I was in a networking meeting this week with a group of 50–60-year-old entrepreneurs. All of us are enjoying the fruits of many years of dedication to our various crafts. We each love what we do, and feel that our work is more of a calling than a career.
And yet, each and every one of us expressed being tired. Just. So. Tired.
Not tired in the usual sense of fatigue, like when you need a nap, or a couple good night’s sleep.
More like tired of the constant demands of life in this era of human history that we are living in.
Demands of being mothers raising children and daughters helping aging parents.
Demands of the ever-changing business landscape with the advent of newer, faster, “better” technologies on a weekly basis.
Lately, I’ve come to call this experience “demand fatigue.” It means just being worn out by all of the demands of living, working, caring, tending, learning, and, yes, sometimes even just tired of being.
I know that’s not very uplifting to read today. But it’s real, and I don’t think I’m in the minority with what I am feeling.
Many of my similar-aged colleagues are also feeling a deep desire for a shift; to do something new and different with their lives and careers. To slow down. To reflect more.
Two of my friends are going through a divorce. One is starting a dog-lover blog. Another is shifting her business from corporate consulting to helping women who are struggling with their marriages.
We are at a time in human history of enormously rapid change. But it is also a time of accelerated expansion of what’s possible. Why? Because we as we grow in consciousness as a human family, things will shift and change more than we know.
We have got to take care of ourselves as we go through this continued evolutionary “jump time” (as author Jean Houston calls it). Without listening to the still, small voice within we are vulnerable to the overwhelm of demand fatigue.
The Impact of Demand Fatigue
This feeling that I am calling demand fatigue can have a number of negative consequences. I wonder if you are feeling any of these.
- Wanting to do less and live a slower pace.
- Feeling challenges with emotions such as anxiety, depression, or burnout.
- Saying no more frequently, even when the event or gathering might have been something you would enjoy.
- Being less “driven” in life, more at ease.
How to Manage Demand Fatigue
If you’re struggling with demand fatigue, there are a few things you can do to manage it:
- Listen to yourself. Don’t minimize how you’re feeling or explain it away.
- Set boundaries and say “no” more often.
- Delegate tasks as best you can to free up time and energy to focus on things that are most important to you.
- Take care of yourself. Allow yourself to just do nothing as much as you need.
Demand fatigue is real. It’s important listen to yourself. Talk to others.
Recognize that we are living through an extraordinary time in human history – and with that comes a lot of…well… DEMANDS! 🙂
Stay sane. Take it in stride. Love yourself fiercely.