Trauma and Fatigue
Trauma and Fatigue

Regarding feeling tired

1. Trauma, and especially unresolved, ongoing trauma, is tiring.
“Crisis fatigue is a burnout response to prolonged exposure to unexpected and stressful events. It can cause a range of symptoms, including persistent fatigue, changes in sleep, changes in appetite, and numbness.”

2. Anxiety is tiring.
“Fatigue is a persistent feeling of being either mentally or physically tired. It may feel like a lack of energy, a lack of motivation, or a lack of strength.”
“Chronic anxiety and fatigue go hand in hand. Anxiety could interfere with your ability to sleep at night, which can worsen your daytime sleepiness and could lead to other health problems.”

3. Depression is tiring.
“Depression can cause severe fatigue and make the simplest activities, such as getting out of bed, too difficult to manage.”
“ResearchTrusted Source indicates that stressful life events can significantly increase a person’s risk of developing major depressive disorder.
These stressful life events can include the end of a relationship or close friendship, the death of a loved one, significant financial loss, a job change, and health-related events, such as a cancer diagnosis.
The same research suggests that stress can also cause inflammation in the body, which can lead to hypersomnia and fatigue. It may also lead to a person withdrawing from social activities and having difficulty thinking clearly.”

Many of us have experienced stressful or traumatic life events in recent years, so it is no wonder we feel extreme tiredness/fatigue.

Stressful/traumatic life events include things like the following, but you can google what else might be included.

– Death of a spouse
– Death of a close family member or friend
– Major injury or illness (personal or close family member)
– Job changes (starting new job, ending job including retirement)
– Education changes (like starting or graduating from university)
– Family changes (children leaving, new family members, change in frequency of seeing family, divorce)
– Financial changes
– Moving/housing changes
– Change in recreational activities

One of the first suggestions to help get through stressful/traumatic events is exercise.


But if we haven’t exercised much in the past or if we have taken an exercise break during the trauma, exercise can also be tiring!!

With exercise, we’ve got to build up little by little.

In the past, I’ve written articles to help recreational cyclists build up their distance to be able to ride a century (100 miles) and it is a gradual progression. At first, yes, you’ll feel tired even with quite short distances … but as the distances increase and feel more comfortable, the shorter distances which made you tired to begin with will be a peace of cake!

More recently, I’ve changed jobs again and I’m back in the building where I used to work. When I worked there before (17 or so months ago), a small group of us put together a stair climbing challenge. We’ve started that again, and once again I’m building up the number of flights I can climb.

17 or so months ago, I could knock out 40 flights a day like I was strolling around a park. A couple weeks ago, I was huffing and puffing up 4 flights of stairs! But I know it takes time and persistence. Yesterday, I was able to do 21 flights at a very slow pace. It was a little bit of a struggle, but not too bad. So I’m getting there. 

One thing that exercise, even a little bit of exercise, does for me is to give me a feeling of accomplishment. If nothing else, I accomplished a little bit of exercise today.

For those of you who have recently experienced a stressful/traumatic event AND who are trying to exercise more than usual … yes, you’re going to find it difficult and tiring. That’s normal. Be kind to yourself. Get extra rest. But keep at the exercise. 


These thoughts come from personal experience and personal research.

I’ve been through a few stressful/traumatic events over the years, but especially Rowan’s accident 5 years ago. His accident also falls into unresolved trauma, ambiguous loss, and thus chronic stress. Dealing with his accident has caused repeated anxiety and ongoing depression.

Add to that finishing and graduating university.

Plus 4 different jobs in just over a year.
Plus not being able to visit my family.
Plus financial changes.
Plus recreational changes.

I am exhausted all the time.


But I am trying to do a little bit of exercise most days. 

There are numerous other suggestions to help a person overcome trauma, anxiety and depression including eating a nutritious diet, getting enough sleep, talking to someone, taking a break, meditation, starting a new hobby, etc.  One of my preferences, however, has been to deal with whatever is causing me stress – getting things done.

These days I am trying to simplify my life to give myself more time to be kind to myself and get more rest.

  • We have a dishwasher and that is something I do not want to give up!
  • Quite a while ago, we switched to ordering groceries online and having them delivered.
  • Just recently, we were given a wonderful gift … a RoboVac! Our carpet hasn’t remained so clean in some time.
  • I dropped a couple committees.
  • We have routines.
  • We pick and choose what things we want to go to … like the other weekend, we could have gone to a beekeeping get-together, but it would have involved an early start and a bit of a drive, so we opted to stay home and sleep.
  • I’m slowly unsubscribing from emails.

There is still a lot more to simplify and I’m working on it.

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