10 years, on and off. That’s how long I spent in varying stages of fatigue, along with other symptoms like brain fog, muscle and joint pain and insomnia.
I know I’m one of the lucky ones, struggling to make it through a day of school, uni and work, but still managing nonetheless.
I tried pretty much everything, and plenty of things helped to some extent. A real food “paleo” style diet, acupuncture, yoga, exercise and sleep all helped big time with my recovery, but after a year of being consistent with all of these things and still dragging my feet, I know something had to give.
I started by cutting back to 4 days of work a week, spending that extra day off resting, going for a walk, getting some sunshine. It helped. A bit, not a lot.
During that time, I had a few things happen where I really felt like I was losing the plot. Losing my car in the shopping centre carpark, locking myself out of the house, continually misplacing my bank cards. Oops. Soz for the frantic phone calls Mum and Dad!
I wasn’t thriving, that’s for sure. I was surviving. Just.
“For all of the most important things, the timing always sucks. Waiting for a good time to quit your job? The stars will never align and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time. The universe doesn't conspire against you, but it doesn't go out of its way to line up the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. "Someday" is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it's important to you and you want to do it "eventually," just do it and correct course along the way.”
- Tim Ferriss, The 4-Hour Work Week
I really felt like I was losing my marbles. So after all these things happened in the space of a week, I handed in my resignation.
Should you quit your job?
Disclaimer: Fatigue sucks, but so does selling the kid’s iPads to put dinner on the table, so think about the practical aspects of quitting your job before you take the leap!
Ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that can happen?”
For me, that meant moving back in with my parents, cutting back on my spending and eating into my savings. No biggie.
If you have kids, of course this is going to look different. Can you cut back on expenses? Move into a cheaper place or rent out a room so you can reduce your workload? Or maybe you could find a less stressful job closer to home.
Your health is your greatest asset. Making short term sacrifices to reclaim your health is so worthwhile.
How long will it take to recover?
Recovery will take time. Be patient and gentle on yourself.
If it took you 10 years of chronic stress, a serious virus or trauma to wind up with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Adrenal Fatigue, realise that it will also take time to heal.
Healing is a complex recipe, with rest, real food, good relationships, self love, acceptance, nature and movement being some of the key ingredients.
Be consistent, and keep layering in the different ingredients for lasting results.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. Keep putting one foot in front of the other.
After I quit my job, I pretty much slept for a month straight.
I worked slowly with nutrition and gentle exercise, along with mindfulness and relaxation techniques, to build myself back up and recover my health.
It's a work in progress, but I'm a thousand times better today than I was when I quit my job 7 months ago.
Do you have a question or a story to share? Hop on over to the comments and get in touch!