Deep Weariness and Melancholia – Are You Experiencing This?

Due to events seen and unseen in the world this passage of time we are going through – from mid November to the December Solstice – is difficult, perhaps outright painful. We are being shaken up even more and anyone who is more than normally sensitive will be feeling this. I am daily struggling with the energies of the world at the moment, it feels a little like wading through treacle soup as humanity is going through another massive purge.

The seen part of the pain humanity is going through at the moment is of course the ever increasing amount of restriction and control we are undergoing. Everyone is having to deal with uncertainty as we wonder what will unfold next. Whatever side of the fence you are on the fact is we are in uncertain times and this can be either frightening, confusing, enraging or just plain painful as you may be restricted from seeing people you love. This period of time, as the old continues to crumble, was never going to be easy. Thankfully, over the past few decades we have had a wealth of increasing information pouring into the world letting us know how to navigate the coming times with more ease. There are so many ways in which we can empower ourselves towards increased inner peace and more profound healing.

Every December is a powerful month spiritually and I have written about this before but this year in particular may be the most intense yet with the recent and future eclipses, intense astrological placements, an increase in Light and regular mass global meditations focused on increasing all that is positive. These do make a massive difference; studies from as far back as the 70’s show the effects, such as a decrease in crime for instance, when groups of people meditate on their surrounding or on specifically targeted areas. Whatever positivity you direct out into the world, please know that you are making and have made a difference.

We have a solar eclipse on the 3/4th of December in the sign of Sagittarius, the sign of freedom, truth and travel. It will be interesting to see what unfolds! There is also a kind of mass purging going on, again, similar to last year when emotional pain was heightened at this time. What this purging seems to be highlighting is a sense of loss, which will be felt as sadness, emotional weariness or melancholia to use a more old fashioned term.

Also this time last year I recorded a meditation to help those badly afflicted by all they are going through so will add it here again. If you wish to download it please click on the 3 vertical dots to the right.

HEALING MEDITATION TO DEAL WITH OVERWHELM AND EMOTIONAL PAIN

The most exhausting thing you can do through this is to try and fight or deny what you are feeling. Instead, take care of the physical body as much as possible, eat well, take immune boosting supplements, rest properly. I’m finding my body is needing a lot of care at the moment so am taking extra supplements and doing some energy medicine protocols. Relax and breathe deeply, breath through your emotions, meditate, listen to the audio above or do a HeartMath meditation (link below) and know that this time will pass. Also, make sure you stay in touch with people, chat, have light conversations and be kind.

I am going to begin a series of fortnightly live sessions, which will remain on youtube for people to revisit. These will be on the subject of being present to what is in the most healing way possible. Each session will be on a different theme – until all themes are exhausted and I will see what comes up next! I will give more details soon.

HeartMath Meditation – strengthens heart, immune and nervous system, soothes the mind and emotions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npGUfp4Dozc

Mental Stimuli And Fatigue

What does over stimulus of the mind have to do with tiredness?

Unless we are completely focused upon something the normal way of being for most of us is to respond or react to several different stimuli an hour, or even minute by minute. What this does to the brain is a sort of jangling or scrambling of sensory perceptions from our thoughts and also from sight, hearing, our speech and even touch. This scrambles our nervous system and sets off mini, or major, stress responses all over the body.

When we are going about our normal life our attention gets pulled to, for instance, the work tasks we need to do, conversation with another, reacting to several things online or in the world and the news, reacting to things going on in our immediate environment and so on. This, of course, is perceived as normal. It’s also seen as normal, laudable even, to multi task. It’s not, it’s a way of being that has been trained into us, it’s a way of living life that leads to increased stress and of course increased tiredness.

This post is about soothing the nervous system and through that we calm the mind. One of the fastest ways to soothe the nervous system is to withdraw the attention from external stimuli and bring it inwards.

There are two practical ways to do this, one focusing on a more formal practice and the other in how we go about daily life.

Withdrawing from stimuli

If your nerves are feeling very jangled or you simply feel overwhelmed try the following. Find a room where you can be alone, either make the room very dark, wrap a dark scarf around the eyes or wear an eyemask (I often use a mask called The Mindfold in meditation as complete darkness is healing to the Pineal gland. This is a mask that is like a blackout blind for the eyes). Or just bury yourself under a duvet! Unless you live somewhere very quiet consider putting on noise cancelling headphones. If you need to listen to something perhaps just use soothing nature sounds.

