Dog-tired. That’s what we say. Is that how you feel?
It sounds a bit mean on dogs but apparently the phrase “dog-tired” comes from stories that Alfred the Great would send his sons out running with his hunting dogs and they’d come back, well… dog-tired.
If I’m honest, that’s how I’ve been feeling for weeks. I could tell you that it’s post-COVID fatigue and I’m sure many of you would know exactly what I mean.
If I’m even more honest, I was probably feeling like this before I got my 2022 dose of Covid. I think it would be more accurate if I called this post-pandemic fatigue – and I know I’m not the only one feeling this. Tired to my bones and a good night’s sleep doesn’t go anywhere close to bridging that energy gap.
I deliver training workshops for dozens of people, each and every week. I see the tiredness in their bodies. I hear their stories of trying to do so much and well, failing. Each week the to-do list grows, the energy gap widens.
Normally I’d say the spirit was willing but the flesh was weak… right now it’s more honest to say that even their spirits are flagging.
So where do we go?
We start with sleep. We start with self-care. But we need to be honest that we’re not dealing with any ordinary sort of tired and ordinary solutions won’t work overnight.
Self-compassion: according to Kristin Neff this has three elements. 1) Self-kindness, 2) Common humanity, 3) Mindfulness.
We need to be kind to ourselves. Treat ourselves the same way as we’d treat a loved friend. No pressure. Loving acceptance.
We also need to know we are not alone. These feelings. This experience is both unique and universal. Yes, it is individual and there are so many elements that we all have in common. And it is universal. It is something experienced across the globe.
We also need to be mindful. This means we observe without over-identification. We are able to feel without letting that feeling define us. We can accept the feeling, the emotion and let it flow, let it pass without believing this is a permanent characteristic that defines us.
If we truly let ourselves feel self-compassion we have hope.
Be patient. Believe. Baby steps in the right direction will make amends though our journey to recovery will be like no other. Patient persistence.
And if you have a dog, give it a hug!