A Lack of Stamina.

A Lack of Stamina

Trigger warning – body stuff. Also, whining. 

Yesterday I took a hot yoga class at a local studio in Charleston. It felt so good to get back on the mat but also: I had a full on meltdown when I got home. I think a lot is going on with me right now (I am still wiped from being sick last week… the antibiotics make me really tired and a little depressed?). Yoga can also release a lot of emotions – especially if you haven’t done it in a while and especially those deep hip openers.

I have been trying to pinpoint the words to use here for a feeling that I’ve had, across every area of life. And then it came to me: a lack of stamina.

A Lack of Stamina

If there is one way that the pandemic really impacted me (across the board, in all areas of life), that is it, and I’m really only realizing it now.  I realize how fortunate I am. I’m fully vaxxed. I didn’t get COVID. I don’t know anyone who got really sick or died. And I don’t have kids so haven’t had to deal with all of the stress my friends with kids have gone through. Physically, at least, I am relatively unscathed. I am very very lucky. And 2021 has been a great year so far: I moved to one of my favorite places, I get to see my family all the time, I am in a really happy relationship, life is generally pretty great. That being said, I have no stamina. For anything.

Emotionally and mentally, I have a shorter fuse.

I’m impatient. I am not as productive as I used to be. Once upon a time I was a shining star example of good productivity. Lately, I am just scrambling to get it all done. Not because I’m any busier than usual, but because I’m tired. Once upon a time I would pride myself on going above and beyond my to-do list… getting absolutely everything done. Replying to every DM and comment, feeling super engaged with my audience, going above and beyond for my brand partners.

If I am being honest, a lot of days, what I really want is to do the bare bones minimum and then have a nap. I am an adult with bills to pay so I don’t do that, but a mid-day nap sounds pretty fabulous. But as someone who has always been self-motivated and achievement-focused, this makes me really angry at myself. So it’s this awful double whammy of being unproductive but also mad at myself.

The area where it’s worst is physically, and I’ve only just noticed.

First of all, and less importantly: I CAN NOT HANG. This manifests in a couple ways. When I go out with friends, I’m always the first to go home. Midnight and I’m ready to sleep. I’ll have two drinks and be hungover the next day.

The more embarrassing part is with more athletic stuff.

I used to run (I ran competitively in high school and college and then did marathons in my twenties… right before lockdown I was training for a half marathon!). Yoga was such a big part of my life. I took classes 5 or 6 days a week and would go on regular retreats. It had gotten to a point where I was thinking about taking a teacher training. When lockdown happened, that all came to a screeching halt. (Again, I recognize the privilege here – I have a lot of guilt complaining about this). I couldn’t focus, I couldn’t even read a book or watch a whole movie let alone dream of taking a sixty minute yoga class on zoom.

Eventually I started doing Melissa Wood Health’s workouts, and really liked (and still like) them. She really got me through the darker days of lockdown. It was all walks and twenty minute workouts.

Right now, trying to take AN HOUR LONG hot yoga class is excruciating. It felt seven hours long. I was drenched. There were a few times where I thought I was going to pass out. I was a little dizzy and so sweaty that I slipped a few times. And I got home and (besides just being really, really tired) started to spiral. I felt so embarrassed and disappointed in myself. It felt like all that work I had put in over the past several years had been for nothing. How did I let it get this bad? I am a beginner again and I HATE it. Also: working out for a full hour is HARD. I know it will get easier because it used to be the norm, but now that it’s not the norm.. it’s tough.

My body feels flabby and soft.

There are dimples in new places. I have a roll around my middle that is small on some days and large on other days, depending on the day. I feel guilty complaining about that too. My pre-pandemic clothes still fit (honestly though: that’s not an accomplishment, we put WAY too much of a correlation between health and weight. I lost weight during lockdown because I wasn’t sleeping or eating  much… now, I’m happy and in a relationship, eating out a lot, drinking, and having FUN and have gained weight back. I’d rather be a few pounds heavier and happy than skinny and miserable).

My boyfriend grabs my hips or my butt and tells me how much he loves my body and rather than just appreciating that (especially as my last long term bf could be really critical of my body), I feel self conscious and soft and fret about how soft I am. I also just feel… disappointing, like I’m the sedentary one in the relationship. When we’re in California we will go for hikes and walks and I want to be able to hike up steep hills without getting out of breath but sometimes we are hiking and I get so hot and out of breath and feel like I am going to hyperventilate. It’s mortifying!

He’s in great shape, but let it be said: lockdown in Malibu vs. lockdown in Brooklyn were very different experiences. He was out hiking and surfing and being active while I was buying tie-dye sweats and rewatching Gossip Girl.

These feelings are probably also being brought on by my big upcoming birthday (I turn 40 on Monday).

While overall I feel pretty good and mostly excited about the birthday I also have to wonder: is this middle age? Am I just going to be tired all the time? Will it eventually get to a point where even one glass of wine gives me a hangover? Is an hour long workout class always going to feel this hard? Will I be productive again? Will I ever just feel… normal?

I don’t even know where I’m going with this but I wanted to share because these are the thoughts in my head right now and I feel like a lot of people are probably feeling this way. If reading my words makes you feel less alone or ashamed then I’ve done my job for the day. In the meantime I will give you the pep talk my boyfriend told me. “Don’t worry. You’ll get back to where you want to be. It’s a process and will be hard work but you’ll get there. Be nicer to yourself!” 

Be nicer to yourself. Easy to say to others, harder to say to yourself. My goal for the rest of the week is to practice yoga at least one more time, but also to be kinder and gentler with myself. I encourage you (yoga or no yoga!) to do the same. xo

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment


  1. Katie:

    Honestly as someone in her forties- closer to 50 than 40….it sounds like the perimenopause symptoms I have faced. Your body definitely changes in your 40’s and perimenopause can last years. I’ve had it for over five! Embrace and try not to be hard on yourself! This is a topic no one talks about and needs to start!

    9.21.21 Reply
    • Hitha:

      I’ve had perimenopause symptoms since last summer and I can attest to this. It has its okay days and it has the days where I’m completely out for the count. Be kind to yourself, slow down when you can, and take care. And yes – we absolutely need to be talking about this more!

      9.21.21 Reply
  2. Amy:

    You are SO not alone in this feeling!!! I have been noticing the same thing too recently and am in a very similar personal situation. While it does feel comparatively minor given the status of everything going on in the world, we can’t give of ourselves if there is no gas in the tank. I hope you can use this feeling of discomfort to continue to build yourself back up, slowly. I’ve been trying to specifically add one thing to my list a day that my future self will thank me for, and it has been helpful in reframing my productivity for the day. Hang in there! 🙂

    9.21.21 Reply
    • Anna:

      I’m 42 and totally relate to this. I too was a regular yogi but can’t get into virtual clases for yoga. I started taking Spirulina before my other workouts and I find that gives me energy. I take a nap everyday. And take other supplements for focus. I work from home, haven’t traveled this pandemic and have only eaten outdoors of a restaurant a handful of times so my life isn’t that exciting.
      Thanks for being honest about the irritability, I think we all have that from the pandemic.

      9.21.21 Reply
  3. Joanna:

    This really resonates with me of late. I am commission based and know that some days I will have off days, but am always thinking about the lost money in the back of my head or the jam packed days to come. I am now in the jam packed days after taking Wednesday to Sunday to wallow.

