I've dealt with chronic fatigue for several years in my life, dating back to professional school, when I was required to work absolutely brutal hours.
Disrupting my circadian rhythms, combined with the added stress of my full-time internship, took a horrific toll on my health. I put on ten pounds of fat, and woke up exhausted every day for about two years. I was convinced I'd developed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and I was in my mid-twenties to boot!
Eventually, after talking to my doctor, who recommended the use of Melatonin (which restored my sleep cycles and essentially cured my problem), I got my health back in order. I cut the fat, resumed a healthy lifestyle, and healed my body.
These past two months, work has been picking up again, and my health has been suffering. I've started to feel that creeping sensation of exhaustion rising bit by bit, every day, and no matter how hard I try, the demands of work are starting to break my body down. I know now from experience that my body has a very sensitive endocrine system - it just dumps cortisol into my bloodstream fairly easily, and the physical and mental grind of my profession are starting to crush me. I took the entire week off from the gym last week, which is something I almost never do, and I'm still feeling like I was hit by a bus.
Soon, this will end. At the end of the month, I will take several months off, and with the completion of my training, I won't need to put up with these inhuman demands anymore - I can tailor my work to the limitations of my body, and not the other way around.
Much has been written about managing time - how to prioritize tasks, how to complete them, and how to organize your day. But the management of your own energy is a subject that is often neglected.
This weekend I slept 14 hours in a row on two separate days. I lay in bed for 16 hours two days in a row. There were many things I could have done, but didn't, and I'm glad I didn't.
Understand when your tank is running empty. Understand when you need to do nothing. You are not a static machine - you are a biomechanical machine, a living organism.
Health first, and build from there.
people I admire
Bret Easton Ellis