5 Reasons Why You’re So Tired

Remember when we thought this pandemic would last a few months and the kids would go back to school after Spring Break? Mercy.

Yet here we are. Two years later, staring down the long, dark tunnel of this crazy reality called our life. If you’re trying to make sense of why you’re so tired, these are 5 reasons I’ve identified from our work with women and gathered from a broader scope of what’s happening in our country.

You’re not crazy or weak.

You’re human. And you’re still a Warrior Woman.

#1: You were not created to run on empty.

There’s no gas in the tank, but you’re hitting the pedal to the metal.

Many of us hoped Fall 2020 would give us a new normal and the pandemic was waning for good. But we entered the fall with our energy on empty. The kids went back to school, we needed to get caught up on work, and social calendars filled up trying to reclaim lost time with so many we hadn’t seen in too long.

Our speed accelerated to 120 mph, closely followed by our inner RPMs.

But we didn’t have gas in the engine to support that pace. We didn’t properly fill the tank before we hit the pedal to the metal. Running on empty, we have become physically depleted far quicker than “before”. We’ve worn down our physical wholeness.

Digging a little deeper, what was really being triggered was Reason #2.

#2: You were not made to remain unhealed.

Grief upon grief. Trauma upon trauma. Before Covid, most of us had unresolved grief in our life. Once I coached a leader who vulnerably shared that she had 27 unprocessed losses in her life. She was in her early 30s.

Up until recently, our culture didn’t honor or properly address grief. “Get over it and move on” was more normative than “Feel what you need to and work through it with a therapist.

In the 20+ years I’ve been working in the people development space (particularly spiritual formation and leadership development), I’ve discovered we all have something we haven’t worked through in our past. There’s unresolved grief, loss, and pain. And most of the time that past unresolved grief doesn’t become healed until we are presently triggered and can no longer ignore the pain.

Then, add to our personal unresolved grief the communal trauma of a global pandemic on top of a long-overdue racial reckoning and disastrous political climate, and it’s been a recipe for a total emotional, relational, and physical meltdown.

We don’t have the tools or bandwidth to process or heal quickly enough. It’s like we’ve been walking around and bleeding out while attempting our everyday lives for the last two years.

Sister, you’re so tired because healing from grief and trauma takes emotional energy and we can only do so much at a time. More than ever we are feeling how our past impacts our present, and our emotional wholeness has taken a hit.

#3: You were not designed for crisis for this long.

Your nervous system is worn-out. The ongoing uncertainty has literally altered our core capacity to function. In my own life, there have been periods of time these last two years where my body literally has felt like a raw nerve or a live wire exposed to the elements. I distinctly remember a moment on the couch where one of my trauma-triggered kids needed to be snuggled and I couldn’t handle their touch. I felt like my skin was crawling as they crawled on top of me. Other times I’ve felt completely shut down, unable to process words, ideas, or make decisions.

Our mental wholeness includes how our brain functions normally and in crisis. When our central nervous system is over-extended it shows up in every other wholeness dimension.

Listen to our Patron Saint, Brené Brown, interview Dr. Amy Cuddy on Pandemic Flux Syndrome. Dr. Cuddy is a social psychologist, best-selling author, and award-winning Harvard Lecturer. This was truly one of the most helpful pieces I’ve engaged in these last 2 years about the impact of Covid on our central nervous system. They do an impeccable job explaining how our brains are designed to function and what happens when we live in crisis mode for too long.

#4: You were not made to do it all, all of the time.

Women have carried the weight of this pandemic. We were only a few months into Covid when stories began pouring out about the stress Covid was taking on women. Before too long, women were choosing between their jobs and families…and our sanity. It’s become well documented how the mass exodus of women leaving the workforce has set us back 50 years in workplace equality.

But many of us haven’t had a choice. We’ve had to continue to juggle our family and work responsibilities on top of regular life interruptions and challenges. We’ve had to do it all without much reprieve.

We were only about six months into the pandemic and I remember crying to our Advisory Board that I couldn’t recover fast enough. I was doing everything I knew to do to recover my life, but it wasn’t enough. My margins were too thin and I felt ragged.

Our ability to increase our renewal wholeness has been found in the slimmest of margins, if at all.

#5: You were not made to stay in the same place.

We’re stuck. With all the uncertainly we’ve experienced, it’s been easy to freeze. Uncertainty has become the only certain thing since March 2020. It’s like we’ve been running on a hamster wheel for two years. It’s utterly exhausting to be running but not going anywhere or getting anything accomplished. As a result, we’ve become locked up, filled with fear to do the wrong thing so we don’t do anything at all.

Some of us now feel like there’s SO much work to do to regain our wholeness that we don’t even know where to start. It feels too overwhelming. Then the cycle continues. When we’re overwhelmed, we often don’t choose to do anything at all so we lack meaning and momentum. Our spiritual wholeness has been impacted.

We were created to move forward, but we’re exhausted because we haven’t chosen a way forward.

A (Messy) Way Forward.

The only way forward is together. And it requires us to integrate and connect every wholeness dimension. You can see within each of these five reasons that while one wholeness dimension is primarily negatively impacted, there are secondary consequences in other dimensions. Because we were created for connection and integration—when one part suffers the other parts suffer.

But the good news is that when we increase wholeness in one dimension, everything benefits.

Your way forward is unique to you but also universal.

The best shift I made in 2021 was a commitment to work out daily. While my movement made a difference in my weight and energy (physical), the greatest benefit was that my body had a way to metabolize the intense daily stress I was experiencing (mental). It increased my confidence and how I connected with my husband (relational). I was able to handle my emotions with more nuance and skill (emotional). My connection with God became more tender and intimate (spiritual). And I was able to experience greater rest and recovery with a stronger body (renewal).

All six dimensions were impacted and increased by a 30-minute per day shift.

I don’t know exactly what your way forward is, but here’s what I noticed. The intersection of your wholeness is found when you can increasingly integrate your whole story—past, present, and future. And at the heart of our connection is when me, you, and us can intersect in meaningful and vulnerable ways.

In it all, it’s why I believe our coaching groups give you the best chance at increasing your wholeness this year and recovering your life. They won’t force-fit anything on you. You may be so tired today, Warrior, but there’s hope. There’s a better way.

You can trust us. We’ve got you.

Finally, may these words from the Prophet Isaiah set your heart toward the truth. It will set you free.