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Why we are all so utterly exhausted

This piece by psychologist Naomi Holdt really struck a chord with me as I stagger towards the end of what feels like the toughest of years

“No one I know began this year on a full tank. Given the vicious onslaught of the previous two years (let’s just call it what it was) most of us dragged ourselves across the finish line of 2021 … frazzled, spent, running on aged adrenaline fumes.

KZN-based educational psychologist
Naomi Holdt

We crawled into 2022 still carrying shock, trauma, grief, heaviness, disbelief … the memories of a surreal existence.

And then it began. The fastest hurricane year we could ever have imagined. Whether we have consciously processed it or not, this has been a year of more pressure, more stress, and a race to “catch up” in all departments … Every. Single. One. Work, school, sports, relationships and life.

Though not intentionally aware, perhaps hopeful that the busier we are, the more readily we will forget … the more easily we will undo the emotional tangle … the more permanently we will wipe away the scarring wounds.

We can’t.

And attempts to re-create some semblance of “normal” on steroids while disregarding that for almost two years our sympathetic nervous systems were on full alert, has left our collective mental health in tatters. Our children and teens are not exempt. The natural byproduct of fighting a hurricane is complete and utter exhaustion.

So before you begin questioning the absolutely depleted and wrung-dry state you are in, pause … breathe. Remind yourself of who you are and what you have endured. And then remind yourself of what you have overcome.

Despite it all, you’re still going. (Even on the days you stumble and find yourself face down in a pile of dirt).

Understanding brings compassion.

Most of the world’s citizens are in need of a little extra TLC at the moment. Most are donning invisible “Handle with care” posters around their necks and “Fragile” tattoos on their bodies.

Instead of racing to the finish line of this year, tread gently. Go slowly.

Amidst the chaos, find small pockets of silence. Find compassion. Allow the healing. And most of all … Be kind. There’s no human being on earth who couldn’t use just a little bit more of the healing salve of kindness.”

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