It's Okay to Be a Tired Woman
When the alarm's annoying buzz blares at 5:45 am, there is one thought that immediately comes to mind: I can't wait until I can go back to bed.
Lately, the pep in my step, the energy to meet the day, has been lost. At 29, I have a lot to be excited about and a lot to be grateful to jump out of bed for. I have my dream career, a writing career on the side, a wonderful husband, a loyal family, all the cats a girl could want, and many more great things. I have plenty of reasons to be energized and enthusiastic about life.
But lately, it's been a struggle to overcome one huge hurdle: I'm tired.
It's not just a lack of sleep or a restless night kind of tired, though. It's a bone-chilling, wearying tired. It's a can't even function, can't even find a smile kind of tired. It's a body tired, brain tired, heart tired kind of tired.
I'm just tired.
I crave weekend sleep-ins. I dream about the next time I don't have to set an alarm. I hurry home, not so I can do things I really want to do, but so I can melt into the couch in my pajamas at four o'clock and watch Netflix.
I'm just plain tired. I'm exhausted. I'm rundown, worn out, beat down, done.
And yet, behind the tired, one feeling simultaneously rules my mind: guilt.
The Do-It-All Woman of 2017
Looking at my own life and at my female friends' lives, it's no wonder so many of us have become practical zombies, both physically and mentally.
Because we are told we can do it all as a woman, we feel like it's our obligation. We try to excel at our jobs and put in 110% effort in every task. We challenge ourselves to keep our homes at unreasonable levels of cleanliness and organization. We take care of husbands, kids, parents, and pets. We run from event to event so as not to be anti-social. We join groups, volunteer, contribute, and organize at every chance we get. We make sure we say "yes" more than we say "no" so that we are a team-player.
A woman in 2017, after all, has to be a go-getter, a doer, and accomplisher...in all aspects of life. To step back, to take it easy is to fail. At least this is what society seems to tell us.
Pulled in ninety-eight different directions, it's no wonder we're all feeling run-down. It's no wonder there are mornings when we truly consider smashing the alarm clock into pieces or running away. It's no wonder our biggest goal sometimes is to climb into bed, uninterrupted, and just sleep away the day.
Many of us have backed ourselves into a corner and left no room for breathing. We fill our days with so much stuff, that we can't possibly have a minute to just relax. Our days are crazy packed races and to-do lists. A moment not accomplishing is a moment wasted.
In short, we are tired because we don't let ourselves have a moment to get rested. We put so many other people, events, duties, and tasks above ourselves, that we are bound to run out of fuel.
We are left decrepit and downtrodden. But even then, we don't cut ourselves slack. We are left feeling like there's something wrong with us or like we are failures.
We tell ourselves we need to just move on and find energy. We need to eat more oranges or drink more coffee. There are, after all, no excuses for the 2017 woman to just take a break.
Learning to Listen to Your Body
It's easy to fall into the do-it-all trap. It's easy to ignore the extra yawns, the negative feelings, and the desire to just take a step back.
However, to be a strong woman in 2017 and to be a woman who can find true meaning in life, we must be willing to listen to our bodies. We must hear ourselves when we say we're tired. We must recognize that we can't run on E forever, and that it's okay to say "no."
We must be willing to realize the weariness in our bones is a warning flag that we need to take care of ourselves. We must realize that taking care of ourselves isn't selfish or wrong.
We must learn that although we can do it all, we don't have to. Mental and physical wellness are both crucial elements of happiness. To ignore our exhaustion, physically and mentally, is to not be our best selves in any aspect of life.
So to all you tired women out there, take a break. Take a moment. Take a day. Take a weekend. Take time for you, just you, to sit back and relax. Take time to say "no" even if you feel like you should say yes. Take time to skip a practice, a meeting, or an event. Take time to rejuvenate and to relax.
Take time to realize it's okay to be tired...but it's not okay to ignore it.