Fatigue has become a real problem in our modern day society. Have you noticed that lately it seems like a lot of people are dealing with a lack of energy? It’s not uncommon for me to hear how they don’t understand why they seem to be tired all the time.
Why the constant fatigue though? People are seemingly exhausted all the time. Sure we can say that many are working longer hours trying to make ends meet. Or perhaps that they are under a lot of stress with too much on their shoulders. These are real issues and they certainly play a role when it comes to fatigue.
However, take it from someone who dealt with chronic fatigue for years, I believe there is more than meets the eye here. You see at the surface it seems pretty obvious why a person may be feeling fatigued. After all we live in a world that doesn’t rest. Burning the candle on both ends is not only a norm, it’s actually celebrated in many circles.
No one wants to be accused of being lazy or unproductive. Trust me I was there. I was that person who not only lived this way but looked down on anyone who wasn’t doing the same. I am ashamed to admit it, but it certainly was my case.
Yet I believe there is something besides the obvious robbing our energy. I think it’s the constant need to be connected to all our social media channels. We can easily get consumed with it. Before you tune me out, please listen to what I am trying to say.
You see there was a time in my life when the television had to be blaring in every room, while I was simultaneously checking my Facebook, Instagram and all the rest of them. As if somehow I missed an event, my life was suddenly going to collapse.
Giving my undivided attention to any one task was becoming nearly impossible. Can I tell you that multi-tasking is highly over-rated? Trust me, I never thought those words would ever come out of my mouth, but it’s true. In fact leading neuroscientist Dr. Caroline Leaf says that it’s the equivalent of blending our brains like a milkshake. That should be cause alone to make us ponder the next time we are tempted to multi-task.
As a blogger balancing your presence on social media and keeping your mind in a place of tranquility can be somewhat of a challenge. As someone who thrived on the adrenaline that came with solving problems, I have to catch myself to be certain I don’t fall into a familiar trap. I make sure I am not allowing the adrenaline rush of turning off a fire, crowd out what really matters in my life. This is sometimes easier said than done.
I can’t say I have fully arrived yet, but I am not where I used to be on this journey. Today, the television is only on at night, and for a maximum of a couple of hours. I work from home so the temptation to keep it on all day was once a real one.
Quieting the news was probably the most challenging for me. As if knowing what was happening around the world at all hours was going to give me some sort of leverage. Really? Could I actually think for one moment that doing so was somehow going to change the outcome of the news?
Don’t misunderstand me, I am not telling anyone to toss their phones, computers and television sets in an effort to combat fatigue. I think the issue is much more complicated than that. We need to wonder why we feel so compelled to be validated or live vicariously through this medium. It’s a tough question that needs to be answered by each of us individually.
So how exactly has reducing the constant chatter from social media given me more energy?
- I am more productive
I don’t find myself mindlessly wasting time. We all know that time is valuable. Instead of just scrolling endlessly through my social media channels. I am making a greater effort to engage in real conversations with individuals. I am also accomplishing more of my personal goals. You would be surprised by how much time suddenly becomes available when you take control of this area of your life.
- I am praying more
I am learning to practice being in the presence of God. How? By keeping an open line of communication with my Lord throughout the day. I accomplish this even when I am engaged mundane tasks. This has strengthened my spiritual walk enormously. It’s amazing how much clearer a Christian can hear from God once you make this a daily discipline
- I am more peaceful
Learning to block out the constant noise has me in a more centered place. I no longer crave activities to keep my mind busy. Instead I look forward to moments of extended silence. When life causes an interruption I find myself better able to handle the problems that come my way. This discipline can be accomplished even in the midst of a crowd, it’s just a matter of practice.
- My energy level is greater
Fatigue has truly become a thing of the past in my life. The combination of eating healthy and practicing the language of silence has me waking up earlier and sleeping better. I no longer feel overwhelmed by endless to do lists that never got crossed off.
There are several studies pointing to the adverse effects of social media overload. Medical News Today did an article where it cited some poignant ones. I encourage you to read it for yourself here.
If you find that despite making dietary adjustments, you are still dealing with constant fatigue. Take a hard look at how much time you are actually spending on social media. Perhaps a brief break is in order or the need to limit your time makes more sense. It may surprise you to see how your energy level may begin to rise because of this decision.