    We have gone through so many seasons of COVID lockdown that I am trying not to compare to the months I worked out 5x per week or got outside every day, but am hoping to start smaller with 10 minute workouts sprinkled in here and there.

    Ann Friedman’s newsletter had the perfect lead in for this feeling with this: Sure, yes, there’s always room for self-improvement. But today I’m inspired to offer the opposite message: You are doing it pretty well already.

    9.21.21 Reply
  4. Katie:

    I so relate to this post and I really like this boyfriend! I think this ongoing pandemic has taken a lot out of us and in ways we don’t really realize. It’s been a traumatizing shift for everyone. I’m in my mid 40s and all my close friends are saying the same about focus and stamina. We’re all different sizes and I think our bodies have adjusted from the frenetic insane pace..we all thought was normal. Brene Brown had a great podcast last week about pandemic flux syndrome with Amy Cuddy. It summarized all I was feeling. Be kind to Grace! Also, any time Ive had an antibiotic, my body is out of sorts for weeks.

    9.21.21 Reply
  5. Keena:

    If it helps, every post I see of yours lately all I think is “wow she looks so happy and beautiful”. I honestly think you look your best! 40 is going to be great on you

    9.21.21 Reply
    • gail:

      I agree! Grace, you have been glowing since your move to Charleston!

      9.21.21 Reply
    • Emily:

      I also agree with this! I don’t know what exactly it is, but she has been GLOWING.

      9.21.21 Reply
      • grace at the stripe:

        That is so so nice. To be clear – this isn’t about looks, or even happiness (besides being just exhausted I am really really happy)…. just such a short fuse and physically out of shape and feeling unmotivated and exhausted!

        9.21.21 Reply
  6. Marcella:

    Definitely felt this way the last couple of months – I did a lot of anxious running/walking last year and NO STRETCHING like an idiot, and a trip to Chicago walking 10+ miles a day really sent me over the edge. I ended up going to the chiropractor and then having to go to PT for a month to stretch my suuuuper tight hip flexors (thought I was just getting old and my back was hurting, nope it was from not stretching). I remember the first time at the PT and him checking my hip flexors and they were so weak and I felt so defeated (I also ran in HS + college but really let myself slack on the stretching and strengthening exercises). I felt like wow this is what my life has come to.. I used to be in shape!! But little by little doing my rehab everyday I got stronger and am in a running group now and am slowly getting back in shape. It just takes time!! I read a quote one time from Lauren Fleshman about getting back in shape and it was something like, every day you’re just slowly chipping away, but you’ll get there.

    9.21.21 Reply
  7. Lily:

    This post made me tear up as I felt so seen – thanks for sharing, Grace! I’m in my 20’s but I really relate to this, especially the productivity piece. I have been so down on myself for not being as productive as I’m used to being; it’s so hard to give myself grace (no pun intended) even though I know we’ve all been through something really hard over the last 18 months. I just want to feel normal again.

    9.21.21 Reply
  8. Lo:

    THIS! You’ve put into words exactly how I’ve been feeling recently that I haven’t been able to articulate. Thank you for being so vulnerable—I feel a lot less alone reading this (and am a first-time commenter). We’ve got this!

    9.21.21 Reply
  9. Ake:

    I know this is a long shot, but have you had your iron checked recently? I was feeling a lot like this last year, and I thought it was pandemic depression. I kept trying to fight through it and do things anyway, but after passing out a couple of times I went to the doctor and it turns out my iron was low. Started taking a supplement, and life suddenly became 100x better.

    9.21.21 Reply
    • Katie:

      I came to the comments to suggest the same thing – all women should get their iron checked!
      My normal runs became impossible this spring and I was beating myself up until I had my iron checked and it was low. It was an easy fix and I feel so much better now!

      9.21.21 Reply
      • grace at the stripe:

        You know, usually I get irritated when people come here and suggest medical stuff but I think you guys could be right – I’m going to ask my doctor and in the meantime order a supplement, I barely eat meat and looked up iron rich foods and barely eat those either!

        Thank you!

        9.21.21 Reply
        • Katie:

          I had same issue with iron! I started taking a supp and felt better.

          9.21.21 Reply
          • Sara:

            Same here. I’m in my 40s, and the dr had never checked my iron–even though she knows I’ve been a vegetarian for most of my life. Finally, she checked it, and it was in the danger zone. On a supplement now. I can’t understand why this isn’t an annual test for every woman! Our healthcare system doesn’t focus on women’s needs.

        • Sara:

          Ask your doctor about Blood Builder by MegaFood. It’s a great iron supplement that’s easy on the stomach (many can cause upset stomach)

          9.21.21 Reply
        • Meg:

          I have a sensitive stomach and iron supplements can irritate it, but I take the Nature Made Iron + Vitamin C gummies and have no issues at all!

          9.21.21 Reply
        • Marilea:

          I was going to suggest blood work for hormones, thyroid, iron, Vit D, CBC, HgbA1C, the works. Just like they always say to do before starting a new exercise routine and as part of annual physicals. And yes, starting routines over are harder the older we get but you’ve got this!

          9.21.21 Reply
      • Carol:

        I’ll add that while you’re getting the iron checked, check the thyroid as well(T3 and T4). If you’re at the low end of the normal range, you could feel very draggy and blah. Doctors don’t like to treat anything that is in the normal range, so be prepared to advocate for it or to find an endocrinologst.

        9.21.21 Reply
  10. Kate:

    This post really resonated with me. I should feel lucky, but instead I feel the exact same way you do! Reading this makes me feel heard, feel seen, and not alone! Don’t feel guilty. Thank you for sharing! I wish I had an answer or a solution, but just knowing I’m not alone helps.

    9.21.21 Reply
  11. Michelle:

    Thank you so much for sharing. I’m 33 and feel like this a lot of the time, especially mentally. Physically I feel pretty good, but despite being somewhat active during the pandemic (bike rides, walks, and Peloton) I gained 8 pounds and now my clothes don’t fit very well. I’m one of the lucky ones who didn’t get COVID so I can only imagine how much harder it would be for those who were ill.

    9.21.21 Reply
    • Caryn Lecca:

      Same! 33 and got a Peloton right before the pandemic. While it saved me in so many ways, I do not fit into my work clothes at all anymore. WFH wear is easier than office attire but I find it even difficult to put on a web conference appropriate blouse. The easiest of tasks, getting dressed, puts me in a funk. I don’t feel good in my body or my clothes and the downward spiral starts…constantly working (but don’t feel like I’m doing my best work), barely have interactions with people, I haven’t left the house much due to the pandemic aside from regular grocery shopping or walks outside. Life is definitely different from my old “normal” and adjusting hasn’t come easy. I too was lucky in that I’m vaccinated, no kids, didn’t lose my job, etc. but I feel like my burnt out/no stamina has hit me NOW vs. earlier on in the pandemic.

      The only thing that I found that helps is routine: make sure I get up early and do my workout to start my day off right, then shower! put on my “nice” lotion and perfume despite only going into the next room over to work. It makes me feel better. But that slump does hit hard some days. When I don’t feel up for the good-day routine, it turns into a slippery slope that can often times bleed into the next day and the next.

      THANK YOU Grace for writing this. you’re not alone. it’s been difficult on all levels for everyone.

      9.21.21 Reply
      • Molly:

        oh my gosh. THIS. I could have written this…word for word. I am SO with you.

