“I’m SO tired” is a common refrain among women. Are we just too busy…or is something much larger behind our collective exhaustion? In this episode, I’ll share the deeper truth about why you’re so tired and what you can do about it.
- Why it’s common, but not normal, to be tired all the time
- Factors causing exhaustion that are (somewhat) out of your control
- How a patriarchal system has created generations of tired women
- Why your coping mechanisms are backfiring
Mentioned in this Episode:
- Take this free quiz and see if your stress levels are normal or leading you to burnout – http://ShesGotPower.com/free
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You hear it everywhere you go
“I’ve been tired lately.”
“I’m SO tired.”
“I don’t know why, I’m just tired today.”
You hear these sentiments all the time, don’t you? I do – and not just because I work in women’s health. Friends, family members, even just overhearing someone at the coffee shop. They say:
“I’m tired. I’m exhausted. [big sigh] I’ll be fine.”
Will you be fine?
Or like a meme I posted to my instagram account once…is adulthood basically just all of us telling each other how tired we are all the time?
Constantly feeling tired isn’t normal
It’s not your fate in life to be exhausted day in and day out.
That’s not normal. (Common…but not normal.)
In fact, exhaustion is the most common symptom of chronic stress and burnout. If that’s the problem, you may also be experiencing anxiety, digestion issues, sleep problems, etc. You can take this quick quiz to see how stressed your body actually is.
There are real reasons behind your exhaustion
Yes, the laundry. Yes, the chauffeuring to soccer practices. Yes the constant demands of a world that runs 24/7 and expects you to answer emails at 9pm.
Here’s why women, in particular, are experiencing exhaustion beyond the beyond. Reasons that are, for the most part, out of our control.
- For millennia we’ve been the shock absorbers of society – yet underpaid, under represented and under appreciated. Just look at the disproportionate number of women who left their jobs during the pandemic to play full-time caretaker/homeschooler.
- Carrying around unresolved trauma
While the ongoing stress of trauma affects both men and women, women experience greater instances of violence and violation.
- Trying to do and be all things
As young girls we were told that we could do anything a man can do. And we can probably do it better! But no one told the boys they would have to swap some duties with us. Instead, women have been pressured into playing ALL the roles at once.
- Never feeling good enough
From the earliest Seventeen magazine we looked at, we’ve been taught that our lashes aren’t long enough, our thighs not thin enough, etc. etc. etc. It’s exhausting just thinking of the hoops women jump through to look good enough each day, while men take a shower and wash their hair and body with the same bar of soap in 5 minutes and call it good.
- Environmental toxins that act as stressors on our system and disrupt our hormones
From plastics in our kitchen to parabens in our cosmetics, women are exposed to a much greater number of hormone-disrupting chemicals. These mess with our sex hormones, thyroid hormones and even insulin – which directly impact energy levels.
Your body is trying to save you
Another reason for feeling tired? Your body might be slowing you down on purpose, as a safety measure.
This is what happens when your HPA axis becomes dysregulated and you experience “adrenal fatigue.” (Your adrenals aren’t tired. You are.)
Or when your thyroid slows down. Is it broken? Or is it purposely lowering the thermostat in order to conserve energy and save you?
Why your coping mechanisms may be backfiring
A morning staple of tired people everywhere, coffee gives you energy by forcing an adrenaline rush. This increases stress on the body and, over time, leaves you even more exhausted. It’s like borrowing energy on credit – you have to pay it back with interest.
To numb out from emotional exhaustion, alcohol is a common crutch. But we all know how the next morning feels. Alcohol sucks the energy right out of us.
Especially around that 3pm energy slump, nothing sounds better than a muffin, doughnut or oversized cookie. Sugar gives us a quick burst of energy, but unfortunately, it’s followed by a dramatic drop. Over time, our sugar habit weakens our entire body.
Staying up late
When we’re tired during the day, we may stay up late at night and catch a second wind. It feels like a great time to get things done, but in reality, we’re probably not getting enough hours of sleep and we’re dysregulating our circadian rhythm. Both cause ongoing low energy levels.
You can get your energy back
Start by understanding how your exhaustion fits into the greater picture of your health with this 3-minute quiz. You could be feeling more energized in a matter of weeks.
If you enjoyed the audio version, be sure to subscribe to the She’s Got Power podcast on Apple or wherever you get your podcasts. Love what you hear? Please share with your friends and leave a review on Apple so more women can finally overcome the health issues associated with chronic stress and burnout.