I feel tired all the time and sometimes tearful …

Dear Gillian,

I feel so silly as I write this.  For the past year or so I seem to just feel tired, low on energy and I suppose sad as I quite often feel tearful but could not tell you why.  When it started my friends suggested it might be seasonal affective disorder and that I need to get more light or something. As the months went by and summer came and went with no change for me I knew that this was not the case.  I don’t want to go to the doctor as I am sure he will put me on anti depressants.  I work in social services and there does seem to be a lot of stress and negative vibes around in my work environment.  Can you advise me?

Dear Anna,

there are a couple of questions I would like to ask so I suggest a telephone chat but in the meantime here are my thoughts.

It is a good idea for anyone who suspects they are depressed to visit the doctor and get checked out.  It may be that there is something else going on and it is good to get checked out anyway.  I appreciate your reluctance to take anti depressants.

I know that the work you do and the environment you are in is contributing greatly to your lack of energy and joy.  Why are you working there?  Sometimes we end up in jobs we dislike and then stay in them out of fear that we will not get another job or we need the money.  As a result we may have given up on our dreams or even lost touch with them completely.  Sometimes we get too involved with the job, detachment is important when you are helping others.  Getting too involved can mean each new case drains you of energy and if you are not in an environment at work or home where you can recharge then after a while you have a flat battery.

Another clue to work not being right for someone is even when they get a pay rise and the pay is good they still find themselves in debt.

You have reached a point where your body is making it clear that all is not well this is the time you need to stop and take stock of your life.

Consider:

what is your passion?

What brings you joy?

Think about how you might bring some joy and fun into your life and get back in touch with yourself, putting yourself first and foremost.

A good emotional, mental and physical clear out is called for.  I suggest a workshop for the mental and emotional stuff.  Getting more active out in the fresh air just walking would also assist in lifting your mood as well as de-cluttering your living space.  Do it in bite size chunks, start with one drawer, throw away, recycle, sell or put back items depending on whether or not you use them.  The more you get rid of the better it feels and you will find energy starting to return.

With love,

Gillian