OMG I’m tired – so tired from working, playing, family and everything going on around me. It’s constant, that hamster wheel of life just keeps on turning day after day, week after week and then all of a sudden another year has gone by and I hardly remember what happened. We all go through stages of sheer exhaustion both mentally and physically and just need to switch off, reboot and recharge, but then something else happens so we fail to do it.
Does this ring true for you? â€œWork rest and playâ€ was the old advertising slogan for Mars bars, nowadays so many of us work a lot, rest a little and don’t manage to play enough.
I am no mathematical genius, I do believe each of us is controlled by a balance that is personal to each of us â€“ it’s all down to a very personal simple equation. Consider your weight, (I’m not here to judge or challenge you, just a simple question), are you currently at the high end of your weight scale or maybe even at the top of it? I believe that weight is a simple mathematical equation: X-Y=Your size – what you put in (X) minus what you burn off (Y) = your weight. A simple equation.
Frustratingly that equation will vary throughout your life, the equation that was right for you at the age of 21 will have changed by the time you are 22, let alone 42 or 53. Herein lies the problem: nobody but you knows the equation is changing or has changed until you notice a difference. At this point you have a choice – do I investigate or take notice of what I have discovered or ignore it, wait until it becomes a real challenge for me or my clothes don’t fit or some other telltale sign?
There is another specific area that focuses even further on what you put inside your body, the quality or variety in your diet. I know when I eat more oily fish and white meats with less bread and red meat my brain fires far faster, I have clarity of vision and loads more energy and drive. Age is not a precursor here, some foods that you’ve never had a problem with before start to have an effect on you but you’re not sure why, this can happen to a child just as much as an ageing grandparent. The way to investigate is (yes, you were expecting this!), keep a diary, understand the changes in your performance and levels of fatigue in relation to what you have been eating, it really can be very enlightening and frightening.
There are so many supplements, smoothies, juice bursts ….. the list goes on – some are great and some aren’t – the challenge is to work out which ones work for you and then enjoy it. You’re not in a popularity competition where you need to do what is right for someone else, this is your equation and it can only ever be right for you and nobody else. I have tried various products, given up on many and have an equation that is right for me at the moment. I’m not trying to become the next Olympic gold medallist. I’m trying to be the best that I can be in all areas of my life.
Moving away from weight and your diet, as I know that can be very emotive and personal to us all – consider your sleep patterns, again there is a simple equation here that is personal to you and it changes. There is so much research nowadays into sleep patterns, the depth of sleep and the length of sleep. Much has been written about those individuals that manage on 4 hours or less per night vs. average sleep of 7-8 hours a night or teenage requirements of 12-14 hrs.
Firstly, what is the amount that you need? Secondly, what is the amount you can get away with before you get caught out and fall ill from over fatigue? How well do you sleep when you are asleep? Many people are buying those sleep monitors that register how much time you spend in deep sleep and therefore how well rested you become – I’ve never done this nor do I particularly want to. However if it works for you then go for it – if understanding that part of your sleep equation helps you perform at your best because you’re no longer constantly exhausted then do it.
We all have equations in life that change at regular intervals, when trying to be the best that you can be you need to be on top of your game. I haven’t had a go at the alcohol equation yet I can easily recognise that recovery time from a night out varies from year to year, what I drink and when I sleep.
Investigate the relevant equations for you, understand the choices you make. When you ignore your equations, and you recognise that the tiredness and other effects are all self inflicted, please just be forgiving of yourself. Take it on the chin, move on and learn for next time.
X – Y = Your Performance
(What goes in) – (What gets used up)