Energy Issue: DON'T GET EXHAUSTED, GET A LIFE ; It's Official - Hard Work and Low Energy Levels Can Ruin Your Life. So What Can You Do about It?
Greaves, Words Suzy, The Independent (London, England)
Years ago, I lived the life of a slug. I used all my energy working 12-hour days, six days a week and I didn't have any life left over for me. As a freelance journalist, I used coffee to get me going, cigarettes to keep me going and wine to make me stop. And I was tired all the time. My whole day was spent fighting a bone- crushing fatigue that ate me up from the inside out until all I could do was cushion myself on the sofa every night.
I wasn't alone. These days we're all knackered. Fatigue is the unofficial malaise of the 21st century. A recent study published in Good Housekeeping showed that 86 per cent of women felt exhausted, tired and stressed the majority of the time. One in seven were so worn out that they had even considered killing themselves.
"We simply don't have enough energy to cope with modern life any more - and it's not just a problem for women," says Dr Philip Hodson, psychotherapist and fellow of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy. "Most of my clients, many being high- flying male executives, suffer from what doctors refer to as Tatt - Tired All The Time syndrome. Technology has speeded up work to a pace where we simply do not have the energy to keep up anymore - and the consequence is exhaustion. We live in a 24/7, multi-tasking global society where even fitting in time to sleep has become a problem." In the last 20 years, research by Professor James B Maas of Cornell University in the US shows the average person has added 158 hours to their annual working and commuting time - the equivalent of a full month of working hours.
Is it any wonder we're tired? Isn't it time we woke up to reality? I thought so and literally did. Five years ago, I woke up and all I could do was cry as I found myself 30 miles from home at the end of a train line having slept through my stop on the way back from a 16-hour day.
I needed help. Not prepared to admit that my tiredness could in any way be attributed to my lifestyle, I went to the doctor. I had the usual tests - thyroid, anaemia, I even went down the food intolerances route, but all results were negative.
Drastic action was needed. I hired a life coach. I know it sounds too Oprah for words and being a call-a-spade-a-shovel Northerner, I had similar prejudices. But I'm now a convert. In fact, I'm so impressed, I have since trained to become a life coach myself and now coach people to live outrageously energetic lives that they love.
Because what I discovered is that if you want more energy, you have to do just that - live a life you adore. Live a life with plenty of time, money, space, lots of lovely friends, a job you'd pay to do and you'll find yourself with an abundance of energy. You bubble over with it, you bounce, you sing in the shower.
When my coach first said that to me, I sneered too. Let's just play pretend then, she said. What would a life you adored look like? I humoured her. I described a life of holidays in the f Caribbean, earning three times more than I did, being nuzzled non-stop by my husband, never having to screen telephone calls to avoid speaking to so-called friends who vampired every ounce of energy that I had left after a gruelling day, no more gruelling days - just finding work that would make every day feel like a holiday.
I got excited for a second before reality elbowed me in the ribs. How could I earn three times my salary? I couldn't afford a holiday to Cardiff never mind the Caribbean. My husband was more into guzzling beer than nuzzling me. Every day like a holiday? Who was I kidding?
Then came the question that changed my life. What would you have to believe about yourself for this dream to come true? I blustered, I sneered a bit more but in the end I wept. I realised for me to get a life I adored, the thing that was going to have to change was me. I didn't believe in me. I didn't …
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Publication information: Article title: Energy Issue: DON'T GET EXHAUSTED, GET A LIFE ; It's Official - Hard Work and Low Energy Levels Can Ruin Your Life. So What Can You Do about It?. Contributors: Greaves, Words Suzy - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: February 2, 2002. Page number: 36,. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.