Exhaustion is more than just feeling tired, it is an overwhelming emotional and moral fatigue that permeates every facet of your life. You don’t fight exhaustion, you either succumb to it or you work on healing it. Anyone trying to give you the advice just to shrug it off doesn’t know what they are talking about.
This isn’t a problem that can be solved with a nap. Just getting more sleep will never solve the problem of exhaustion. The issue is much deeper and more complicated than increasing REM sleep. When you hit the level of exhaustion, something has gone horribly wrong.
We do the work we love. Most of the time, that’s to our benefit. It means that we love coming in to work, we love solving the problems, and we love evolving. It’s hard but rewarding. It’s challenging but engaging. Most of the time. Sometimes what we love becomes the trap that drags us down.
Because we love it, it’s difficult to let go sometimes. We will stay up nights, dream about problems, and torture ourselves in an effort to make everything go smoothly. The little problems and the big problems affect us equally. And every issue that comes up, we take personally. Sure, people to tell us to let go, but honestly, we wouldn’t know how.
That’s when we hit the wall. When we stop caring about the work and start going through the motions. The lead weights start dragging us down on a cellular level. We can’t think through the fog of emotions, think enough to eat like soup. Professional zombies.
We must take exhaustion seriously. That might mean stepping back; that might even mean stepping away for a while. And as scary a notion as that is, what’s more frightening is working yourself right out of your passion.