Once you’ve shut out as much of the external as possible bring your attention to the breath then begin to calm the internal stimuli. This does not mean our mind has to be quiet – if you are feeling overstimulated this will be impossible. Simply notice when you get caught up in thoughts and dialogue and most importantly of all do not berate yourself for this. I will write about the misinterpretation of meditation by the West in another post!

A simple technique to quieten the mind is to count to 10 very slowly, one count for each breath, then count backwards from 10. Perhaps repeat this a couple of times or as many times as you wish.

Five minutes of this would be soothing, we can all spare five minutes for our health and well-being. But take however long you need.

Soothing over stimuli in every day life

When going about everyday life see if you can focus on what is relevant and important such as the immediate task at hand or on the person who needs your attention.

Before each task, pause for a breath and simply intend to be here with full attention with whatever you are doing; whether this is work related, talking to a friend on the phone, preparing food, doing housework or even sitting down to watch TV.

The effect of this on our mind and body is very deep; if you have ever been around someone whom you find calming to be with it is guaranteed that they live like this. It’s a simple way to be be, not necessarily easy as we have to relearn old habits, this takes time and discipline but once the new habit is set it becomes easy.

And once that new habit is set we begin to free up our energy systems to have more space for calm, for health and a renewal of natural vitality.

Emotions and Exhaustion

There have been several times in my life where I have been in a state of ongoing fatigue that only lifted when I released the emotions stuck below the surface. Each experience of this was different. I used different methods, it was either layers of emotion or a deep seated belief that when removed released a lot of feelings that led to a return of balanced energy.

The first time I did this is also one of the most significant as it led to the way I have ended up working therapeutically and this is to simply be present to what’s here now. And to keep being present to whatever arises as we work down through the layers.

Over 20 years ago, a few months after I’d left my husband I was cycling home one night and as happened most days I felt a wave of feelings, mainly sadness, starting to come up. As usual I began to stuff it all back down. This time however I stopped myself from doing this. I’d just read a book called “Emotional Clearing” by John Ruskin and thought let’s try what he talks about, which was to just feel whatever you are feeling with acceptance. I did this and was thankful the road I was on was both quiet and dark as I burst into tears. I cried for a few minutes and then spontaneously realised why I’d been suppressing the sadness. The weird workings of the subconsciousness had a thought running that, if I let go of the sadness of leaving him I would want to go back to him.

I ended up having a small laugh at the illogicality of that. After this I just let myself feel the sadness when it arose and noticed not just a shift in mood and feeling depressed but a definite returning of energy. I was a lot less tired.

The other point I noticed was that releasing emotion leads to deeper insight into what we’re really thinking or feeling.

Being present to what’s here, whether it’s emotional, mental or physical distress frees us up in so many ways. As I talked about in the post on increasing our life force, it helps to increase not just that but the vital spark of who we are.

Emotional weights

Emotional distress impacts our body, our mind and our well-being. It certainly impacts us on an energy level as fatigue, the fatigue is often here because we have caused an imbalance within one of our various energetic systems, this could be within the chakras, meridians or reflex points. This is why certain therapies have near miraculous results when applied to fatigue. Modalities such as Acupuncture or Acupressure, Emmet Therapy, Craniosacral Therapy and also ones that seek to address structural issues such as Alexander Technique, Manipulation or deep tissue massage. They work because they free trapped or imbalanced energy – when the natural energy flows within the body are restored we have a greater chance of recovery.

The surface emotions we experience as we go through our day, unless they are relentlessly negative, are not so much of a problem. We experience many emotional states on a daily basis that for the most part will not leave a lasting impression on us physically. It is the deeply felt or perhaps shocking emotion that can affect the body and lead to poor health and exhaustion.

When our minds are in turmoil, when we have deeply entrenched thoughts, beliefs or incessant mental patterns about yourself, events, people or the world these usually have some kind of emotional weight attached to them. The emotional drivers below the repetitive mental states are like weights tethering the thoughts to a never ending loop.

