“I am so tired”
Do you ever find yourself thinking it or saying it? I do. The kind of tired that isn’t restored by sleep? Mental, emotional, and spiritual exhaustion. The endless dishes, the work seeming to produce little versus the amount of work you’re putting in, a spouse that isn’t filling your love tank, and what feels like no days off.
If you’re feeling this way, believe me. I get it. I wouldn’t be writing this article if I didn’t. So what do you do? What did I do? Turned to God. In my tears, I prayed. I pleaded. I needed that spiritual rest.
Let me ask you a question: does life feel more complicated than when you were growing up? When I was growing up, both parents worked, but only one job each. It seems like most people are working more than one job a piece. Personally, I’m trying to start two businesses, and I write, in a semiprofessional sense. It’s tough. These days it feels like you can’t make ends meet with just one job. Even when I was working as a registered nurse in California, one paycheck alone barely made rent. There were months I was so stressed about money and making sure we had enough to pay the bills and buy groceries. There are still times I worry about money. That worry drains my energy, as I’m sure it drains yours as well. Some of the reasons you may be tired could be your worry. Exhaustion has many causes, one of which is worry and stress.
Most Christians, if not all, are familiar with the Sabbath Day. The Sabbath Day is the day of rest. We celebrate it on Sundays. History states on Sunday, it was illegal to do any work, which includes cooking and cleaning. Everything had to be done the day before because it was known as the Day of Silence for the Jews. When Jesus was crucified on the cross, He became Our Sabbath, our rest. You see, when we become so tired from doing life, we haven’t been taking a rest day. We haven’t been spending time with Our Sabbath. We need rest. Psalm 23 talks about Our Shepherd who leads us beside the still waters. How calming is that image? Doesn’t it just make you want to go take a nap and listen to an audio of a trickling stream?
When was the last time you rested? Not slept. Rested. I know what it’s like to just go go go and then get so tired, mentally and physically. It’s rough. And it’s rough on a relationship when you’re so exhausted that things come to a head when a minor inconvenience sets you off. Believe me. I know. It’s not pretty. That comes from a lack of rest. I remember when I was working as a nurse on night shift, I felt like all I ever did was work and sleep. My mental health became so poor. It got so poor that it began to affect me at work. I would get upset and I got in trouble with my boss more than a couple of times, which was unusual for me. My boss was even recommending that I take some time off because I had not taken time off in almost a year. Just work and my regular days off, which can be difficult for someone working night shift. You know what I also remember? Considering serious self harm. Yeah. It got that bad. Do you see what I’m getting at here? Rest is vital.
Now, I’m not saying that a simple lack of rest is the cause of mental illness and that rest is a cure all. I’m simply saying that whenever you find yourself in this position, take a break. This is regardless of whether or not you have a mental illness. Sometimes that’s all you need. Whether it be a few minutes, half a day, or a full day off, it doesn’t matter. Just rest. Spend some quiet time with God, listen to worship music, do something you enjoy, practice a gentle yoga flow, or simply listen to the silence. The important thing is to make time to rest. Resting is essential to your mental health.
If you do have a serious mental illness that requires professional help, please reach out to someone. This is especially important if you’re being overwhelmed with thoughts of self harm or suicide. You matter. This world is a better place with you in it, my friend.