        9.23.21 Reply
  12. Leslie:

    Love this! Thanks for sharing and the yoga and hikes and everything will get better! Good luck and happy birthday!

    9.21.21 Reply
  13. Jill:

    I am with you, 100%. Since the beginning of the pandemic I’ve done the bare minimum in my work life. At first, out of necessity because I have two little ones, but now I can’t go back. I wait in fear every day that my job is going to realize how little I’m doing and confront me. But I can’t get myself to do more. I regularly nap instead of work. I think it is literally an anxiety coping mechanism or something. I have also gained a pandemic 10 pounds and I have no motivation to what I would need to do to lose it. It is really hard.

    9.21.21 Reply
  14. Amanda:

    Thank you for validating this feeling. I have a 2.5 year old and the last 18 months have been brutal and all I want to do is sleep when I used to bounce out of bed at 5 am to go to the gym. I think we are all just so burned out and it’s good to recognize in ourselves and also be aware in dealing with others. Don’t worry, you did your job today ❤️

    9.21.21 Reply
    • Skye:

      I just want to send you Amanda! I can’t imagine having a 2.5 year old during the pandemic. My daughter is 7 now, but those first few years took a lot out of me. It wasn’t until she was almost 3 that I was regularly getting enough rest to realize that as an introvert I really, really, really, really needed time alone. Once that happened I felt more like myself again. I wish some of that for you as your little one grows more independent!!

      9.21.21 Reply
      • Skye:

        Meant – send love to you!

        9.21.21 Reply
      • Abbey:

        Skye – I never realized I was an introvert until well after my 4 kids were born (thought I was just perpetually exhausted from small kids). Now that they are older (5 – 10), I have realized I am an extreme introvert and not having any time/space or continuous sleep seriously affected my mental state. I wish I had realized I was an introvert pre-kids, so I could plan better. I’d never change them, but I’d probably make hard boundaries for self care that I did not do. I have looked for parenting books for introverts, and shockingly there are none. I wish someone would write one.

        9.26.21 Reply
  15. Hope:

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Grace. I can totally relate to your experience.
    I’m 46 years old and at the start of my 40’s, I was feeling better than ever. But a couple of years into my forties and my usual tricks for staying healthy and fit stopped working. I had to assume that I needed to adjust my lifestyle (watching what I ate and exercising more) and has been doing OK. But it’s hard to realize that I’m entering the middle age…

    9.21.21 Reply
    • Erica:

      Yes, this is me too! I had my second child 4 days after I turned 40, but when I turned 43 I felt like everything changed. I have to be much more aware of what I eat and getting enough activity. Plus I am always so tired. I read a quote recently that there can be a period of grief as you enter middle age. I am most certainly in the midst of this grief. I have a privileged, great life, but I am still sad about these realizations. I need to do some work on what I want the next phase of my life to look like.

      9.21.21 Reply
  16. Courtney:

    Honestly you aren’t alone! I’m 42 with two kids and a husband and a dog and a house…I went down to part time work mid-pandemic because I couldn’t hang either. I need a daily nap. My fuse is shorter. My energy is lower. It’s like the dimmer has been turned down to low. But go easy. I believe it the pandemic and not my age, because the pandemic hit me hard mentally. But it could be hormones too. My recipe- a long walk, a nap if I need it, good healthy food, a chat with a friend. A glass of wine. And then, just roll with it. Obviously if you think it’s depression that’s another thing. But I think there are millions of us with this feeling right now!

    9.21.21 Reply
  17. Jessica:

    This resonates with me so much! I felt like I held it together for the most part in 2020 but with the pandemic lingering on and on and on…I’m just tired. Thanks for writing this post, it’s good to know we aren’t alone.

    9.21.21 Reply
  18. Jana:

    I love your honesty! I think most of us have gone through body changes during the pandemic and I am definitely not happy with mine. Then again I hadn’t perceived yours and so we might all just be stuck in our own mind. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    9.21.21 Reply
  19. Michele Watts:

    Wow I feel exactly the same way. I have no energy to do anything. I used to ride my peloton for an hour at least and now a 30 minute class is super tough to get through. I’m just getting off antibiotics as well so maybe that’s attributing to it? I’m not sure, but thank you for posting this. It’s exactly the way I’ve been feeling lately. I guess nothing lasts forever? Here’s hoping we find a new normal!

    9.21.21 Reply
    • Cat:

      This resonates so much, thank you for sharing! Adam Grant had a great piece on this general feeling earlier this year – he called it ‘languishing’. Just putting a name to what I was experiencing made me feel better! And knowing others feel the same way adds a little more comfort. Hang in there!

      9.21.21 Reply
  20. Angela:

    These are such normal feelings right now! I know myself and friends are just mentally drained and trying to find that new normal because covid is here to stay. I have a lot of time during the day, since my kids are in school full time for the first time in 18 months, and some days I feel lost and overwhelmed. I am fully vaccinated too, we’ve stayed healthy and safe throughout this, I did lose family early on to covid, and it still feels like this is all too much. Some days I get a lot done and it feels like the old days, minus wearing a mask, and other days I just want to sit on the couch and read and watch tv. The last 18 months have been draining with a pandemic and election and normal life. I guess I’ll feel a lot better once my kids can get their shot. I feel like we’re all slowly coming out the fog and it will get better. I also turned 40 and 41 during all this as did many of my friends, and we didn’t get our girl trips and stuff but we will make up for it summer 2022!

    9.21.21 Reply
  21. Heather:

    I just want to echo what everyone else is saying – I think we all, as a society, are underplaying the constant chronic stress of just trying to survive this last year and a half. Even if your life is relatively “unaffected” by it, living though a pandemic is not something to take lightly! It’s going to affect everyone in long term ways. We’re all so emotionally burnt out just from getting through the day to day, and that definitely can have an actual, physical impact. I think we need to kind of shift our goalposts right now, and not expect ourselves to be operating at the top of our game. Our energies are going elsewhere – and that’s ok!

    9.21.21 Reply
    • Wendy:

      excellent point, it’s all a lot- better the pandemic, social justice, politics, climate change, on top of everyday life. There is so much to worry about and it all gets draining.

      9.21.21 Reply
  22. Shibani:

    I’m just a year older than you and I went through the same thing right before I turned 40 – I don’t know if it’s a change in hormones, or it could be that we’ve collectively been through a LOT.

    My ability to “hang” these days is directly related to how much other stress I’ve got in my life. If I’m stress free, and well-rested, cool!! If not, good luck getting me past 9 pm LOL
    We’ve been in this shit show so long it feels like this is our baseline but it’s not – we are fatigued. But it’s not like we can really rest either so this is just the way it is?

    I realize I’m not being particularly uplifting but I want you to know you’re not alone.

    9.21.21 Reply
  23. Christina:

    Grace, I feel the exact same way and pretty much could have written the same first few paragraphs as you minus the big move you made. I am tired, impatient, and generally feeling burnt out in every way mentally and physically. I used to LOVE going to work everyday and felt a real sense of accomplishment and purpose and now I similarly am pretty much just meeting expectations because I have to. I dread it and come home with a bad attitude everyday. I know it won’t last forever, but it’s sucking the life out of me. Let’s be nicer to ourselves for sure!

    9.21.21 Reply
    • Erika:

      Could have written this exact comment. Work has been so challenging lately, I hate feeling like I’m doing a bad job because all I can amp myself up for is the bare minimum. This comment section is making me feel so much less alone.

