything you are doing is in line with your goals.
- Keep track of your progress by completing the Wheel regularly. This could be every week, month or 6-monthly, depending on your goals and when you want to achieve them.
Your Wheel of Life allows you to see your satisfaction levels, and ultimately your happiness, at any point in time.
This will make you want to jump out of bed every morning, full of energy and ready for the day!
Not only that, you will most likely notice that your days are much more satisfying and successful than before.