As a wife, mother of three, full-time counselor, author, speaker, PTA mom, and assistant caretaker, I’m exhausted from doing too many things at once. I once heard a speaker say that multi-tasking is impossible — when you multi-task, you are really only giving partial attention to many things. And that’s exactly how I feel, because my life doesn’t stop long enough to give my full attention to anything. I’m exhausted not just in the physical sense, but deep inside to the point that death actually seems attractive some days. Ever felt that way?
Yet I’ve also learned that deep exhaustion can be beat. It is real. It is not your imagination or a result of you being inadequate in some way. Rather, it is a syndrome creeping into your existence due to unmet needs, expectations, ambitions, and hopes. It is compounded by tragedies, disappointments, rejections, and harsh realities. And it has encompassed nearly every aspect of your life without prejudice.
Could you be suffering from Exhausted Woman’s Syndrome (EWS) just like me? Take this quiz to find out. Answer the following questions with either “Y” for “Yes” or “N” for “No.” If it could be either than the answer is still “Yes.”
_____ 1. Are you driven to achieve in every area of your life?
_____ 2. Do petty things set you off?
_____ 3. Do you withdraw or withhold intimacy when you feel attacked?
_____ 4. Are you easily annoyed by others?
_____ 5. Do you feel spiritually dry?
_____ 6. Are you frequently dissatisfied with others’ commitment or dedication to work?
_____ 7. Do you often miss out on fun because you are trying to please someone else?
_____ 8. Do you feel the need to defend your decisions, actions, beliefs, and emotions?
_____ 9. Are you highly competitive?
_____ 10. Do you feel crushed by the weight of everyday chores, demands, and expectations?
_____ 11. Are you hyper-protective about yourself and your family?
_____ 12. Do you dwell on new, unrealistic problems instead of focusing on the immediate?
_____ 13. Are you juggling too many balls in the air?
_____ 14. Do you fail to make allowances for failure, disappointment, or loss?
_____ 15. Do you over-think even simple things?
_____ 16. Are you over-committed?
_____ 17. Do you obsess about a conversation, decision, or event?
_____ 18. Are you over-whelmed in your day-to-day?
_____ 19. Do you feel obligated to take on more responsibility for others?
_____ 20. Do you have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep because of your thoughts?
_____ 21. Are you stressed to the point of exhaustion?
_____ 22. Do you strive for perfectionism?
_____ 23. Are you taken for granted because you will almost always get the job done?
_____ 24. Do you take on unnecessary responsibility?
_____ 25. Do you try hard to please others at your own expense?
_____ 26. Are you the most dependable person you know?
_____ 27. Do you find yourself saying, “I’m sorry” when you are not really sorry?
_____ 28. Are your high standards tougher for yourself than others?
_____ 29. Do you apologize for things that aren’t your fault?
_____ 30. Is it hard to turn off your thoughts?
20 – 30. Boy, are you exhausted! The Exhausted Woman’s Handbook is designed for you and in it you will find relief for some of these symptoms. I understand that some of the items on this list look normal, some are, but when you combine 20 or more together it is too much.
10 – 20. You are not completely exhausted yet, but are well on your way. The book will fine tune the areas of your life that need improvement to keep total exhaustion at bay.
0 – 10. YEA! There is very little exhaustion in your life. But my guess is that there are still a couple of things you would like to improve in your life.
The Exhausted Woman’s Handbook is for you, the woman who wants to get better but feel you don’t have the time, energy, or money to stop long enough and process what is at the heart of your exhaustion. It starts with recognition and understanding how your life has been influenced by your circumstances, personality, beliefs, and relationships. Then it continues with implementing practical steps to conquer your exhaustion. And finally, it brings you encouragement in that you are not alone in this journey.