Its easy to just blow things off and continue on through our busy days. We get another cup of coffee at Starbucks or we down an "energy drink" and we trudge on. We count down the hours until our work day is finished. We browse the internet and check Facebook, just hoping that the day will soon be over.
One day it starts out as a sore back or a tightness in our chest. It may show up as a stiff neck or arm that doesn't want to move. Headaches are often a sign that we have more stress and exhaustion in our mind and body then we realize.
So we pop some more pills and hope for the best. We welcome the quick and painless methods that are taught to our society. We keep going. We keep trudging. We don't stop to take a rest.
Maybe its a job that doesn't allow it or the million school activities our kids are involved with in a day. Maybe its just life in general with the stress of paying bills, going through our day and just not having enough time off.
Maybe its a combination of all of the above or significant life stress in a relationship or with loved ones. It could be the loss of a job or a job that doesn't match up to us any longer. It could be the loss of loved ones and dealing with grief that was thrust upon us.
Over time, the stress builds up and as the stress builds up, exhaustion begins to grow. We have become so good as humans in hiding and masking the exhaustion and stress that we don't even see it. It continues to build until it takes us down.
I have just gone through this and I usually am more in touch with what goes on in my own mind and body. Yet, the days were to hectic and nonstop. The phone calls were relentless. Everyone needed me and wanted me and demanded my time. I tried to push back, but it got to a point where pushing back took more energy than giving in to all the fronts I was fighting. It crept upon me little by little as a thief advancing inch by inch.
I then had to deal with losing three very close friends in a matter of months and this still hits me hard. I tried to put on a brave front. I tried to be strong. The truth is though, I hurt deeply for the loss of these people very close to me. I'm angry that they left this world. I miss them so much.
So, once again I ask, can you mask exhaustion and stress? You most certainly can. There is no doubt in my mind that not only am I one that has been doing this, but I'm not alone. There are hosts of people throughout this world that do it all the time. There are many in number that do this.
Sometimes we get lucky and the side effects don't show up right away. Sometimes we go years and get away with it. When it does catch up, there is a vengeance that comes on with the power of five hurricanes wrapped up into one.
The question should not be if we can mask exhaustion and stress, but how can we stop and rest? How can we stop and smell the roses, so to speak? How can we learn as a culture, civilization, and society to take care of ourselves?
These are questions that we must all ask ourselves each moment of our day. We are the masters of our own destiny in a day and so the choices we make add to exhaustion and stress or they take us out of it. It is truly up to us, but it requires a conscious effort to be in touch with what we are doing to ourselves each and every day. It takes us taking time off and disconnecting with the busy world around us. It takes giving ourselves time to rest and repair and rejuvenate.
Blog Post And Images (c) 7/2/15 by Don Shetterly
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