This why attempting to discipline and quieten the mind can be so difficult, or why people who are very mentally disciplined can sometimes end up having a nervous breakdown. Before we do work on the mind such as disciplining thoughts or attempting meditation it can be of great value to first address the emotions.

Below I share the link again of releasing feelings through the simple method of just breathing through them, this is based on the John Ruskin work on Emotional Clearing.

PROCESSING FEELINGS

How Do You Know If You’ve Slept Deeply?

Carrying on with the fatigue theme we cannot look at tiredness without of course considering sleep quality.

Good quality sleep rests on completing the whole sleep cycle. If going through a period of greater stress, reaching the deep stages of sleep is usually unlikely. If this is prolonged then obviously exhaustion will result to some degree, followed by an increasing lack of balance in body and mind.

Stages of sleep

Stage 1 – Very light sleep – the period in which you begin to doze.

Stage 2 – Light sleep – a period of rapid brain activity where your heart rate slows and temperature drops.

Stage 3 – Transitional – between light and deep where the brain begins to experience the slower delta waves.

Stage 4 – Deep sleep, (also referred to as Delta sleep) – the delta waves now dominate, if you are awakened by something external you are very groggy.

Stage 5 – REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and dreaming sleep – brain becomes active again with the dream state but the muscles and body relax – this is the stage where the healing and repair work of the body takes place, it is also needed for psychological well-being as the dream state sifts, sorts and processes the activity of the day.

Importance of dreaming for deep sleep

When you wake up knowing you have been dreaming you can rest assured that your sleep has been deep. There’s no need to recall the dream, just a vague sense that you have dreamt is enough.

There are many solutions for good sleep and I go through how to implement them in the course on fatigue. I think however that one of the biggest causes of sleep issues in today’s world is harmful Electromagnetic Frequencies, the more we can cut down or eliminate EMF’s from the bedroom the better. A beginning point would be switching WiFi off at night and putting your mobile on airplane mode. Another easy fix is to try sleeping on an Earthing sheet or mat.

Guided sleep meditation

Below is a downloadable audio from the my online course “Why Am I So Tired?”. On this course which has ten videos on all aspects of fatigue I have also recorded nine meditations and the following is one of them.

GUIDED JOURNEY INTO SLEEP

I’m about to record a short video talking about the course and will provide a link to this in a couple of days time.

Food, Stress And Being Tired

We live in an increasingly toxic world – toxins in our food, packaging, water, environment, medication… Add to this a deficiency of essential nutrients contributing to general tiredness, ill health and very often mental and emotional health issues.

We unfortunately have to work harder than ever just to maintain reasonably good health. So what are some of the basics?

Water, a cleaner diet, manage stress, do whatever you can to relax regularly and also regular detoxification of the toxins we take in. In this post I’m covering diet and water – in the context of stress and fatigue, what we ingest has a a very potent effect not just on tiredness but also on how well we actually deal with mental and emotional stress.

Water

We do need to drink more water these days, the reason for this is an increase in stress in general and stress has a dehydrating effect on the body. We also need more water to help the body eliminate toxins. The recommended intake is 2 litres a day though this will vary from person to person. The only way to know if our water intake is sufficient is to observe our urine! It should be a pale straw colour, darker than this, you need more water. If it’s colourless you’re drinking too much water.

Our water table is contaminated from the chemicals seeping in from several environmental factors, add to this the chemicals added to water to make it safe and it makes sense to invest in a water filter. Apart from a reduction in toxins filtered water tastes nicer too!

Diet

There is no one size fits all with diet so the following guidelines about everyday diet are very simple and common sense.

Also make eating a pleasure as much as possible, don’t continue eating something you find repulsive just because you think it will be good for you. If your eating habits have gotten unhealthily out of control then aim for steady, slow but permanent change. 

The key points to a healthier diet for health and energy:

  • As fresh, organic, cooked from scratch as possible
  • Mostly plant based
  • As much wholefood as possible
  • Avoid convenience and GM foods as much as you can
  • Low in sugar and refined starch
  • Eat less
  • No snacks

I go into nutrition and dietary considerations in a lot more detail on the Why Am I So Tired? course so here will only mention that the effects of poor diet and nutrition and the resulting toxic overload will impact energy levels. Even if diet and toxins are not the reason for ongoing fatigue or ill health a poor diet will make recovery a lot more difficult.

