It is the beginning of March, and by this point every year, I have been dealing with an issue for more than a month. Since mid-January, I have been extremely tired. No, I’ve been exhausted – wearied – fatigued – bone-tired. Many days, l have dreamt of sleep. The hustle & bustle of the holidays have ended, so there is no excitement of the season to sustain me, and my ambition goes awol.

While numerous studies have proven that the darkness and cold connected to this season can be a factor in how one feels and functions, winter is not the actual root cause as to why I feel this way. It is merely the catalyst for deep-seated overwhelmingness that fills my mind.

I have a to-do list that hits the floor and keeps going. There is no time for me to be tired, but the reality is that I am, so that generates feelings of guilt because I want to be at my best for my family, which induces more…”exhaustion”. It’s a vicious cycle.

Are any of you like me?

I have such a need within my personality to be busy, social, and working that I fill my plate to capacity, and at times, it even starts to overflow, and I start to (admittedly) buckle under the pressure of it all. In my case, winter only feeds this problem. Because I am already fatigued, I become susceptible to wanting to crawl back in bed and throw my blanket over my head rather than face all I have scheduled in my life. Sleep appears to be my “logical” conclusion (exercise, more water, and proper nutrition are more suitable options), but there never seems to be enough rest because I still have a mountain of work before me. Though not an exhaustive list, while reflecting on ways to fight this dilemma, I have compiled a short list that I hope is helpful for anyone who is going through a similar situation, including myself.

  • Practice Saying No- This one is hard for me. I like to be involved in everything (yes, everything), and I enjoy helping, so I can think up a million reasons why I need to accept. However, it is not always a wise choice. The undertaking may not be beneficial to our family or even others. Not long ago, I was asked to teach a class. It was extremely difficult, but I reluctantly declined. I knew that I didn’t have the time in my schedule to properly prepare, and it wasn’t fair to those who would be attending the class to have a teacher who wasn’t putting the proper effort into the job. I still have a full calendar and am teaching other classes, but I may remain sane now!
  • Prioritize and Pace Yourself- I have often heard that those who get more done don’t just make lists, but they schedule their time. Instead of taking every task on your agenda and feeling buried beneath the load, think of what is most pressing and figure out a way to accomplish each commitment in small sections. Eventually, your endeavors will be completed, and hopefully, you will still have your sanity! Focus on one job at a time until it is time for the next one, and don’t drown in the big picture!

  • Prayer-This may seem like the least practical in terms of achievement, however it is the most vital. God will give you the peace you need to stay calm while you trudge through your ups & downs, highs & lows, stormy & busy times of life. Things may not always be perfect or even rosy, but they can be accomplished without losing your hair out or taking it out on your family. Devoted time in conversation with your heavenly Father can also help with your mood and clarity, which will give you that extra boost you need to “just keep swimming!”

  • Putting God’s Word First is difficult to know how to navigate any trial in life without a guidebook. Whenever in doubt or distress, go to THE guidebook, God’s Holy Word. Will it miraculously make everything perfect? No, but it will escort you through ALL times of life.

In Matthew 11:28, Jesus tells us,

Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest”.

There is no need to feel burdened when we know that at the end of the day, He is willing to help carry our load. That is a lesson I often need to remind myself!

Erin Wells
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Erin Wells wears many titles, but “wife” and ‘mom” are her favorites. She has been married to Joe since 2001 and they have 4 children; Colton, a student at Freed Hardeman University, Michala, who soon plans to attend Freed Hardeman University, and homeschools Camden & Bennett (9th & 7th grade). Erin and Joe co-founded Kaio Publications with the goal of helping to build strong Christian families, and they co-host “The Hey Joe Show” podcast for families through The Light Network. Their family travels the country extensively while Joe delivers lessons to churches, and occasionally, it is Erin’s turn to speak to women.  She especially loves teaching teen girls at various summer camps. Erin is a Travel Advisor for Keys to Dream Travel and enjoys coffee, appreciates a quality coffee mug, and collects ornaments on their travels so she can relive their adventures every year when she puts up their tree. She loves meeting church family through her travels, and gets excited when she studies God’s Word and can share it with others!