“Stress fatigue. Ever had it? Ever heard of it? Is it normal to want to sleep all the time?”

I was having coffee with a few precious women yesterday when one of them posed those questions.

The weight of the world can rest on the shoulders of a parent. When that parent is also holding down a job or caring for another family member, it can seem like that weight is multiplied.

It piles on until we feel like we might crumble under the pressure.

When that happens to me, all I want to do is take a nap. I totally understand where my friend is coming from.

If one of us had the go-to solution, we would be trillionaires right now. There’s no easy way to deal with those seasons of our lives.

But an interesting thing happened as we sat there and talked. Little by little, collectively, we came up with a list to lighten the load.

I want to share them with you now, and I’m hoping you’ll join our conversation on Facebook by adding a thing or two that has helped you.

  1. Take a nap. Go ahead, give into the urge to sleep— guiltfree. Maybe you’re not getting enough zzzz’s at night and really do need time to recharge during the day.
  2. Take a bath. Let the family continue the evening hustle without you for a few minutes and hide in the bathtub with a magazine and some favorite tunes.
  3. Take a walk. Or a run. Or any sort of physical movement that will release your muscles and your mind.
  4. Take a friend to coffee. Even if you only have 20 minutes and it’s a last minute invitation, see if someone can meet you for a quick coffee. Just a few moments to look into another person’s eyes and laugh a bit is good medicine.
  5. Take a cup of coffee outside and pray. Maybe you journal or maybe you just sit there for a few minutes and listen to the wind. Connecting with nature (and God) is powerful.
  6. Take a drive. Go somewhere. Anywhere. Go sit at the mall and watch the people walking by. Getting out of your home may get you out of your rut.
  7. Take on a 10 minute project. Clean a drawer or pick out 5 things in your closet to give away. Feeling physically organized can often help us feel mentally organized.
  8. Take comfort in your comfort. Find out what makes you feel calm, relaxed and grounded, then carve out a few minutes to do that. Maybe it’s drawing or coloring or cooking or writing or just sitting and staring at a favorite picture. It’s your YOU time and you deserve it.
  9. Take time for RAKs. Doing tiny Random Acts of Kindness on days when you don’t feel like it are especially helpful because they release serotonin into your body. That’s your body’s natural anti-depressant.
  10. Take ten minutes to think about your RAKs. If you replay an act of kindness in your mind as you drift off to sleep, your body will re-release the serotonin, giving you double the anti-depressant hormones.

So there’s our starting list of things to do to combat stress fatigue! What do you do? We’d love to add your thoughts to our list on Facebook. Thanks in advance for sharing your ideas. After all, as I love to say, we’re in this together.