Running on empty
Out of gas. Wiped out. Beat. Stressed. Tired. These are words used to describe mental fatigue, often a result of working a lot and relaxing a little.
Easy to say out loud, usually to give others a heads up that something is sucking the life out of you. Most people respond with empathy or attempted empathy, but that doesn't make me feel better.
What would make me feel better? Doing less of what is the cause of my mental fatigue.
A few weeks ago I bought my five-year old a book called "How Full is Your Bucket? For Kids" It is by the same author that wrote on the same subject (with the same title minus the subtitle). I almost didn't need to read the book to know what it is about. There are circumstances throughout the day either done by you or someone else that will either "drip" water into your bucket or "drop" water out of your bucket. A full bucket = feeling great. An empty bucket = feeling awful.
This past week I have been putting in long hours; much more than usual. Thursday morning I woke up exhausted - on empty. I had two choices. (1) hunker down and get to work; or (2) do things to fill my bucket. I chose number two. But I don't always make that choice. Often I don't even acknowledge the choice is there or that my bucket is empty.
I do feel great when my bucket is full, but I don't notice when it is losing water until it is bone dry. Then I have to find water in the desert which makes it worse.
Moving forward, when I tell someone, anyone, that I am stressed or run down or tired, I am going to set off a mental firehouse bell and slide down the pole to find the water hose.