      9.23.21 Reply
  24. Abby:

    I totally resonate with this Grace. I’m almost 28. I did get a peloton and have been working out on that every day (it’s hard, but I’ve learned to love it). But it’s all other areas of life that I feel no stamina in. No stamina and also no drive to be honest. I feel like I don’t care about my job, am constantly tired mid day, and like to be in bed by 10. My head is constantly spinning in multiple directions, but I don’t have the desire or the stamina to slow it down and focus. It drives me nuts. You are not alone!

    9.21.21 Reply
  25. Leeza:

    You’re not alone at all! I’m 35 and at a regular checkup six months ago my doctor said I had elevated cholesterol for the first time ever, a direct result of pandemic stress eating and sedentary lifestyle. It was such a blow to my ego as I’ve always considered myself generally healthy, but my doctor didn’t shame me and I’ve shown myself compassion for just getting through this time. After being more intentional with diet and exercise for the last six months, my blood work is all back to normal and I’m starting to feel more like myself! Thanks for being vulnerable and taking us on this (very relatable) journey with you!

    9.21.21 Reply
  26. Phyllis W.:

    I am absolutely in the same spot (minus an age difference). I’ve never been this exhausted in my life, and your words just felt really reassuring. Thank you for that. FWIW, you look the happiest I’ve seen since I started following you over a year ago and it shows in all your photos!

    9.21.21 Reply
  27. Marianne:

    Thanks for sharing this & for being so vulnerable. I really relate!

    Pre- pandemic I was in college and worked as a server in a restaurant, I was going to workout classes, and just generally a more social, happy human. I don’t even think I worked out a ton (2-3 times a week), but just the pace of my life kept me in better “shape”. It wasn’t until the end of 2020 when I saw a picture of some of my friends and I was in the background that I realized how much my body changed. I tried to get back into bette habits, but like you, I was so so tired and weak. Not just physically, but in my day to day life with everything. Now I’m in my post-grad days (I moved to Charleston after college!) and while I feel this should be a really exciting time for me, I still feel so confused about what the heck just happened over the last 1.5 years. It’s a bizarre time. I’m glad to hear you’re being nicer to yourself! I need to do that more.

    Again, thanks for sharing! It really helps me to see my “internet besties” who appear to have it all together on the IG be truthful and honest about their day to day. We will rebuild or find new ways to sustain joy, health, and stamina in our lives!

    9.21.21 Reply
  28. Elizabeth:

    I’m feeling this so hard!! The lack of stamina for so much including socializing! Thanks for sharing! Maybe you could do a podcast with a mental health professional with tips on how to improve mental stamina so that we can all have enough energy to do the physical stuff too!

    9.21.21 Reply
  29. Alyssa:

    You are not alone at all. So many of these feelings I’m feeling too! I think the best we can do is try to continue to be nice to ourselves. What we’ve been through the last 18 was crazy!

    9.21.21 Reply
  30. Jamie:

    I can definitely relate! Pre-Covid I worked out everyday and then started lockdown doing yoga daily until I threw out my back a few times. My back was used to so much more mobility it just hasn’t adjusted to quarantine well and so I lost so much muscle tone and stamina. I ended up in physical therapy, started Pilates, but then ended up needing back surgery ultimately and so am 2 months out and back at ground zero with my body. Seeing cellulite and getting easily winded trying Pilates again is so frustrating but like your boyfriend said it’s a process and I just keep reminding myself I’ll get there again.

    9.21.21 Reply
  31. Gina:

    Grace this resonated with me SO MUCH! First of all from the outside I never would have guessed you are feeling this way (that’s a highlight reel for ya). You look freaking amazing and every photo I see of you I am like wow she looks great- you look in shape and happy and gorgeous and YOUNG- I’m not trying to toot your horn, you do. I have been trying to pinpoint how I’ve been feeling and lack of stamina are definitely the words for me too. Ugh it’s so annoying and truly so hard to be kind to yourself. I feel this so hard!!! Thank you for sharing.

    9.21.21 Reply
  32. Rachel:

    Thank you, thank you for articulating so well how I’ve been feeling too. Half the time I don’t even know who I am any longer. The pandemic stripped me of so much enjoyment in my life.
    I recently turned 40 too and it is a mind-f*. I work out with my trainer and I end up beating myself up at the end for it being hard. I wallow in the ennui. My job no longer excites me. I’m trying to get through this for my wonderful husband and for myself, but yeah, I completely understand—-no stamina. Thank you so much for sharing how you feel. Be kind to yourself.

    9.21.21 Reply
  33. Jessica:

    It’s been a weird 18 months and I think these feelings are totally normal! Not to mention you did several major life moments during that time. Fitness is also just a muscle that needs to be flexed often or you lose it (yoga and muscles too, it’s just how it goes). A few more classes and you’ll be feeling better than ever I’m sure. And doing them after a cold I’m sure did not help!

    You’ve got this and happy almost 40th, how exciting!

    xo Jessica
    an indigo day

    9.21.21 Reply
  34. Jordin:

    I have felt so similar lately! Just blah and like I don’t want to do much, if anything. And I am struggling because I was doing pretty well at first with the pandemic, I was working out and making healthy choices. Then I actually got covid and it knocked me down to zero. The first 10 min peloton ride I did after was awful. I’m still trying to build back my stamina and feel good about myself again, so I’m glad to know I’m not alone. we can both do this. Also my husband says similar things – be nice to yourself and take it one step at a time. ❤️

    9.21.21 Reply
  35. Kate:

    100% relate to this, especially this part: “ I am a beginner again and I HATE it.” The thought of “starting over” after now 1.5 years (!), and STILL in a pandemic, is just discouraging.

    9.21.21 Reply
  36. mary:

    Don’t hate me for saying this, but as a few-years-ahead-of-you 40-something, my guess is you are probably feeling a little bit of middle age creeping in and that’s ok. It’s a new chapter of life and we need to readjust our expectations of ourselves. It’s a time for more serious self-care, rest, introspection, new hobbies, new workout routines and nurturing the relationships that are very close to us while letting others go. I literally can’t accomplish half the things I used to be able to do in a day of my 20/30s and instead of being mad about it, I marvel. I heard a podcast with Tina Fey about how she’s ready to rest on her laurels and I thought that was such a good way to look at it. We don’t stop working or trying, but we can relax a little bit. The good news? There are very few over 40 bloggers out there and we NEED your style suggestions and general inspiration. Thank you for this post and we look forward to seeing what’s next from you. I hope we can all talk about aging more.

    9.21.21 Reply
    • Wendy:

      As a 43 yr old, I feel like I’m been perpetually tired for the last 3 yrs. Thanks aging process.
      I marvel at how my younger self could do all the things with less sleep and that is just not my reality anymore. Stay up until midnight? Oof like maybe once a month.

      9.21.21 Reply
  37. Sarah:

    What a beautiful, vulnerable, wholly relatable post. Thank you for articulating so much of what my 38 year old, post-lockdowns mind, body and spirit have been feeling!

    9.21.21 Reply
  38. Eliza:

    Be nicer to yourself absolutely but also make sure you’ve been to the doctor for a physical recently! I know a lot of us put it off during the pandemic but anytime you’re feeling unusually tired or easily fatigued for yourself it’s worth getting a proper check up.