Gut dysfunction

I have written about this elsewhere on the blog so will just mention it here again and that is the balance of our gut – it has huge implications for the health of our body and our energy levels. One of the most exhausting and disruptive foodstuffs we can consume is sugar, the more we cut down or cut this out the better we feel and the easier it is to heal the compromised gut that may be behind your ongoing tiredness and poor resistance to infections.

I’ve written before that I have a sweet tooth and over the past year and a half have managed to cut my refined sugar and starch intake down by about 90%. Over the past three or four weeks however I’ve found myself for various reasons eating more shop bought sweet things and pastries and also have eaten very sweet cakes at various birthday events. I am really noticing the effects of this on my energy levels. It’s remarkable the impact sugar has, especially when we reintroduce it after a period of abstinance. I am going back to the healthy stuff again…

Sweet treats recipes

I’m also considering occasionally posting some of my recipes for “healthy” sweet things. The problem is that I seldom weigh anything so will have to remember to be more structured when I cook so I can write it up…

Cosmic considerations about diet

I’ll just end this short post by linking it with the first three posts in the fatigue series about what is occurring cosmically and the effects of this on Earth (https://catherinestrang.com/2021/10/16/what-on-earth-is-happening-on-earth/) In order to fully evolve and to evolve with grace and ease we will have to address our diet and the toxicity of the body. This is also key to enabling our full DNA to switch on, and stay on – all twelve strands/fields. The toxicity of our world and the denatured reality of food production has come from a very low state of consciousness – all of this will be in the process of needing to be healed.

Increasing Our Life Force

When we sit quietly and observe what’s going on, when we can be fully present to what ails us we connect not only with our body and what it is trying to tell us but also to the life force of the body.

This deceptively simple act of mindful awareness increases the life force of the body through connecting with the truth of self and where we are right now. We tend to live in our head most of the time, cutting off from the reality of what’s here now and in doing so we drain energy. It takes energy to maintain a lack of awareness about what’s happening as it means we have to be in denial of where we are and what we feel. This is a learned way of being for most of us, for those with a lot of energy to spare it will take years to register in the form of sickness and distress, for those of us with less innate energy it takes its toll sooner.

In this post I am focusing on being present to whatever is ailing the body. If you wish to experience the simplicity of just being with whatever you are feeling on a purely emotional level then have a listen to the recording below that I made last year for releasing emotions.

PROCESSING FEELINGS

Increasing life force through being present to whatever ails the body

An increase of energy through mindful awareness is obviously beneficial for us in all sorts of ways, one of which is to regain the energy needed to tackle physical disease.

To practice this aspect of being mindful to the body, allow yourself to see and feel whatever symptoms you have, acknowledge the struggles of your body and its attempts to heal you – your body is always trying to taking care of you.

To practice:

  • Take a few deep breaths, longer on the exhalation, sighing as you breathe out, relaxing into the breath, allowing your body to let go.
  • Bring your attention to the point just above and between the eyebrows, pull your attention back, a couple of inches back, as if you were travelling inside the head. This withdraws attention from the drama of the outside world.
  • Now take your attention to the part of the body that is troubling you, or if it’s fatigue sit with that in a general sense. Allow yourself to feel what you feel, actual physical sensation and feelings.
  • Acknowledge all that is here, simply state in factual terms what is going on.
  • Notice any other reactions including any new thoughts, feelings or insights that may pop up. Try not to censor or judge anything. Just be with what is here.
  • Do this for as long as is comfortable and until you begin to feel a deeper sense of relaxing into the body.

How did it feel to do this? Scary? A relief? Did it bring insights? Perhaps take notes when you do this and notice any changes if you repeat the exercise regularly.

How Do You Know If Your Adrenal Glands Are Compromised?

Adrenal Glands

How are you reacting to world events? Not just now but over the past year or two. With fear? Anger? A feeling of hopelessness? How are you reacting to your own life?

If you are reacting with fear, anxiety, worry or anger this will be putting the body and mind into a state of stress. As I’ve covered in the past few posts this does our health, immunity and energy levels no favors!

