The battle between mindfulness and survival


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I’ve talked a lot about feeling tired lately. The truth is, I’m tired of talking about feeling tired. I dislike being a broken record with nothing new to say.

This tiredness has put me in survival mode where I react to my impulses often without thinking. Nowhere is it more apparent than in my eating habits.

I know I need to be careful of my weight. I had gestational diabetes with both of my pregnancies. I also have a family history of type 2 diabetes. My ethnicity is a further risk factor. So is my age.

I’m not very overweight but carry most of it around the midriff “danger zone”. And yet, I crave chocolate and desserts. When I’m tired, I lose all resolve to resist the indulging. Once I start, I don’t slowly and consciously savour a small piece. I hastily chomp through an entire bar, then regret it just as quickly. “Next time…”, I sigh to myself, yet I do it all again.

When I can muster some resolve to be mindful in the moment, I can be stronger. I can hop from cause to effect and see the tangible consequences. I can make better decisions. But “mustering” is hard work when I’m tired. The consequences are invisible behind the fog. Immediate satiation of the craving is the utmost goal.

My tiredness is also evident in my scattergun approach to my various responsibilities. I operate in crisis mode, always teetering on the brink. You know those pebbles I talked about recently? Well, I’m still clumsily tripping all over them for the moment, kicking some ahead, others sideways and the remainder behind me as I bumble along.

Tiredness is a physical struggle but I’m learning it’s also a mental battleground where determination and will power too easily give way to the quick outome. Planning and foresight are easy to ignore or forget.

I still believe I will get there…..eventually. I just need to learn to be mindful and exercise my muscle of resolve. I think it’s been hiding somewhere under my chocolate-infused residual baby belly.

How do you maintain your effectiveness and mindfulness when you’re tired?

Related Posts

Tiredness is aging me

Living in the fog of sleep deprivation

Be Kind to Yourself

Anthems for the Sleep Deprived


Linking With Some Grace for FlogYoBlogFriday (FYBF).


16 thoughts on “The battle between mindfulness and survival

  1. I think being tired is the biggest barrier to achieving anything. But you are right, planning and foresight certainly help….maybe you need to plan a few sleep ins somehow! Or like my plan to go to bed a little earlier which I never really do either! i recently had a weekend away with the girls and it is amazing how just a couple of nights away can refresh your body, your resolve and your outlook. (unfortunately it doesn’t last very long!)

    • It’s funny (or maybe not) but within an hour or so of posting this, Martine, it became so obvious how planning and foresight make a difference. I was out of routine and without any plan, I just could not focus on what to do, how to do it, in what order, etc. It would have been easier if someone took over my brain and decided it all for me for a few hours! Anyway, I struggle with going to bed earlier too because my girls sleep late and then there are the dishes and tidying up. I either do it at night or get up early for that in the morning. Not sure which is better. I can’t imagine how a few nights away might feel yet but I am sure I’ll get there…..eventually!

  2. It is so hard. I am not a sleeper inner at all, so the only way i can catch up on sleep is by having an early night. I still get woken overnight most nights, but generally we all go back to sleep within half an hour, in each other’s beds. But I am not trying to work outside of home in an office 4 days a week like you, which just adds to the stress and tiredness. Can you get a couple of days off without the kids to just sleep? Or go to a friend’s place for a night and let hubby deal with the kids? It can make a world of difference.

    • Early nights are not easy for me to accomplish because the girls are late sleepers and then there is the dinner clean up and house sprucing before bed. I could do that in the morning but it does mean I cut sleep off at either end of the block, before or after. It’s hard to get time off from the kids right now, Rachel, because the littlest is still quite dependent on me, especially since I’m still feeding her. I know it’ll happen eventually.

  3. I am horrible when I get tired. I snap so easily, and eat so much junk food too, then regret and have a vicious cycle. It’s easy to say “get some rest” but sometimes can be hard to do, especially with what you are juggling now. I do have a solution to your chocolate cravings though.. have you tried eating chocolate protein bars or having choc protein shakes? Some of the good brands really taste like the real thing, but have a lot more health factor then usual chocolate.

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

    • I’ve not had chocolate protein bars, Ai, at least not for a long time. I might consider it. I know a lot of my struggle is to be stronger and that’s just something I need to work on.

  4. It’s a vicious cycle, isn’t it? You’re tired so you want to have a pick me up, so you reach out for what is the most convenient, sweetest and tastiest thing you can get your hands on but it just ends up making you feel worse.

    I’m on a health kick at the moment where I’m trying to eat 4 – 5 small meals a day and to make sure there’s protein in all those meals – canned tuna, handful of nuts, some cheese and an apple.

    I definitely have more energy these days. Even enough to wake up at 6 to hit the gym by 6:30.

    • I admire your commitment to the health kick. I was ready to start mine shortly before I returned to work but then work got in the way of me continuing it. I can still tackle the food better. I just have to bite the bullet. Better sleep, better food, better me, yeah?

    • Oooooo, a massage sounds so luxurious, Maria. I’ve actually only ever had one once and it was a gentle one when I was pregnant. I’ve never otherwise had one. Well, I’m back in routine tomorrow so I’ll see if I can get into a good habit cycle. I can only try!

  5. I’ll agree with most of the others who commented before me that you’re better off focusing on getting some rest than trying to make the most of your tiredness. Please let me know if there anything I can do to help.

    • Thanks so much for your support, Tat. I feel I should be offering that to you given you are heavily pregnant! I can see the theory of getting more rest. I definitely focus more on squeezing the most out of my tiredness (never heard it put that way before) and it’s not really fully working for me. I struggle with the though of letting go of all those things I should be doing instead of trying to rest. Put that way, it truly is a vicious cycle!

  6. I think we so often feel that way! I love the quote! Sometimes being tired does come with having so much to think about that the mind doesn’t rest while it’s supposed to. I hope it begins to fall in place for you. Thanks for stopping by and visiting my blog.

  7. Pingback: Searching for breathing space « Mixed Gems

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