    9.21.21 Reply
  39. Abby:

    I relate to this big time right now. I was just talking to my mom this morning about how everything feels incredibly hard right now. I have missed appointments for the first time in my life, mundane errands feel like a weight on my shoulders, and I am in bed by 8 PM most nights. I feel like this is maybe a delayed grief from the last year and a half? Whatever it is I am just working with the motto “grace on grace”. I say it over and over and over again to myself right now.

    Sending love to you. We got this, but damn it feels like we don’t sometimes.

    9.21.21 Reply
    • Emily Ashton:

      I have missed appointments for the first time in my life too and that has literally never happened to me! It’s so scary and strange that the world could shift so radically and we are expected to keep functioning…. I am also super fatigued and just want to nap most days. I’m a new(ish) mom and working full time and it’s just crazy to me sometimes!

      Also sending love to everyone on this post!! <3

      9.21.21 Reply
  40. Grace:

    Wow! So grateful you posted this today, I was just thinking about how I’m feeling totally burnt out and incapable of preforming the way I used to. I’m so thankful that you put words to this, and made me feel less alone <3

    9.21.21 Reply
  41. Morgan:

    Grace, thank you for sharing this! I am in tears at the end over the reminder to be nicer to yourself — I really needed to hear that today on a day when I’m beating myself up over not being as far along on a work project as I’d like, not having grocery shopped over the weekend, having one too many glasses of wine last night, having a sick puppy, not having worked out in ages. I haven’t known how to describe this very blah way I’ve been feeling lately, but a “lack of stamina” really hits the nail on the head. Here’s to being nicer to ourselves and taking this all one step at a time.

    9.21.21 Reply
  42. Kelley:

    Resonates so much. Thanks for writing.

    9.21.21 Reply
  43. Nicole:

    Same to a t. 38 and perpetually exhausted. I hate myself for all the things I knowI should be doing better but just can’t right now. So I try to take it one day at a time. On the flip side, looks like we have a gang here. So let’s celebrate that we feel seen and understood . And happy birthday! The best is yet to come!

    9.21.21 Reply
  44. Chelsea:

    Another person chiming in to say you’re not alone in this. I’m still in NYC and have zero stamina or energy for much of everything. I actually had to recently quit my job at a nonprofit because I’m so burned out. These past couple years have been so traumatic and we still have a lot left to go, and it’s going to keep being hard. I think everyone is going to be dealing with similar issues over the next few years, to be honest. I wish I had advice. I don’t.

    9.21.21 Reply
  45. Danielle:

    Why did this make me cry? Because I feel seen! I wasn’t even necessarily in fighting shape before, but I did up my movement (and drop some lbs) during quarantine–only to gain it back. But beyond that, in general I’m exhausted by anything and everything too so thank you for sharing

    9.21.21 Reply
  46. Melanie:

    Woah. This. All of this. I’m 46 & realized I was experiencing perimenopause during lockdown so I feel this deeply. But I think your SO is right. Patience, kindness – for ourselves & others because I do believe we are all experiencing this on some level. BTW, Brene Brown did a great podcast with Amy Cuddy about this. Insightful. But thank you for your words – they resonated & it feels good to know we’re not alone. Happy early birthday!!

    9.21.21 Reply
    • Claudia:

      I’m 47 and realized the same thing! Perimenopause and an existential crisis that I’m still trying to work through in the midst of a pandemic make for a very challenging time. Working from home means extra time to overanalyze and question, at least for me. Working from home with a husband that also works from home and raising two teenagers has proven to be more than I can handle most days. And I agree with a previous poster that said there are not enough 40+ bloggers out there that talk about all the things women at this stage of life are challenged by….Happy Early Birthday!

      9.22.21 Reply
  47. Chelsea:

    Grace- I have been swirling trying to understand what it is that I’m feeling/ why am I not my “typical self”. Running, work, seeing friends, etc I just don’t feel on my game and it’s been so frustrating. This is exactly how I feel and it’s such a relief to know I’m not the only one! Also from my standpoint- I look at you and am amazed over how much you do, how great you look, etc! Thank you so much for writing this and being so open!!

    9.21.21 Reply
    • Gail:

      I am quite a bit older than most of you. It feels like my body has aged drastically in the last eighteen months. I have gained weight. Pre-pandemic I exercised moderately each week. I think much of my lethargy comes from so much more time just sitting. Pre-pandemic I commuted to work daily, had lunch with friends, stopped at the grocery store, went to a child’s school function or sporting event during the week. On weekends we shopped, went to restaurants with friends, visited art fairs, museums and parks, went to concerts and on vacations. I wan’t always exercising but my body was MOVING. I am grateful to be healthy and vaccinated but it has been hard to re-discover that social energy and stimulation while being socially conscious about crowds and masking. I still feel like I am in a pandemic fog.

      9.21.21 Reply
  48. KMR:

    THIS! I feel ALL of this. Thank you for sharing and I 100% identify with everything you said.

    9.21.21 Reply
  49. Cathy:

    This is a great post, Grace. Thank you for opening up to us, as I think you have expressed things that so many of us are going through. I will echo that I think some of this may be hormonal changes. I suggest getting your bloodwork done to check estrogen and testosterone levels. Very low testosterone levels can account for some issues you are experiencing and the pandemic just multiplies those effects. And why is it so hard for us to be nice to ourselves?

    9.21.21 Reply
  50. Jessica:

    First of all, happy birthday! It’s understandable to have emotions of all kinds bubbling up around a ‘milestone’ birthday, but honestly the number matters not. What matters is what you feel you e accomplished this far, what you’ve learned from your prior years, and how you can take all of that wisdom and experience going forward to continue to do great things that bring YOU joy and make YOU proud.

    That said, this hit home hard. I couldn’t agree more about the exercise/body image piece especially, and can even attest that my own frustration with my exhaustion drove me to push too hard into injuring myself. I mention it as a word of caution: the stress we’ve all endured (in any socioeconomic class… we’ve all had some kind of stress from this crazy time we’re living in) has physical and mental consequences alike (read: languishing ala the NYT), so it’s difficult but don’t push too hard!

    You’re in good company (and it sounds like you have great support around you- yay!). The fatigue and struggles are real. Having compassion for oneself seems woo and impossible, but at the very least, I offer you whatever comfort comes in knowing you’re not alone, and that based on your prior achievements (BOP listener/blog follower here!), you’ll prevail. As someone who takes care of of a household by myself, I know it’s up to me to get things done. It’s that drive and responsibility that’ll keep you pressing on, too-fast, slow, or otherwise, day-dependent. And whatever that pace is, it’s fine. One day at a time.

    Take care, Grace 🙂

    9.21.21 Reply
  51. Sarah:

    Thanks for sharing Grace, and I can relate! I would also encourage you to be kind to yourself – the past 18 months in COVID has been challenging for all of us in different ways.

    I’m 40 now. Juggling two children with full-time jobs this past year and a half has been a lot stamina wise. I realized I was sluggish and getting headaches most mornings if I had any alcohol. I had to really cut back on any alcohol (feel so much better!) and I go to bed at like 9:30 p.m./10 p.m. I also added in making Dr. Weil’s energizing tonic multiple times a week (just make it in my blender) and that’s also been a game changer: https://www.drweil.com/diet-nutrition/recipes/energizing-green-tonic/

    One of my goals is to also get back into yoga:)

    9.21.21 Reply
  52. Caroline:

    Yes yes yes yes yes. All of this. Yes.

