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The cycle of exhaustion {and an unintentional goal review for February}

The cycle of exhaustion

Since our trip to Snowshoe, I have been unbelievably tired. Not just tired: flat-out exhausted.

Part of it is Jack’s sleep (we’ve taken him off gluten to see if that could possibly be contributing to his sleep issues), part of it is the stomach issues our middle daughter is having, and part of it is my own eating habits, which have gotten way off track again.

What I’ve realized, though—realized again, really—is how much being tired affects, well…everything.

I know there are people who function well on little sleep, and I know there are people who still accomplish amazing things when they’re exhausted.

Unfortunately, I’m not one of them.

When I’m tired, I…

…lose all self-control and crave carbs and sugars…which just leaves me more tired (and gaining, rather than losing, weight).

…rely too much on caffeine, which can affect the sleep I do get, and don’t drink enough water

…end up crashing on the couch and zoning out rather than sending myself to bed early for some quality sleep.

…am snappier and less patient with the kids, and I also have more trouble investing in my relationships with each of them.

…read the same line in a book over and over and let my mind wander while I listen to audiobooks.

…skip exercising in favor of a long hot shower.

…turn into a hermit, preferring time alone to time with other people.

…enter survival mode.

Now that I’ve typed all of that out, I think it’s safe to say that this post is my official February goals review. Overall, February was a good month, and I made progress on many of my goals (like January, my biggest success has been in protecting my non-work hours, but—as I mentioned on Facebook and Instagram—now my goal is to protect the work hours as well!)

But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that being so tired keeps me from being my best me. While some of these circumstances are out of my control, typing this out was a good reminder that I do have control over some of them…and that exhaustion is not a state of being, but a cycle.

There are things I need to do to break that cycle, without waiting for Jackson to magically sleep through the night for two weeks straight so I can catch up on sleep!

Things like…

…choosing to start my day with healthy breakfasts rather than carbs, sugar and caffeine.

…making myself go to bed rather than zoning on the couch.

…prioritizing exercise.

…taking naps rather than wasting time on the computer.

The cycle of exhaustion isn’t good for my body, mind or soul, and while none of those things are easy when I’m tired, I need to remind myself (hourly sometimes!) that they’re worth the work to break the cycle!

What are the signs that you’re stuck in a cycle of exhaustion? How do you deal with it or break the cycle?