In the glandular system the strongest reaction is to be found in the adrenal glands and a prolonged strain here will shift the body into survival mode and stops sending signals of hyper alertness. In survival mode the body will endeavor to conserve as much energy for vital functions as possible, brain function slows, immune function is less efficient, digestive problems or food intolerances manifest and fatigue becomes relentless.  

A state of anxiety may ensue or if anxiety is already there this can shift into deep and debilitating depression.

General symptoms of compromised adrenal glands:

  • Excessive fatigue and exhaustion
  • Run down, very little stamina
  • Easily overwhelmed by stress, a feeling that you can’t cope
  • Craving sweet food
  • Slow recovery from injuries and infections
  • Impaired immunity
  • Excessive weight gain or weight that doesn’t shift
  • Intolerances and allergies
  • Lower than normal blood pressure
  • Difficulty staying warm

Possible causes of adrenal fatigue

  • A trauma or extremely stressful life event occurs
  • Constant stress levels with diminishing self care
  • A feeling of relentlessness – i.e. living from the next to the next to the next – “when I achieve this, get that, it will be ok” 
  • A chronic lack of self-care, accompanied by low self esteem, poor boundaries, feeling abandoned by life
  • Believing you have made the wrong decision in a major area of life
  • Post viral fatigue syndrome, for instance the Epstein-Barr virus lives in the liver and is a large cause of adrenal fatigue.

The four stages of adrenal fatigue:

1: Hyper-Cortisol

Feeling constantly stressed and wired – away from stress still feel keyed up. At this point may already be experiencing low immunity, insomnia and an anxious state.

2: Cortisol Dominance

Without proper relaxation the person may now be suffering from mood swings, worsening sleep issues. hormonal imbalances, brain fog, energy crashes, difficulty losing weight and blood sugar problems.

3: Hypo-Cortisol

This is when complete exhaustion sets in and simple tasks feel like too much. Additionally, depression, pain or severe inflammation, digestive issues and allergies may be present.

4: Adrenal failure

This is life-threatening and needs immediate medical attention.

Adrenal gland dysfunction and fatigue

If you are exhausted as a result of adrenal burnout it will take time to heal – look at taking up to a year to address all the different facets of what is needed and be patient and compassionate with yourself. 

Here is a helpful – and easy – yoga pose to reset cortisol levels

It’s well known that sitting or lying for long periods of time has a negative impact on our health, for those of us unable, or unwilling(!), to do headstands the following can begin to undo the deleterious effects of this. The benefits, apart from the balancing effect on cortisol levels (adrenal gland secretions), will help drain lymph and other fluids away from the ankles, legs and pelvis. It also activates the rest and digest response.

Place a yoga mat or a folded duvet against  the wall, have folded blanket close to hand. Lay on your side with buttocks close to the wall, roll on to your back and extend legs up the wall. Now place the folded blanket under the pelvis to cause a slight tilt and elevate the hips slightly.

Lie and relax for 5-10 minutes, perhaps listen to a short, soothing meditation.

Our Remarkable Capacity For Self Healing

Nervous System

There is an incredible mechanism within our body that’s key to switching on our ability for self healing- whatever it is you wish to begin healing, be it poor health, fatigue, mental or emotional turmoil. When we understand this mechanism it makes it easier to see how we have the power to affect internal change.

The role of the nervous system

The sympathetic nervous system governs the stress response and the parasympathetic nervous system governs the calming and healing response of the body. The sympathetic nervous system evolved to prepare us to take necessary action when needed – the  mammalian part of the brain is always on the lookout for new or potentially dangerous experiences. 

Sympathetic Nervous System

A threat, emergency or even just a little stress triggers the body for action through the signals from the sympathetic nervous system. This system modulates heart rate, blood pressure, respiration and release of adrenaline through glandular stimulation.

Parasympathetic Nervous System

This acts in opposition to the sympathetic system by calming down the response to stress, giving the body a chance to heal and repair itself. It lowers heart rate, respiration and blood pressure restoring peace and regulating energy. Often called the “rest and digest” or “heal and repair” function.

These two responses cannot work at the same time. This is what is important to understand as when one is switched on the other is switched off. When we deliberately switch on the parasympathetic response the fight or flight response stops. Of course the body still needs to process what has been stirred up but we are now taking back control over our body’s reactions and enabling the systems and organs to begin normal functioning again.