    You’re not alone. I feel like I don’t remember how to be as productive as I was in college or even 2 years ago. The pandemic broke me down. Then my (now former) job basically kept moving me around and asking me to do 3 and 4 times the work for the same pay, constantly asking me for way more than I was humanly capable of, and it was… not great.

    I will say hiking has gotten easier for me. I started doing barre3 classes online a few days a week + more traditional strength training + yoga, and I can drag my ass up some steep trails now. Taking a lot of water and wearing the right shoes are crucial for me though. If I haven’t had enough water or eaten something with protein & iron and taken my vitamins (I’m vegetarian) it’s also like 2 seconds to meltdown about halfway in. I think part of being not in your early 20s is doing all the extra prep work before a hike or really tough workout. It’s like a skincare routine, but for my body. I honestly feel like you kind of influenced me to even approach it that way.

    Thanks for sharing!

    9.21.21 Reply
  53. Bente:

    Internet hugs for sure. Please let go of the guilt. There is no reason to feel guilty for your life. You worked (and continue to work) damn hard to get where you are. It is one thing to recognize factors that helped along the way but do not get mired in guilt.

    9.21.21 Reply
  54. Stephanie:

    This totally resonated with me, but for slightly different reasons. 2 years ago I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder which greatly impacts my mobility and leaves me stiff and in pain much of the time. Prior to that, I was dancing weekly, going to the gym, and taking regular yoga classes. Our gym shut down with COVID as did my dance studio so all of the stuff I was doing, which can actually help me stay mobile, stopped. Now it’s mostly daily walks and stretching, but even that can be rough. I’m only 35 and feel 60 most days. The worst part is that on the outside I look “normal” so people don’t get it when I complain about pain or not being able to do what I once did. Hoping that things will improve as COVID settles down (getting back to the gym and dance), but I’m doing what I can. I will say that our bodies will usually tell us what they need, so maybe yours was telling you to slow down a bit? Hope you feel more like yourself soon!

    9.21.21 Reply
  55. Kaitlyn:

    Thank you for sharing! I’m in my last year of my 20s and resonate with this so much. My 29th birthday hit HARD last month. I found myself in a spiral of guilt for “not using the free time the pandemic provided wisely,” forgetting to give myself grace for just LIVING IN A PANDEMIC.

    At the beginning of COVID I was running a lot. I was reading a ton. I was focusing on daily goals that would eventually lead to “betterment.” I was calling long distance family and friends to catch up. These past few months, I’m lucky if I can muster the strength to complete a few work projects without feeling exhausted. I never want to run or workout… or even cook myself dinner (because dishes). I’ve been SO down in myself because this behavior is so unlike me. It’s frustrating because I went to run the other day and could barely complete a mile, knowing I used to run 3 easily. I think I hit the “betterment burnout.”

    I was chatting with my sister the other day and she said “it’s ok if your best right now doesn’t look like what your best used to be. Be patient with yourself.” It was such a nice and gentle reminder that it’s always one step at a time. Some days our best is just taking a shower. Other days our best is getting three things on our to do list done. Yesterday, my best was doing a great job on a presentation at work. One day at a time!

    9.21.21 Reply
  56. Alicia:

    Be kind to yourself love!! Honestly, I’ve been in the same boat this past year and I realized depression was the culprit. And not to say that you have it, but I also know from talking to my therapist that we’ve *all* gone through something traumatic this past year — between COVID lockdowns, not being able to see friends and get our normal social fix, etc. Not to mention, you up and moved!! Your body’s reaction seems totally normal and you’re not alone.

    9.21.21 Reply
  57. Kassie:

    Thank you for sharing! First off, lol to the “whining” content warning & second, it sounds like your giving yourself a break and you should keep doing so. I completely relate to the being tired all the time, and have also been doing MWH for over a year & a half. I recently started running again, and would recommend you try to fit some cardio in your life too. It gives an endorphin boost like none other. But of course you’re right, the beginning is the hardest part. Hang in there! We’re all in this boat with you!

    9.21.21 Reply
  58. Jackie:

    I really relate to this post, thank you for being so honest! I also struggle with being happy in my own skin and with my new routine, while at the same time feeling guilty about caring so much. I used to think I had to workout for at least an hour (and would), now I’m working on my new normal of 20-30 mins, longer if I feel like it, and that’s okay. I also think age has affected my alcohol/sleep tolerance, though I love how I feel after an early bedtime. Day drinks and early bedtimes are the sweet spot!

    9.21.21 Reply
  59. Allysa:

    Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your thoughts on this! I’ve been struggling with productivity and impatience/irritability, especially in the past few months – was feeling very hopeful re: COVID outlook earlier this summer, but the turn it’s taken has really gotten to me. Happy early birthday and despite everything, hope it ends up being the best year yet! 🙂

    9.21.21 Reply
  60. Amy:

    Grace thank you for sharing. I think many people can relate to this feeling, including myself. I hope that the iron supplement makes a difference for how you feel. I will say that I could definitely sense a difference in content on your blog since your move to Charleston but these are the types of posts that have kept me following you for several years now. Thanks for keeping it real.

    9.21.21 Reply
  61. Taylor:

    I feel seen — and reading comments from readers of all ages and family situations highlights that we are going through a seismic culture shift. Thank you for sharing!

    9.21.21 Reply
  62. Andrea:

    You are so not alone. I’m 34. I’ve really struggled this year with a lack of motivation. An almost apathy of doing things I know are good for me like working out, organizing or general productivity. I wish I had a solution.

    9.21.21 Reply
  63. Sarah:

    Thank you for this!!!! I feel like the 19+ months of COVID have all really emotionally and physically hit me in the last three months or so – the exhaustion, the overwhelming feeling of “is this just how it is going to be?” Etc. So glad I’m not alone and also appreciative of the perspective that things can change and we should be nicer to ourselves. Thank you!! (And thanks for creating content that helps keep me close with long distance friends.)

    9.21.21 Reply
    • Sasha:

      THIS- you nailed it! It’s that feeling of life resuming but it doesn’t look anything like it did before and wondering if this is just how it’s going to be. So well put!

      9.22.21 Reply
  64. LB:

    Ditto to allllll of that! I’m sorry you’re feeling this way. But know you’re not alone. I turn 40 in March and lockdown has been rough on my body. But I’m also left wondering…is this what 40 looks like. Harder to get those extra pounds off. Feeling tired all the time. Blaaaaah! Hang in there!!!

    9.21.21 Reply
  65. Angela:

    Grace- thank you for sharing! Like so many in the comments I’ve been feeling the same! It feels like such an effort to do things I used to used to automatically do like eating fruits and veggies and working out! I feel better than I’m not alone in feeling this way!

    9.21.21 Reply
  66. Lauren:

    As someone who also prides themselves on productivity and gets easily angered when I’m not meeting my own expectations, I’ve been shifting my mindset away from getting everything done and towards ‘anything worth doing is worth doing poorly.’ I personally feel like that’s easier to accept and follow than ‘be nice to yourself,’ especially because it’s true! 20 minutes of yoga is still better than none, and checking one thing off the to-do list is better than none. It’s an easy way to start building momentum in a way that’s kinder to yourself and your current situation. Hope you do get back to where you want to be! ❤️

    9.21.21 Reply
  67. LB:

    Also, reading all these comments gave me chills. What a great community you have cultivated here. YOU SHOULD BE SO PROUD!

    9.21.21 Reply
  68. Michelle:

    I feel this.

