Are you tired this morning?

I feel tired this morning. I feel tired now. I have never felt so tired in my whole life. Common expressions with which we are all familiar, but what does it really mean to be tired? You might answer that it means to feel weary, slow, sluggish or exhausted. Each of these words conveys ideas of low energy or enthusiasm. So what does time have to do with being tired? Everything of course! Time is perhaps one of the chief villains in the case. However time can also be your hero or heroine. There is a sense in which energy is tied to time and a sense in which energy is strictly a mental effort.

Many of my students start each day off tired even before I have begun class. I can see it in their manners and behavior as I am looking at each of them. Are they anticipating a boring lecture or that their minds will be stretched with new ideas or have they simply stayed up and partied too hard the night before. Perhaps they worked the previous evening and are now too tired to focus their minds. Being tired can be caused by physical stress or mental stress or even anticipation of events. Time can modify these effects. Never give a long-winded speech after lunch as participants will have not have the attention they would have either just before lunch or a few hours after the food has digested.

Some of us are morning people and we have our primary energy in the morning. Some of us are evening people with reversed energy patterns. They call this the larks and night owls behavior and there is some evidence that it is genetically based. It is smart to pay attention to your energy patterns. This probably explains why some people need coffee to function in the morning and some of us do not. Many medical problems could be prevented if more of us were in tune with our life patterns. Research has shown that accidents are more common when people are tired or stressed.

Do you start the day with energy or are you always tired? If the latter, ask yourself if you are really where you want to be or are you doing what you want to do. It will always be more tiring to do things when our hearts are not really into them. Are you more tired in the morning or evening? Are you more tired when you have a bunch of work to do or when you start the first day of a vacation? Can you learn to spot the patterns for energy in your life and honor these patterns?

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