Mental Health 101…Tired

News flash…we live in a busy world.  That is not going to change, so cement that into your brain.   i am aging quicker, it seems, with every technological advance.  i was the guy people talked to when they had computer hardware or software issues.  Now that my brain is awake, i am remembering stuff, but i still have to learn new things and, as i have pointed out, learning new tasks still requires concentration.

Your days are busy as well.  i have no doubt about that.  Whether it is family, job or society in general, you are busy.  i read a study (no source…no memory) not long ago that was about whether or not people get enough exercise..  Exercise was defined as sustained cardio whatever for 20 minutes none stop.  Simple enough.  The answer, of course, was no, but it also pointed out that many people underestimate how much exercise they get each day.

One group surprised me (and the authors) more than the others.  One group that consistently reported poor exercise habits was hotel workers.  The ones who clean the rooms after we stay there.  They feel they don’t get enough exercise.  Well, kudos to you, folks, but you are exercising every day and way more than most, according to this study.  Because it did not take place during a special time set apart from work, these staff members felt they did not exercise enough.

Do you get as much exercise as those amazing cleaning wizards?  Not me.  i get enough exercise, but nothing like that.  Moms, not surprisingly, also felt they did not get enough exercise.

Maybe you do not get enough exercise.  But you are tired, right?  When you get to bed at night, sleep may not come easily, but you are tired.  Most of you are likely exhausted.  And you sigh yourself to sleep, thinking on the morrow.

When our days are filled with activity- errands, meetings, kids’ events, and whatever else-  it is easy to ignore our tiredness.  When we ignore how tired we are, we risk our mental and physical health.  Our judgement is off.  Our perceptions of people are affected.  We are not as alert.  Memory suffers.  We find it more difficult to learn new things. 

Impaired perceptions, learning difficulty and memory issues.  How could those things possibly affect our daily living?   And what about our moods?  If i am tired, it is a lot easier for me to get frustrated, angry and irritated at others.  You notice the same thing, likely.  It is easier to be a dick if you are tired.

One more astounding fact.   According to the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, fatigue is a factor in up to 21 per cent of motor vehicle collisions, resulting in about 400 deaths and 2,100 serious injuries every year. At 21 per cent, fatigue would rank as the third highest measurable cause of collisions behind alcohol impairment and speed-aggressive driving.  “An ordinary healthy person will get unmistakable warning signs,” says Randy Williams, Co-chair of the Roundtable and CEO and President of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada. “Once a driver starts yawning and fidgeting, it’s time to get off the road.”  (article is here: https://canadasafetycouncil.org/safety-canada-online/article/driver-fatigue-falling-asleep-wheel”).  But there is not any roadside test for being tired…except the ditch or anther car.

The school bus that ran over my van in 2001 and so drastically changed my life was driven by a driver who was in a hurry.  There were no kids on the bus, thankfully.  He was running late and trying to get to the school to pick up kids for a field trip.  Ten o’clock in the morning.  Watched his wheels run over the hood of my van.  Bus one, van zero.  i don’t know if he was tired.  Never took the time to ask, lol.  Probably.

Are there any solutions?  Well.  There is medication.  i’m no doctor, so i cannot advise you there.  Alcohol is not a sleep aid, by the way.  It just makes you more tired in the long run.  i’m not talking about your couple of glasses of wine (couple means two) before bed.  In my past i have sat up with Jack Daniels, begging him to knock me out with his silver hammer (Beatles reference).  I do not not ever remember feeling better and well-rested the next day.

Lorazepam and all his “pam” cousins can be necessary to help you sleep.  i am not a doctor and would never assume to know more than your trained professional.  But be careful of the “pams”.  It is easy to take pams irresponsibly and then they become tiny little shots of Jack Daniels…very powerful shots.  Just be safe and responsible.

Sometime the answer is as “easy” as good night’s sleep or a leisurely nap.  Even if your brain is busy, you can rest your body.  ” A good night’s sleep or a leisurely nap may be all you need to change your outlook for the day. If your day is particularly hectic, take a short break by listening to music, going for a walk, or simply taking a deep breath. Maybe it’s been a rough couple of days or week that requires a trip to your favorite park, movie theater, or restaurant. Recharging your body, mind, and spirit will help you get through tough moments and maintain your sobriety.”  (https://bradfordhealth.com/halt-hunger-anger-loneliness-tiredness/”

If you read about my recent panic attacks, you know today i am tired.  i feel like my body has been put through a wringer.  My chest is sore.  My emotions are close to the surface and i feel vulnerable.  Very vulnerable.  i am sleeping very well right now, but i am physically and emotionally tired nonetheless.  So i will eat healthy and regular.  i will take time to go for a walk with Bella.  i will be kind to myself for this day because i need it.

But i am retired and live in a cabin in the woods, so i can do these things without too much trouble.  You, on the other hand, are likely much busier and more pressured.  i am learning too, so i have no easy answers.  i’ll  include this link, which i found very helpful:  https://tinybuddha.com/blog/how-to-get-better-sleep-and-prevent-exhaustion/.  No sense me repeating something already done well.  Be safe.

John the Wiped

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