    9.21.21 Reply
  69. Keren:

    Everything you wrote resonates with me. Physically and mentally I feel exhausted. It saddens me to see in the comments that so many of us feel the same. I hope we will all recover soon.
    I’ve also turned 40 this year, so I can’t tell what part is the effect of age and what is the effect of the pandemic and the fact that I have no exercise regime. I do however think that my heat resistance this summer became much lower, maybe try a regular yoga class instead of hot yoga.
    Happy birthday in advance I wish you healthy body and healthy mind.

    9.21.21 Reply
  70. Shelby:

    So glad you shared! I have had these same thoughts and feelings, but haven’t really been able to name them! A lack of stamina perfectly describes it! I have had so many exciting things happen this year (also moved to CHS) and have just struggled to maintain the capacity for even the smallest things! Such a weird feeling from what I’m used to! Thanks for sharing Grace!

    9.21.21 Reply
  71. Jackie:

    I feel this! I used to work full time in an office and was really good about getting up in the morning and going to the gym before work a few days a week. Now that I’m fully remote, I’m barely getting out of bed in time to start my day. I’m so hoping to get my energy back to have a more productive start to my day but it’s been really hard

    9.21.21 Reply
  72. Lindsey:

    Thanks for sharing. I have felt similarly through the pandemic and loss of stamina is a great way to describe it. I’ve lost motivation and energy in ways I never thought I would. I never used nap and now I want them all the time. Im still working out with online workouts but def with less enthusiasm. And the softness is real. While I’m sure your upcoming birthday is bringing it all into focus, I’m 42 and I wasn’t till this year that I’ve felt this way. So, I think it may be more pandemic than age. I try to go easy on myself but some days it’s a struggle. Happy early birthday, hope you have a great day and that the coming year brings you all the happiness and renewal you deserve!

    9.21.21 Reply
  73. Christie:

    I’m 30 and I feel like this!! Between the pandemic and beating cancer 3x right when the pandemic began… I am BEYOND exhausted. I feel like I barely have any motivation for a lot of things that I used to love. I’m hoping it comes back!!

    9.21.21 Reply
  74. Megan:

    I really feel this, you hit the nail on the head. Love your boyfriends’s advice <3. It’s hard but he’s right, and these last 2 years have been A LOT on everyone. THANK YOU for being so open and honest, it’s nice to know we’re not alone in our feelings.

    9.21.21 Reply
  75. Becky:

    This post almost brought me to tears. I relate to the feeling unproductive and tired aspect ALOT. Have been reflecting a lot lately on the pre-pandemic version of me and how much I miss that person. The old me was much happier, healthier (mentally and physically) energetic, hopeful and fulfilled. I hope we can all find some version of our old selves again someday

    9.21.21 Reply
  76. Beth:

    The state of our lives right now is turmoil – the Pandemic has affected us all in ways we may not even recognize. We’re all experiencing something and its different across the board – physically and emotionally. Hugs to you. Thanks for sharing. Its so relatable. I hope you have a great day. <3

    9.21.21 Reply
  77. Kathy:

    Extremely relatable.

    9.21.21 Reply
  78. Anne:

    Thank you for sharing. I’ve gained weight the past 2 years – thanks to the pandemic, also because I’m happy and in a relationship – and I’m really beating myself up about it. I also feel more sedentary and lack stamina. Trying to work on that!

    9.21.21 Reply
  79. Trish:

    I’m feeling ALL of this. From being tired in the middle of the day, to less productive, to disappointed in my body that’s a little softer than it was two years ago. I’ve really been struggling on all these fronts.

    I love the reminder that you’ll get back to where you were but I want to remind you where you are now is also pretty damn amazing! Hard to see it when you’re in it but you DID hike up a massive mountain, you DID go to your hour long yoga class, you’re getting through the to do list. You are doing amazing (and looking amazing while doing it!). It’s so hard to remember that we are our own worst critics. But it’s so true. We’ve all got to be a little nicer to ourselves and give ourselves a little bit of grace. ❤️ I’m trying to give myself some positive affirmations everyday. I heard on this Oprah podcast that when you’re feeling bad about yourself physically, look at yourself naked in the mirror and say, “how blessed am I to live in this beautiful vessel” while really taking yourself in. And say it over and over. It’s so cheesy, but I swear it does kind of help!

    When I have that urge to nap in the middle of the day, taking a walk—even just around the block—makes me feel like a new person. Hoping we can all shake off this feeling soon. Thanks for your vulnerability. ❤️

    9.21.21 Reply
  80. Lisa:

    I so much relate to this post. The article by Adam Grant about Languishing hit me hard. It described exactly how I’ve felt. I also think that there is a collective sense of trauma over everything that has occurred along with the changes in our lives, and for you, with a move on top of it. Thank you for sharing your honest thoughts and feelings. It’s why I’ve always loved following you and your blog.

    9.21.21 Reply
  81. Eileen:

    The humility and vulnerability it took to share this post with us took my breath away. I echo the others in saying this is one of your best posts – authentic and bold, but softened by whispering a truth of our human condition into the void. It is why so many of us continue to listen to your voice.

    It seems an apt end to this post would borrow from the melancholy only Fitzgerald could capture in English – “And so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

    9.21.21 Reply
  82. Emily Mann:

    Oof yes. Yes to all of this. Covid fatigue has really hit and I am…so…tired… Thanks for sharing, Grace.

    9.21.21 Reply
  83. Kata:

    Oh my gosh! This is my favorite post you’ve ever written! This. is. Me.
    All. The. Time.
    Ok I’m 30 and have a 9 months old so there is that. But otherwise you articulated perfectly what I’ve been trying to pinpoint for months! I thought it this was mostly me only. Not having enough energy, I often feel lethargic and just generally less enthusiastic about a lot of things. The one thing I realized I must do is be intentional about my workouts. I pre-book all of them for the week so there is almost no chance that I’ll cancel any. If I don’t workout I feel even worse so this is a must.
    Again, great post Grace, thank you for sharing!

    9.21.21 Reply
  84. Kathleen:

    I think being kinder and gentler with yourself really is key. I’m 41… nearly 42, as much I kind of hate it, I guess I’d say I’m trying to lower expectations for myself and accept the inevitability that I just can’t do everything I had energy for at 31 or even 37. I can’t work a 60 hour week (nor do I want to.) I’m trying to set realistic exercise goals: 10 minutes 4-5x a week. It’s hard to make excuses not to carve out 10 minutes for myself, but more than that just isn’t feasible for me most days—but something is better than nothing, even if it’s just a walk. I’m trying to remind myself not to have the 3rd glass of wine b/c I literally will feel negative effects of that glass for at least 2 days. I think holding ourselves to a standard of needing to maintain what we could do in our thirties is just a recipe for a recurring cycle of disappointment and self loathing. Instead, let’s appreciate being wise enough to recognize what’s realistic and achievable, that at this age hopefully we don’t have so much to prove that working 60 hours is even necessary anymore. Time to just breathe and sit in our tie dye sweat suits rewatching Gossip Girl is a perfectly fine way to spend some time. Thanks for this post.

    9.21.21 Reply
  85. Crystian:

    I’m 26 and feel the exact same!!! Thank you for putting words to it. Lack of stamina! Working out, working, cleaning my house, just being awake? I feel so disappointed in myself a lot of the time! But I’m trying to remember that the world is so hard right now and we’re constantly being fed awful, terrible news and we deserve some grace (punny lol)!

