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A Better You
by Jo Ann Fore

The Battle With Time:
How to Set Yourself Free From Daily Exhaustion

Not long ago, a friend of mine, Sarah, called me in utter desperation. “What am I going to do? I just can’t find enough time in the day to do it all!” she cried.

Sarah – nurse, student, and single mom—was overwhelmed with the grinding pace of her daily routine. Amidst overtime at work, class assignments for school, and an overactive 6-year-old at home, she now needed to find time for soccer games and PTA meetings.

Millions of us suffer daily from the same thing – a frantic pace that drives us to exhaustion. Our daily responsibilities seem to consume us entirely, depleting every bit of energy our body holds.


Busy, Busy, Busy

Busyness is deceptive.

At what point did the world decide mere busywork was a commendable quality? My brother – a prime example – sardonically reminds me, “In the scheme of parenthood you don’t really rate. You only have one child – I have three!” He proudly battles the world of sports, friends, school and church functions for two boys and one girl. Vying equally for this family’s time is: Baseball, Soccer, Boy Scouts, Cheerleading, Girl Scouts, Birthday parties, Field trips and Church socials.

Whatever happened to the virtue of rest? Remember the days of Saturday picnics and Sunday afternoon naps?

I believe Sarah is right: There simply isn’t enough time in the day anymore. Is there a way to win this ongoing battle with time?

Set Free From Fatigue
I don’t have a magical formula to eliminate the responsibilities of daily routines from our lives, but there are specific things we can do to protect ourselves from fatigue and exhaustion.

1. Set specific goals
There is only so much time in the day. And we get on the wrong path without a goal. Mark out a straight path. The day will get away from us if we don’t have a plan. Prioritize. If you’re not a list-maker – become one. If you are a list-maker, don’t set unrealistic goals.

Make certain what you are doing is going to bring you to where you want to be at the end of the day. Stick to the path.

2. Be Where You Are
Live in the moment.

At lunch today, which was scheduled into our day’s plans – we were too busy worrying about dinner tonight to really “be” at the lunch meeting. We were there in body, but not in mind. At the gym yesterday (again planned), we were too busy worrying about the pile of laundry waiting on us at home to get a good workout.

Or maybe we feel the answer to our stress will come with a certain event. ‘When I’m married, healthier, or richer, things will be better. When I quit my job, write this book, or lose ten pounds…”

Too often, our mind races ahead of the moment. You’ve prioritized and made your plan – take the time to live it and enjoy it now.

3. Eat for energy
It’s important when we eat right to look right, but that isn’t the sole benefit of healthy eating. We need to learn to eat for energy.

Don’t eat junk and expect your body to give you the energy it needs to sustain a frantic pace of daily activity. Don’t go hungry – eat enough food to fuel your body. But watch those calories. Eat healthy foods. And supplement your body with vitamins.

We do become what we eat.

4. Get adequate rest
One of the quickest ways to reduce stress is to get enough rest.

Lack of sleep impairs our ability to function. Most of have a need for eight hours of sleep each day to be at our best.

To improve the quality of your sleep you need to maintain a consistent sleep cycle, going to bed and rising at the same time each day. Also, exercising on a regular basis is crucial.

We may not be able to manufacture more time in the day, but with appropriate lifestyle changes – adequate rest, proper nutrition, and specific goals – we can embellish the time we do have with the energy we need to get through the day.

Jo Ann Fore welcomes your comments about this article or suggestions for material you would like to see in future articles. Email her at: A Better You is published every Saturday.


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