How tired is tired? Being ‘busy’ in our society is worn as a badge of honour, while having regular rests, lunch breaks or a consistent relaxation practice is often seen as being a little lazy and rather selfish.
Yet those beliefs may be changing. Employers, employees and judgey family members are recognizing the burnout, imbalance and unhappiness caused by being really really tired. Wellness in the workplace is increasing because engagement and longevity are decreasing.
The change in the requests for my services has taken me by surprise. Businesses are seeking a facilitator for 30 to 45-minute relaxation sessions as opposed to Mindful Movement (Yoga) or fitness classes. It is the desperate need for each of us to rest, recharge and renew that is most prevalent in my work now.
Australia ranks as the second most workaholic country in the world. Statistics indicate that Australians work nearly 1690 hours each year with only 47% taking all their annual leave holidays. Working too much, staying back for excess overtime and eating lunch at the desk are usually precursors to experiencing fatigue.
Whilst some people do thrive on being workaholics, (I proudly wore the badge) being overworked and constantly tired catches up on everyone.
Fast and overloaded lifestyles, increasing work and life stressors, rise in job redundancies, spiralling costs of living and crumbling family structures have adversely impacted life-work balance. Many Australians are experiencing fatigue and burnout before reaching the age of thirty. Numbers of sufferers are also rising with the increasing use of social media and incessant digital distraction – people scroll instead of sleep!
We are a tired worn out nation.
Being overtired and overworked increases the risk of mistakes, accidents, injuries and decreases immunity. Research also indicates that unaddressed fatigue can impact decision-making, communication, productivity, recall, the ability to plan and erodes performance in all that we do. Being constantly tired can cause anxiety and depression – and premature ageing. Who wants that?
What is the solution?
Meditation can be done anywhere, at any time and reaps huge benefits. We all can develop a regular and simple meditation practice.
It may take you outside your comfort zone at first, but it will give you a break from the chattering and critical mind and leave you feeling deeply rested.
There is an inner peace we all have access to, we just need to dedicate time, give ourselves permission and start.
It’s not easy – the busy mind doesn’t like being bypassed by the inner wise mind. But think of it as a challenge, a challenge to increase your attention span. Start with just 5 minutes a day and build up.
Not only does this mind-rest help increase focus and thus productivity, but it also helps create clarity. While you’re in a meditative state, your instinctual part of the brain slows down and the intelligent part of the brain has time to file and process – to clear the head so to speak. Meditation gives you the ability to look at life from a more rational perspective, it helps you to be happier, deal with stress in a better way and to deeply rest.
Here are 11 (science-based) benefits of meditation
- Stress Reduction
- Controls Anxiety
- Promotes emotional health
- Enhances self-awareness
- Lengthens attention span
- May reduce memory loss
- Can generate kindness & empathy
- May help fight addictions
- Improves sleep
- Helps control pain
- Can decrease blood pressure
Find a style that suits you; from seated guided and singled focus meditation, to moving mindfully and ‘in the zone’ meditative activities, such as painting, running and of course yoga. Then there is my favourite, and possibly the easiest, Yoga Nidra where you get to lie down & truly rest.
The outcome will be to create calm energy even amid chaos. It teaches us to respond to stress consciously – off autopilot – and calms the repetitive negative mind-chatter. After a while, a state of peace and stillness will happen automatically. our breath will reconnect us to inner peace and a restful state, no matter where we are.