I Can't Do it All, I'm Tired of Being Tired

I Can't Do it All, I'm Tired of Being Tired
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 15 November, 2021

Sometimes I just can’t do it all. Sometimes it’s too much for me. I don’t have enough hands, eyes, or time for everyone and everything … I’m tired of being tired.

But it’s true: I can’t do it all. And it’s healthy to acknowledge what my limits are. Understanding that I need time for myself too and that I have the right to say “I can’t take anymore” is healthy.

Many of us have come to the point of being tired of being tired. Life can be overwhelming, because not only is our body empty but we also have two angry voices competing in our mind. The first does nothing but yell “don’t stop now, you too much to do”, while the other insists “but what if I can’t anymore.”

It’s not enough to belt out “Let It Go” from Frozen, take a night off, or disconnect from everything for a few hours and savor the fantasy that we’re the last one on Earth, that finally we are alone and nothing needs our immediate attention.

These are just band-aids covering a deeper wound. They stop the bleeding but they don’t solve the problem.

Because t here is a type of fatigue that betrays underlying stress and anxiety. We can’t think clearly, and we get sick.

a man running, tired of being tired

I am tired of being tired, fed up with not being able to handle life

Here’s an example. Carolina works every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. When she finishes work, she takes care of her mother who has Alzheimer’s.

Every month she saves a part of her salary so she can pay for a master’s degree for her little sister, something she keeps secret from her currently unemployed husband.

Carolina wants the best for everyone, wants to take good care of her mother, give her sister a good future, and keep appearances up in her marriage.

Carolina’s physical and mental exhaustion is extreme. There are days when she weighs other options, perhaps paying someone to help with her mother, but she knows that this would mean not being able to save for her sister’s studies.

Your brain seeks alternatives and it’s the frontal lobes that carry out this refined task of planning, reflection and analysis. However, when you can’t find good solutions, your primitive brain comes into action.

That’s when we feel paralyzed, when our brain chemistry changes and we feel trapped, thinking “no matter what I do everything will go wrong”.

Our heart rate accelerates, hormones get out of balance and the demon of fear takes over. It destroys everything and fatigue seeps into every atom of our being.

a woman with her eyes closed

Sometimes I can’t do it all, but it’s ok

“I have so much to do, I don’t know where to start, but if I don’t start now, it will be worse later.” “My boss will fire me if I don’t finish this.” “My parents are going to be upset if I don’t go”…

If we look at the language we use, we see a pattern of “if, then”:  if I don’t do this, then that will happen…

“The mind has no limits, but tiredness does”

-Syd Barrett-

Living based on worst-case scenarios wears down your mind and kills your energy, it’s as simple as that. Accepting that you can’t do it all is healthy because if you try to carry it all on your back, sooner or later you’ll collapse.

Take a look at these suggestions and really examine your heart.

a woman with a lotus flower

Tired of being tired? It’s time to change your focus

Although it is hard to admit, sometimes, we fall into our own trap. Telling ourselves that “we can do it all” is dangerous, a mistake that we can correct by changing our thought patterns:

  • Every day when you get up, remember this simple sentence: “I am doing the best I can at this time given the resources that I have and the state in which I find myself”.
  • Avoid traps of language or thought. Instead of “I’m not good enough, I have to work harder to do it all“, say “I will give my best every day and every moment, but without neglecting myself”.
  • When you sense that your body can’t do any more … despite sleeping enough, analyze your thoughts. Sometimes, what wears us out the most is our own discouragement, our overthinking, the “I’m not going to be able”, the “I can’t do anything right”.

Last but not least, it is essential that you take care of and pay attention to your circadian rhythms and your routines. Taking breaks, taking a few hours of the day for you, does not mean that you are giving less or failing anyone: it is healthy, it is necessary.

Likewise, having the courage to say out loud that you have limits will not be the end of the world. The stars will stay up there in the sky, the flowers will not all wither and die.

If you dare to stop trying to do it all, it will be ok.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.