Are You Fatigued or Depleted?

I was speaking to a friend of mine named Paige last week and she shared some insights from an article that she had read, and as she was sharing how she’s been feeling, I realised what’s going on with me (and many of you) at the same time.

The article is by a Rabbi named David Lapin, and he draws a very helpful distinction between fatigue and depletion, and their respective cures: rest and restoration. Fatigue is tiredness caused by exertion, and a period of rest cures it. Depletion occurs when we are drained of our inner emotional, intellectual and spiritual resources. It may or may not be accompanied by fatigue, but it is not cured just by rest. It requires restoration of the inner well of intellect, emotion and spirit.

With these incessant COVID-19 waves crashing onto the shores of our lives and businesses, like so many others, I am suffering from depletion.Many of the outlets I used to have at my disposal which acted as restoration from depletion have been gone for a while. Things like travel, being out and about with people I love, and hosting quality in-person events with energetic people… These not readily available anymore like they used to be, and it’s definitely taken a toll on me (and so many others too).

Mark Sham – founder of Suits and Sneakers

Rabbi David Lapin makes an excellent point in the article. Consider an empty glass of water. You can rest it for as long as you will, but rest won’t replenish its contents. Similarly, your body and mind are just containers. Your emotions, your intellect, and your spirit are the contents. You can only give emotional, intellectual, and spiritual output when your container is overflowing with content.

But here’s the problem: Because fatigue and depletion can feel the same, we often misdiagnose our condition. We think we are fatigued, so we rest. But in fact, we might be depleted, in which case no amount of rest will restore our inner resources. When we are depleted, we need restoration rather than rest or relaxation.

I’ve always found that when I want to change something in my life, I first need to understand what the problem is. I can’t tell you how much the above insights resonated with me, and so I had to share them with all of you in case you’re going through the same thing!

If anything, I am so thankful that the world is slowly starting to open up and I’m going to make sure that I focus on doing all the things that bring about restoration from depletion. I hope you do the same!

By Mark Sham

PS. The virtual launch of The Tryst is set for next week, Wednesday night (18 August), at 18h30. John Sanei and Rich Mulholland will be speaking on the night and it is free to attend. All you have to do is register here:

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