In This Story
By Cydni Young
Looking back on my last year of undergrad, I remember having many moments when I just had random moments of tiredness. I would try to narrow down everything I had going on in those moments… do I have a lot of schoolwork? Is my lab work picking up? Is there something medically wrong? Am I tired for a specific reason that makes sense? The answer… I was just tired! I found myself falling into a cycle of constantly comparing my life and work load to my peers to justify why I may have been a little extra groggy. In all reality, my sleepiness was just what it was and is the case even to this day sometimes… we all just get tired, and that’s okay! Of course you must follow the appropriate steps to debunk potentially more serious factors, otherwise please know that it is okay to recognize and accept that you are tired, even because of the things we cannot always see.
As previously mentioned, please know that in the absence of medical abnormality, it is OKAY to be tired sometimes. In navigating the difference between normal and abnormal fatigue, Ashley Abramson, a writer for Elemental, a health and wellness publication site, presents information from the assistant professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine, Dr. Sharon Bergquist. Dr. Bergquist claims that because a certain level of fatigue is normal, feeling tired is not always cause for alarm, saying, “I think people expect themselves to do too much, so they’re just fatigued because they’re mentally or physically exhausted.”1 This statement highlights a major reason for our fatigue, ourselves. We put so much weight on ourselves in thinking that we have to be on 100% all the time, to keep up with joneses and demands of life without giving ourselves space to regenerate, however, in doing this, we can begin to think we should not take breaks in comparing another’s load to ours. Recognizing and accepting your mental fatigue is healthy, regardless of what our fast-paced society may think. Give yourself room to rest and admit that this is the case, and that is OKAY. If you’re wondering the best way to go about putting this into action, our own Assistant Director of Graduate Student Life, Austin A. Deray, shares the benefits of napping in “Grads, Give Yourself Permission to Nap”, navigating how to truly engage in this one of a kind art!2
When it comes to being tired, it may not always be something you can easily pinpoint or something you are conscious of. Like I mentioned, we can for sure just be tired on some days. However many times, it can be things like the company you surround yourself with, how much energy you pour into those around you and what you receive back. For instance Christina Donati, an author for the Thought Catalog, an online magazine site, uses this quote to emphasize the importance of maintaining a positive space:
“You need to regenerate, and however you decide to do that is your choice. So when someone questions you for how you’re acting, don’t let it tire you further. When you’re in a situation that isn’t bringing out the most positive, energetic version of you, don’t force yourself to stay.”3
This brings about an important conversation when it comes to company. Whether we notice it or not, who we choose to spend our time with, fill with our energy, let into our spaces, has a significant impact on our own energy levels. Being constantly surrounded by negativity or vessels who do not have your best interest at heart, as you do with them, is draining. This remains the case even as it relates to physical environments. Surround yourself with the best of energy to be the best version of yourself. When presented with these instances, know that you are worth all the goodness that you put out into the world and surround yourself with positivity to be your best self.
I hope that this moment of navigation in the realm of tiredness helps bring peace and normalcy. Know that everyone’s mental, physical, and emotional capacity is different and there is no comparison. Be gentle with yourself and know that it is okay to be tired. And with that… REST, as I will do because I am a bit tired myself… because I am tired! Know when to rest, surround yourself with the best, and I am sending my best for the best rest possible. :)
Take care of you!
Best of Wishes,
1 Abramson, Ashley. (2019, November 18). A Brief Guide to the Reasons You're Always Tired. Medium: Elemental, https://elemental.medium.com/all-the-reasons-youre-always-tired-65daccf6436.
2 Deray, Austin A. (2017, December 6). Grads, Give Yourself Permission to Nap. Mason Grad Insider Blog: Graduate Student Life: George Mason University: Grads, Give Yourself Permission to Nap.
3 Donati, Christina. (2021, June 28). Breathe-It's Okay to Be Tired. Thought Catalog, https://thoughtcatalog.com/christina-donati/2019/07/breathe-its-okay-to-be-tired/.