By Rhonda Barfield
You’re not sure how it started, but one day you woke up and felt run down. That day, the next day, and the next day. You’re not sick. You’re not exactly depressed. Just feeling run down, unenergized, and generally blah.
Molly Green includes a lot of helpful information on organizing our homes, schools, and homesteads, but sometimes the real problem is our physical, emotional, and spiritual states. Once those are back in alignment, then the rest falls into place or at least seems easier to tackle.
Here’s a checklist of questions to ask yourself next time you’re feeling run down.
How long has it been since I’ve had a physical?
Probably too long. Consider seeing your doctor and asking him or her to do blood work for thyroid, estrogen/progesterone, and iron levels. Deficiencies of any of these can make you feel run down.
Do I get enough sleep?
Granted, this is challenging with a newborn in the house, but as your children have grown, have you made it a priority to stay rested? It’s a fact that sleep deprivation can cause moodiness, irritability, difficulty in concentrating, and problems in thinking or remembering.
How’s my fluid intake?
60 to 75 percent of the adult human body is composed of water, so “even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you feel tired,” say the doctors at Mayo Clinic. Their recommendation: “Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day.”
Am I eating foods that make me feel sub-par?
Anything that quickly converts to sugar, such as simple carbohydrates, will spike your energy level, but then make it plummet, causing the blahs. If you have a blood sugar issue, like I do, you could profit from eating several small, healthy meals each day.
Do I ever have any fun?
Conscientious people often do, do, and do more for others, leaving no time for life’s simple pleasures. Follow some of the chore routines and other time-savers explained elsewhere on this website and in our past issues, and that will free a few moments every day to enjoy life more with those you love.
Am I maintaining a strong relationship with my spouse?
Always challenging, but when there’s an underlying tension between Mom and Dad, life can be blah at best and miserable at worst. For the sake of the entire family’s happiness, including your own, make it a priority to respect and love your spouse.
Have I been praying regularly?
Just as we can deplete our physical bodies and our emotional health, we can also starve our spirits. That’s why St. Paul advises Christians in Ephesians 6:18 to “Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests,” so we can “be alert” to spiritual danger, which often starts with our own restlessness.
Am I reading the Bible often?
In the same passage in Ephesians, Paul also advises us to “put on the full armor of God,” including “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” This mighty sword not only helps to protect us but can also be used as an offensive weapon to fight off discouragement.
No doubt routines and schedules and lists are important to any well-organized person’s life, and I find them essential in my own. However, we may need more than just getting it all together on the outside. It’s wise to take a careful look at our inner landscapes, as well, to ask some hard questions and seek answers that will help us move beyond the blahs to find peace and contentment.
The next time you’re feeling run down, ask yourself these questions (or better yet — discuss them with someone you trust). They may spark a greater conversation about what is getting you down, and you’ll be on your way to fix it.
Rhonda is a professional homemaker, wife to Michael, former homeschool teacher—for twenty years—and mother of four children. She’s authored five books including, Real-Life Homeschooling: The Stories of 21 Families Who Teach Their Children at Home (Fireside/Simon & Schuster), and Feed Your Family for $12 a Day. She has also written numerous articles. In addition, Rhonda coaches writing students for WriteAtHome.com.