Rx for Emotional Exhaustion

When we are physically wiped out, the solution is pretty obvious. Get some sleep! But what do you do when your spirit is sapped…when you’re emotionally exhausted? That’s a lot harder to figure out. Fatigue is defined in Merriam-Webster as “weariness or exhaustion from labor, exertion or stress.” We’ve all felt it to varying degrees.

This morning when I sat at my table with my cup of coffee in hand, wondering why it wasn’t helping me, I realized that the fatigue I was feeling wasn’t physical as much as it was mental & emotional. What to do?

So I opened up my journal to pray (I should explain…I write my prayers in my journal cuz my mind wanders waaaaay too easily to pray in my head. When I try that I don’t get much further than “dear Lord” before I’m thinking about what I’m making for dinner and then working on a mental grocery list and then thinking about how I’d better clean out the fridge and then my “quiet time” is over and surprisingly I don’t feel refreshed and renewed!) Back to my journal, I was asking God to give me energy and give me joy (I ask for that a lot) when I remembered something I felt he was teaching me over and over last year through a combination of several favorite verses:

  • Fix our eyes on Him (much harder to be self focused when we do this) Hebrews 12:2
  • Trust Him with our whole heart (which means we don’t have to be in control) Proverbs 3:5
  • Give Him thanks for all that He is and does in our lives (improves our attitude) 1 Thessalonians 5:17
  • And I believe that when we do those things he energizes our spirits and fills us with joy. (Psalm 28:7)

The joy keeps us going. And it seems to me that is the prescription for emotional/spiritual fatigue. The Bible says “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10) So when we are feeling weak and tired inside, we need His joy to be our strength. Now, I’ve learned this lesson over and over but for months I was trying to think of a way to remember these few points that I’ve learned. I wanted something easy to remember, some kind of mnemonic device, but I couldn’t figure it out. Then this morning I found a way to remember. I have to give you the back story though.

Several years ago, I was growing tired of repeating myself when I gave my kids the task of straightening up a room. I would walk them through what I expected but every time I told them to clean the room, they would say they didn’t know how. So I would repeat…”It’s simple. Pick up garbage and dishes and laundry and toys.” They would do it but then forget again for the next time. So I decided to turn it into a word. GadalatGarbage And Dishes And Laundry And Toys. I taught them to gadalat the living room. Gadalat their bedroom, etc. And they did it. They never again forgot what they needed to do to get a room picked up. We still use it as a verb in our house to this day. (Feel free to use it in your home if it helps! ;))

So this morning, I realized that I could use the word fatigue to remind myself of the lessons God has been teaching me:

  • Fix ur eyes on Him
  • And
  • Trust Him with all ur heart
  • In everything
  • Give thanks and
  • U will receive
  • Exceedingly great joy and strength

And now, when I feel that fatigue creeping up on me or flat-out knocking me down, I can use it to remember how to find God’s joy. I hope you can use it too!



Question: What causes you the most emotional/spiritual fatigue? People or circumstances?

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  1. I LOVE this! I’m going to put it on my fridge!! I was having one of those days today…when the coffee doesn’t seem to permeate ANYTHING!

    • Thanks Lisa! It’s especially helpful on those days when coffee isn’t cutting it! LOL. Seriously, I need to remind myself of this stuff EVERY DAY. Maybe I should put it on my fridge too!

  2. Jennifer Grohusko

    Thanks Rebekah! Going to borrow your gadalat and your fatigue ideas!!

    • Awesome Jen…go for it! I could have written a whole post on gadalat and probably will at some point. It’s been such a great tool for me! Glad you liked my mnemonic devices 🙂 (I had to look up the spelling for that one this morning!)

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