Generally, I’m a pretty good sleeper. I might get up once or twice during the night to use the bathroom or grab a sip of water, but I sleep soundly, deeply, and through the night. And I love to sleep in on the weekends!
But Monday night… sleep just wasn’t in the mood to hook up with me. I went to bed at my usual time. Did all the usual things. And then I laid there, sleep mask over my eyes, wide awake. An hour passed. I got up and used the bathroom again. Another hour passed. I took an herbal supplement that we keep on hand to help my son sleep - he struggles many nights to sleep, thanks to ADHD. Another hour passed and I took 30 seconds to pound my fists against my pillow in frustration.
Finally, somewhere around 2 or 2:30 in the morning, I managed to drift into a fitful, light sleep that was anything but refreshing and restful.
So I spent Tuesday feeling thoroughly exhausted and the feeling just seemed to build until yesterday.
And then it hit me. We went grocery shopping yesterday morning, and I actually felt a bit more energetic when we got back home. And that was the most time I’d spent outside the house all week. Possibly a couple of weeks.
You see, I have pretty severe allergies. Some are year-round, some are seasonal, and right now, they’ve all ganged up on me. My eyes are watery, red, and itchy. My nose alternates between runny, clogged, and “how the hell am I supposed to breath through that?” My throat gets dry and scratchy.
So I’ve been staying inside because going outdoors feels like playing Russian Roulette with nature: will this be the time that kills me? Or next time?
But yesterday afternoon, despite the pollen count being the highest it’s been this season, I decided to go out and go for a walk. I walked around our block (a little more than a mile) with a detour into some woods we have that’s very quiet, soothing, and pretty.
And yes, it did kick my allergies into a higher gear. But it also did something for me: it clarified my exhaustion.
You see, there’s two types of tired. There’s the type that’s purely physical. The type that comes from not sleeping well, from pushing your body with work outs or physical labor, from chasing kids, or otherwise wearing yourself out. This is also the kind that we’re most familiar with.
The other kind is more of a spiritual, emotional, and/or mental exhaustion. This comes from being stressed, from doing too much mental work, from not having enough quiet time.
And last night, I had a bone-deep exhaustion going on. I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open - like, if this was ongoing, I’d be worried I was narcoleptic. I could barely move my body because every movement felt like it took monumental effort.
But that was new. That was the result of going outside, getting some physical activity in the hot Florida sun, and having my allergies kick my ass like I was leaving a gang.
The rest of my exhaustion? The exhaustion I’d had going on all week? That was the spiritual/emotional/mental exhaustion. It was my mind and soul begging me to chill out and take a damn break already.
Because here’s the thing: I’ve had a lot going on lately. I’ve been helping my youngest son as he preps to start trade school this summer after graduating a year early. I’ve been trying to do my coaching, run my meditation classes, write articles, do my own social media, and record meditations. I’ve been trying to write new meditations. I’ve been trying to record videos to go on my new YouTube channel. I’ve been trying to get more videos done for my Special channel.
And I forgot the little piece of advice I give you all the time: that I’m only one person and I can only do so much.
I just kept tacking more and more onto my to-do list every day and working earlier in the day and later into the evenings trying to get it all done. And this exhaustion came sweeping in to remind me that I need to stop.
I need to remember I’m only one person. I can only do so much. And I need to focus my energies where they can do the most good or where they matter most.
Which is why I’m sending this week’s newsletter.
I’m scaling things back a bit for the next few months. As I help my kid do the testing he needs to do, fill out the applications he needs to fill out, and get a job (and probably take him to and from said job temporarily), he needs me to be fully focused on him when I’m doing that. And that just doesn’t happen when I’m trying to keep business at full throttle.
So for now, I’m cutting back on coaching. I’m focusing my attention mostly on the meditation aspect of things for now, as that allows a lot more flexibility around everything I need to do for my son.
I will be teaching my live meditation classes each week - all done online through Zoom, so feel free to check the schedule and see if there’s one you want to attend. The schedule changes often right now as I try to keep it somewhat flexible and try out some new and different classes to see what everyone’s enjoying the most.
I’ll be recording meditations and making them available through Insight Timer, my Special channel subscription, my YouTube channel, or for purchase on Core Spirit or Gumroad. And I’ll be offering a limited number of meditation coaching packages, where I will work with clients 1:1 to help make mindfulness, meditation, and self-care a part of your daily life.
The newsletter will still go out once a week. I’m hoping to start recording a short 5-10 minute meditation each week to include,possibly more, but that will be dependent on how much time I have.
But the main point of this week’s newsletter is not just to inform you of these changes. It’s to remind you of this: it’s okay to take a break.
No matter how much you think you need to do, no matter how long your to-do list is, you can just put it all down and take a break. You can say, “I’ve had enough for right now. I’m done. I’ll come back to all this later.”
You can delegate. Assign some chores to the kids. Ask a co-worker to tackle part of a project. See if a friend or neighbor is willing to swap a chore you hate for one they hate so you can both get things done without doing something you each hate.
You can decide something isn’t your problem to deal with. Give it to someone else to do. Or decide it doesn’t really need to be done and leave it undone. Or tell the person whose problem it really is - because let’s be honest, there’s many times we’re doing something for someone else and they didn’t even ask us to - to deal with it themselves.
Lighten your load so it’s not as heavy and doesn’t wear you down as much. But be okay with dropping the entire load sometimes, even though you know you’ll have to pick it back up later, just so you can stretch, relax, and rest.
Because you really are just one person and there really is only so much you can do. Decide what matters most, get it done, then take a break. Enjoy the rest. You deserve it.
P.S. One other change I’m thinking of making… I may stop offering the paid option for the newsletter. Trying to keep up with the extra goodies I promise is another thing on my to-do list that I’m not sure I can keep up with. Current paid subscribers would, of course, receive a partial refund if you’ve subscribed for a year.
So if you’re currently a paid subscriber, or you’re thinking of becoming one, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you feel you’re getting enough value? Do you feel the regular newsletter that goes out each week is more than enough and you can find plenty of other value in my other free offerings (such as Insight Timer meditations, YouTube, etc.)? Give me your feedback so I can make a fully informed decision on this. Thank you!