Strategy for Fighting Fatigue

Half Asleep Woman With First Cup of CoffeeDo you want to remain emotionally healthy?

Do you want to be physically capable to handle what this day brings?
Do you want to maximize the creativity that permeates your soul?
Do you want to be all that you were created to be?
Do you want to enjoy life to the fullest?

If so, you must identify and do battle with the enemies that can keep you from achieving those goals.  Here comes the first one now!!


Every year I vow that I will not pursue any schedule that drags me to the edge of fatigue. I know what my limitations are yet every year I somehow manage to convince myself that this time it will be different.

Certainly, I rationalize, I can fly from coast to coast for several weeks straight and still operate at peak performance. I convince myself that if I say no to an invitation the world will fall apart.

After all, isn’t that what my book “Fully Alive” is about? “A body in motion tends to stay in motion a body at rest tends to rest in peace…right?” That may be true, but there another side to the coin.

“A body without rest cannot pass the test.”

–  Fatigue lowers your resistance to disease, depression and anxiety

Mayo Clinic says, “In some cases, fatigue is a symptom of an underlying medical problem that requires medical treatment. Most of the time, however, fatigue can be traced to one or more of your habits or routines. Read about some of the causes here.

–  Fatigue takes the edge off of your performance  

Fatigue has such a powerful affect on performance that pilots are not allowed to fly without getting the required amount of sleep.  Timing and critical thinking are seriously affected by fatigue.

–  Fatigue disrupts your moral compass

An article by The Globe and Mail details the affect on the moral standards of a person impacted by fatigue.  The article said,

“So what happens if people exhaust their self-control by being vigilant for long periods, and are then tempted to break the rules? Once the pressure is off, will they behave as honestly as people who are not cognitively fatigued? Or will they become more apt to misrepresent their work, and take more pay than they earned?

The answer is they’re more than twice as likely to cheat.”

There is a difference between laziness and the haziness that comes from fatigue. Know the difference and practice these principles to eliminate fatigue.

  1. Plan rest into your schedule every day – A short nap can save a long day.
  2. Practice a day of rest every week – God knew what he was talking about.
  3. Pace yourself – Remember the tortoise and the hare?
  4. Prepare to say no – Prioritize the best and say no to the rest.
  5. Plan to visit your physician if you suffer from chronic fatigue.

When the great evangelist Billy Graham was asked in a CT interview 1 what he would do different if he could live his life over. He said this,

“Yes, of course. I’d spend more time at home with my family, and I’d study more and preach less. I wouldn’t have taken so many speaking engagements, including some of the things I did over the years that I probably didn’t really need to do—weddings and funerals and building dedications, things like that. Whenever I counsel someone who feels called to be an evangelist, I always urge them to guard their time and not feel like they have to do everything.”

We can’t ignore the directive from Billy Graham’s boss either. “Be still and know I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)  I wonder if one of the reasons we feel depleted spiritually as well as physically and emotionally is because we have forgotten how to be still, to rest, to restore and recharge our souls and bodies to operate at peak performance.”

On Thursday let’s examine another one of the enemies of that keeps us from living fully alive.  Until then, leave a comment about your experience with fatigue and its affects on your life.