How do we do this?

Anything that is deeply relaxing. We can target it specifically through various types of breath-work which I have written about elsewhere. At the foot of this post is the breathing audio I did last year that takes you through this process.

On the “Why Am I So Tired?” course learn several ways in which you could switch on the healing response of the body and begin to undo the havoc stress may have wrought upon your body. Link below.

https://catherinestrang17.mastermind.com/masterminds/24938

FOUR BREATHING EXERCISES TO RELAX AND SOOTHE THE NERVOUS SYSTEM

Freezing?

This post is a follow on from feeling under pressure and refers to the “freeze” part of “fight or flight”.

There are three aspects to the freeze response, all will be familiar to us to some degree but we will tend to dominate in one area.

Which one do you gravitate towards?

Freezing is of course what most of us tend to do in the face of stress. This means the physical reactions of the stress response carry on reacting in the body for a couple of days before using themselves up. As our reactions to life tend to be ongoing it’s easy see to why so many imbalances occur as a result of stress.

What all three freeze responses have in common is that no ‘action’ is being taken. This means the release of the hormones and the effects on the organs of the body remain in the bloodstream for several days, also, we have no satisfying conclusion to what has taken place so our mind tends to worry at it, going in circles with no relief.

The Three Aspects of the Freeze Response

Dissociation – Feelings are stuffed down and a calm face is presented to the world, good at coping. This can result in tight, tense muscles, health issues that seem to come out of nowhere, exhaustion and feeling that life is just sort of okay.

Flooding – Repeated or prolonged bouts of emotion such as crying, anger, fear etc. Some may think that excessive emoting is a form of release but the tendency to ‘flood’ will be on one or two repeating emotional themes, a repetitive negativity or a seeming need for drama. The problem is the emotive reactions are on a stuck loop with no conclusion, never getting to the core of the issue or fully releasing.

Distraction – We will all distract ourselves to some extent with food, alcohol, TV, social media, shopping, similar to dissociation, but we are now adding less than healthy substances or habits to the mix. This is taken to extremes with addictions or full blown OCD.

As these posts are about fatigue you may be able to see how tiredness could be the result of any one of the responses above. If we are not fully using up the need for action in the body or taking steps to turn the workings of the nervous system to that of “heal an repair” the continuous overuse of some systems and under-use of others in the body will undermine our health and energy reserves.

In the next post I will cover a very simple way of switching on the body’s ability to begin healing this response but in the meantime perhaps consider the following?

One way to begin decreasing the reactions that lead to the stress response is to observe your own habits and coping mechanisms; this begins to bring back a feeling of being in control of yourself. Feeling out of control of course is a part of the stress response and can almost feel traumatic to a certain degree depending on what the source of stress is.

Launching A Course

I am delighted to announce that my course, “Why Am I So Tired?” is finally launched!

This has been quite a journey and somewhat ironically, a bit of an exhausting one… I’m new to making videos and relatively new to recording meditations, having just started that last year.

It is time consuming and for someone that never thought she’d be making videos due to self consciousness about being filmed I’m really pleased – and quite amazed – that I’ve now done it. I spent a fair amount of time watching instructional videos on various aspects of making a course, this is of course ongoing as I’ve still so much to learn.

I’ve mentioned elsewhere some of the struggles I’ve encountered making the videos which is inevitable for something new and it’s all been a really good learning curve, I have more ideas for courses and know that it will be a lot easier next time.

A little info about the course itself:

There is a link to more information below, including a peek at what’s in each module. The course is a distillation of three decades of experience I’ve had with fatigue and I will share some of those experiences as I continue to post about various aspects of being tired on the blog.

I may be new to making videos but I’m certainly not new to teaching, meditation, health and personal development so there is quite a lot packed into it!

If you want to go straight to the course info itself here is the link – https://catherinestrang17.mastermind.com/masterminds/24938

There are 8 modules in all with ten videos and nine meditations or guided journeys on all the aspects raised in the videos. It’s like a long weekend course but of course much cheaper, you can keep the material and work through it at your own pace.

All aspects of the possible causes of tiredness and solutions for that are covered; these range from physical to mental, emotional and energetic.