Patterns of Fatigue
After coming out of the holiday season, you may feel a little tired, but it may not just be the holiday season that has put you in a mindset of fatigue. In fact, the deeper fatigue you’re experiencing actually from your normal life activities can be from a pattern you set up in your life. After reading an article about this very topic inspired by Alex Howard at Optimum Health Clinic, I realized that some of my fatigue after the holiday was from my life pattern: I had to share this as I feel many of you may fall into some of these traps as well. While I am not much for the New year changes people like to do, I am for making changes when life reveals them to you and mine just happened to come at this time of year. While reading these patterns, keep in mind that you can actually be a blend of more than one pattern.
Pattern 1: Achiever
An achiever will define their self-worth and success based on what they are able to achieve and accomplish. In fact, back in the 1980’s it was noticed that quite a few high-level executives were getting ill. The body communicates its need for rest and care and this person will push above that information to achieve; whether it is parenting goals, career, or in a non-profit. This person is simply putting an unsustainable pace on their body to achieve something they deem more important than their health. They crave the image of success and how people see them.
Pattern 2: Perfectionist
This may seem the same as the achiever but they actually don’t always care about the success but about getting things perfectly right. They have an idea in their mind that there is a right and wrong way of doing things. The body may send a signal for rest, but the mind has an itch and the person can’t stop until the task is perfect. They want to have all of the details perfect and will drive themselves crazy getting a Pinterest party perfectly planned, even when those details do not matter.
Pattern 3: Helper — This is me!!!!!!
The self-worth of the helper is defined by what they can do for others (shocking that doctors tend to fall into this pattern). They are the person who is always dependable when you are in need and will go to great lengths to be there for you. Some jobs are natural helper jobs and some people are the ones at church or in their family that everyone always goes to when there is a problem. This one is harder to temper since it is easy to rationalize that people need us, but when our body is breaking down because we are taking care of so many things for people, we have fallen victim to our pattern. This can look like someone who bounces from one co-dependent relationship to another, or someone who finds that they are always giving rather than receiving support. They can give so much support that they can take a person who is not naturally draining and make them draining simply by what they have volunteered to give.
Pattern 4: Anxiety
This person is who we describe as the worrier and they sometimes live in their mind more than their body; by thinking of all the ways that feel unsafe to them. This can seem like a normally careful person but the habit will look like an overly informed mom or coworker who is always up on the latest toxins, health trends, air quality, and crime reports. The news these past few years can turn this pattern on for almost anyone. This is a naturally draining way to live and absorbs an enormous amount of energy just trying to mentally think of how to be safe or what products are needed. It takes away from listening to our bodies demand for rest and quiet. Not everyone will experience anxiety in the mind and may find that it is more in their body, almost creating an energizer-bunny effect or ADD looking expression. It will also fatigue the body and mind more quickly. And of course, if you are living with anxiety constantly and you add a life stressor like a house move or job change, the person may find they don’t feel well at all.
Pattern 5: Controller
This pattern may sound negative since it sounds domineering, but it is the person who tries to control their world to feel safe and calm which means actions as well as their emotions. The Controller makes a great manager but they can go over board and try and control the behavior and actions of their team and even their families just to help them feel safe. To control life which isn’t possible also takes a lot of energy and the body can be worn down easily. If you think about the controller pattern, there is also a close link with the perfectionist and the anxiety patterns as both of these are employed as motivation to control. This person also tends to isolate themselves from people who don’t fit into the mold or who are unwilling to be controlled in small ways. Of course, when people pull away this only makes the person feel more out of control.
So while I just described in a small way, every human being, please don’t get discouraged because this knowledge about yourself can empower you to make some changes to your life and help you regain both energy and perspective. In my case, moving forward I know that I don’t need to rush in and help every situation I hear about that is difficult, and while I may start to react like I want to; it is my job to stop and analyze. I will still help when I can but I am not the best choice in all situations, and guess what? Sometimes people don’t want my help, they just want me to listen. We cannot help people who don’t want help, even if their issue is pitiable. If they aren’t going to take some charge of their situation, our help will simply be wasted energy and it may cause us to become ill in the process. Remember if you are sick or down, you can’t help anyone.
Your pattern may be different and you can analyze if perfection is necessary, when choosing apples at the store or doing every detail at a party. But whatever your pattern, I wish you luck on reclaiming your health through rest and communication with your body. Check out Alex Howards blog: www.theoptimumhealthclinic.com/blog/ for more great info!