How often do we experience that feeling of exhaustion, fatigue, and complete tiredness? When I was working in the corporate world, along with the constant feeling of unhappiness and depression, the feeling of being tired and exhausted was all I ever seemed to experience. 6 hour sleeps each night, combined with early mornings, was not a very good routine for my health whatsoever. After a long day at work, by the time I arrived home, had dinner, washed the dishes, and did some exercise, there was barely an hour or two remaining for me to actually have some time to myself, or with my partner, doing something more desirable. We all need this time for ourselves, just to momentarily escape from the constant demand and pressure of work, especially when we spend so many hours working a job we totally dislike. The problem is, of course, that those spare couple of hours are deducted from our sleep time, as we cannot find any other time of the day to deduct it from. The result, a lack of sleep. What then does a lack of sleep result in? Tiredness, fatigue, and exhaustion, of course. So I'd go to bed at midnight each weeknight, and get up at 6am the following day, and such was my tiredness and exhaustion, by the time Friday came around, I slept from midnight to midday on the weekend days, just to try and rejuvenate and recharge myself. I felt more refreshed by Sunday afternoon, but that feeling would be short lived, as by Tuesday, it was back to feeling tired and exhausted again. I don't miss those days in the slightest. Sadly, such a routine isn't uncommon for many people. Long work days, minimal sleep, minimal time for themselves and their family, and the constant feeling of tiredness and exhaustion.
We live in such a fast paced and demanding world, where we have constant deadlines to meet, and commitments to honour, that it's hardly surprising that so many of us do regularly feel tired and exhausted. Even after heading away on annual leave, or holidays, for a couple of weeks, it only takes a few days after returning back to work, that we begin to feel overwhelmed with work, stress, pressure, and tiredness again. There just never seems to be enough hours in the day, right? Even being a full time single Dad, and running my business full time from home, I can honestly say that there are never enough hours in the day to help me fulfil all my duties. There are always tasks and actions that need to be completed. The reality is, we can wish for more hours in the day all we want, but things aren't going to change. 24 hours a day is all we are going to have, end of story. Therefore, that means we need to better utilize and maximize those 24 hours available to us, without sacrificing on what should be our priorities. The issue with so many people is that they don't have the right priorities. So what should be our priorities in life? Personally, I believe there are three in the top tier of priorities, followed by a second tier of important priorities that we should accommodate thereafter. The three most important priorities to us should be our health, our happiness/wellbeing, and our goals. We cannot lead a quality life if we don't take care of all of these aspects. Without happiness, we are merely existing, not living. Without good health, life can be short and restrictive. Without achieving our goals, life can be unsatisfying and unfulfilling. Our decisions and actions should always revolve around these three aspects first and foremost. The second tier of priorities then includes helping others, our family, and our work. We need to be showing generosity, care, compassion, support, and encouragement to others, because we all have an obligation to help one another. Naturally, we need to be caring for our family, taking care of them, and spending decent quality time with them. Obviously we need to work also, in order to generate an income for our livelihood and survival. Health, happiness, goals, generosity, family, and work; if you haven't got these as your list of priorities, and in that order, then life is sure going to be more difficult and unfulfilling for you.
Note that I listed health as our number one priority. Without good health, we reduce our longevity, we can become restricted in what we can do, we can't function effectively, and the quality of our life is reduced. Off the back of this, it then makes it harder to find happiness, achieve our goals, look after our family, and undertake certain duties at work. We need to look after ourselves, first and foremost. How do we do this? Firstly, we need to be mindful of what we eat. We need a balanced diet enriched with fruit and vegetables, but low in sugar, fats, and carbohydrates. Secondly, we need to keep active, which means exercising daily for at least 30 minutes engaging in some form of intense activity, such as running, weightlifting, fast walking, swimming, cycling, etc. Thirdly, we need to also be taking care of the mental side of our health, avoiding people and activities which are leading us to feel anxious or depressed. That aspect of health links to the second priority, of course, which is happiness. Finally, we need to be ensuring we are giving our body ample rest. To achieve success, happiness, and prosperity in life, we clearly have to make sacrifices, but sleep should never be one of them! People can preach as much as they like about how we need to sacrifice sleep in order to become successful, or how they have been able to live fine on just 4 or 5 hours of sleep each night, but they will never acknowledge, nor admit to, the damage that this lack of sleep is doing to their health, especially in the long term. What's the point in striving for success when you're either going to be too ill, or prematurely six feet underground, to enjoy it?
Our body has been designed to adequately handle around 15 to 17 hours of awake time, but it needs those 7 to 9 hours sleep time, each night, in order to effectively recharge and rejuvenate itself, so we can perform at our optimum level. So many of us go searching for that precious coffee or energy drink, to try and fuel the body with energy and stimulation, courtesy of a lack of sleep, but we cannot substitute for sleep. We are trying to take on nature and defeat it, but nature will always have the last laugh against us. In limiting the amount of sleep we have, just to accommodate having more hours to do work and other activities, especially on a consistent basis, all we are headed for is ill health and premature death. We don't see it that way, because we cannot visually see the results that will happen in the future, right in front of us, acting as the proof. The fact is that a continual lack of sleep is firstly going to lead our immune system to become weaker, exposing us to an increased risk of inheriting viruses and illnesses. Not only that, but we also then increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, just to name a few. We are placing our own health and life at a huge risk, all in a bid to cram more hours in our day, or in the false belief that is what is needed to create success for ourselves. 7 to 9 hours sleep on the daily schedule should always be a non-negotiable. If you cannot find the time to meet this priority, then you need to seriously look at your schedule and determine what other activity needs to be removed or minimized, because your health should ALWAYS come first. Perhaps you need to make some tough decisions, and be changing up your lifestyle and routine? Perhaps the real reason behind why you are always feeling tired and exhausted, is actually you. Review your schedule, make changes, and schedule in at least 7 hours of sleep each night for yourself, otherwise you will need to start scheduling in time to accommodate for your future illnesses!
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