    9.21.21 Reply
  86. M.:

    I’m 32 and every single thing in this post resonated with me. I think it’s the pandemic, not middle age.

    Like one, at first I thought it was in my head but some days there is an actual roll and some days not. It changes. Wtf.

    More importantly… the pandemic has taken a lot out of all of us. I used to lift weights 4x per week in the gym and no amount of home lock down workouts in my tiny apartment were able to maintain my muscle mass. I feel flabby and so week. Going to the gym bums me out because I lift weights that are SO much lighter than I used to.

    Emotionally I feel like I have zero stamina. I’m cranky. I’m snappy. Groups of people stress me out. I feel like I’m somehow not allowed to feel this way because we’re all going through the same pandemic!

    Thank you for making me feel less alone.

    9.21.21 Reply
  87. Shell:

    Relate to this so much, thanks for sharing!

    9.21.21 Reply
  88. Sara:

    This resonates with me so much! I keep getting so down on myself for not doing an all encompassing “more”. It especially doesn’t help when social media is such a comparison trap. I just keep reminding myself that the past is the past, I did the best I could with what I had at the time (mentally and physically), and there’s no better time than today to start making changes. Totally recognize this is much easier said than done, but huge believer in manifesting that positive thinking!

    9.21.21 Reply
  89. Katie:

    This is 100% what I needed to read. Thank you Grace, for always being so vulnerable and honest and real. I think so many people in this community you’ve created can relate.

    9.21.21 Reply
  90. Jaime:

    I also live in Charleston and feel like the older I get (late 30s) the heat really zaps my energy. I cannot take hot yoga/ other hot fitness until it’s genuinely cold out. I think going from high 80s- 90 degree weather into an even hotter room is really challenging in a way I didn’t when I was younger. Not trying to give advice but letting you know I relate! Also thought the comments on Iron deficiency were very helpful & insightful.

    9.21.21 Reply
    • grace at the stripe:

      You know, I tought about that too – I was actually just saying to a girlfriend last night, why are all the yoga classes here hot!?! (at least the ones in my neighborhood). It’s HOT ENOUGH outside!!! I definitely agree, the heat makes me really tired too!

      9.21.21 Reply
      • Mary:

        Remember, our southern summers are long and it gets very monotonous towards the final countdown to fall. There are so many times I will look at the thermometer in September and October and I’ll be so irritated that it’s still 90 degrees. I know our Boston friends feel the same way when it’s still snowing in April, but the seasons will eventually change. I always feel a little energy boost when they do. Hang in there–and trade that hot yoga for a beach walk!

        9.21.21 Reply
      • Cy:

        I had a friend who swore by her Bikram classes, it’s just too much for me. Then I did some research and it turns out it doesn’t burn any more calories than a Vinyasa class. Why are we torturing ourselves? I just can’t!

        9.23.21 Reply
  91. Eliza:

    Wow, this resonated with me so much. I’m 38 and since the pandemic I’ve done the bare minimum in all areas of my life. Its like I don’t care and don’t have the ambition/energy to even try anymore; whether its at work, regarding my fitness, or in relationships (I’m single and really want to get married/meet someone). I too am extremely privileged and don’t have much overall to complain about; but I’m not my best self and am not striving to get back to anywhere near the quality of life I had before the pandemic. I’ve gained weight, I do just enough at work to get by, I try to force dating but I also often find myself wanting to go home immediately or depleted by social interactions. I keep telling myself “Tomorrow I’ll start working out again” or “Next week I’ll go dinner to catch up with friends”, but when the time comes my motivation and energy is nonexistent. I don’t feel sad or depressed, but I’m certainly languishing and have succumbed to ennui.
    I think back to days pre-pandemic when I woke up at 6am to hit the gym before work, cared about and put energy into my job, went out with friends 4 nights a week, had hobbies, etc and I truly don’t know how I did it or if I’ll ever get back to that. I’ve considered hiring a life coach to get me back on track, but unsure if even that would motivate me at this point.

    9.21.21 Reply
  92. Sarah Luscombe:

    Thank you so much for writing this. I am 32 and had to undergo 6 months of chemotherapy right before covid (finished treatment April 2020). I was previously extremely active with no health issues, then discovered I had Hodgkins Lymphoma out of nowhere. Anyways, I have had to recover from chemotherapy through this pandemic craziness. Instead of my life returning to normal and my continuing to lean on others for support, my support evaporated and I went from working in the office (I continued to work full time throughout chemo), to working remotely. And I’m still remote. I have used the same words to describe how I’ve been feeling – lack of stamina, “am I depressed” etc. etc. It feels good to know I am not alone in this! We will get back to where we want to be. It will take time and hard work, but we will get there. <3

    9.21.21 Reply
  93. valerie:

    I’m 47 and yes, things change… even from just a few years ago to now my body has changed dramatically. First and foremost: hormones. Wow, perimenopause is no joke. Ugh. “Expect inconsistency” is basically my mantra 🙁 And alcohol definitely impacts me way more than it did in my 30s, but I also don’t desire to drink as much as I did at that point in my life when I was going out a lot more and I was single v. being married now. And hey, I save a lot of money that way! But on the upside, I feel physically stronger now than ever thanks to a daily hot yoga practice (seriously, give yourself grace – every day is different and rest is ALWAYS ok during class!), increased weight-lifting, and 3x/week Peloton rides. I have a routine that I truly love, and I think that makes a major difference. Also, I have worked really hard at listening to my body and giving myself grace when I just don’t feel like doing one more squat or burpee or sprint. Women go through a lot in our 40s, but I think we become more in tune with our bodies and confident about who we are and what we want. That’s pretty cool.

    9.21.21 Reply
    • Elizabeth:

      Valerie, you are not joking about hormones. I am in menopause at 50 and it is brutal.

      9.21.21 Reply
  94. Alesya:

    What I took from this – you have a great boyfriend! When can he move to CHS?

    9.21.21 Reply
  95. Elizabeth:

    I do not think you are alone in your thoughts. EVERY PERSON IN THE WORLD suffered through COVID, we might not all have had the same experiences but all suffered. I thin that it is great that you are using your platform to share your feelings, and life…real life. I feel the same. I did hot yoga 7 days a week for 7 years and then we moved two months ago and the closest studio is 30 minutes away and I just don’t want to go. I have been trying to get into a new mindset but frankly I too am tired. I recently read an article that said we are all suffering some form of PSTD from the last 18 months.

    I am sure that you do not need me to say this but you are doing great, you survived lockdown, you moved(which is a lot of stress), you are in a new relationship that is obviously different than the last critical one and you are in a new place. Also, aging changes you, it changes your priorities, mindset, etc.

    9.21.21 Reply
  96. Brett Elizabeth:

    I.Can.Relate. One thing a friend of mine is helping me with is self compassion. Basically also “”be nicer to yourself!” What would you tell a friend if they confessed these things to you? You would be filled with compassion and warmth for this person and tell them nice and wonderful things. We need to also do this for ourselves. Definitely easier said than done. I constantly compare myself to others or to how I used to be and fret over why I’m always filled with anxiety. Why am I the one that gets so overwhelmed, overstimulated and has a lower threshold? But generally I think that about myself. Those closest to me don’t think this. I need to think more like them! She sent this link to me and it’s helped a lot: https://youtu.be/11U0h0DPu7k

    You’re not alone!

    9.21.21 Reply
  97. Alex E:

    Thank you for sharing this I FEEL YOU, my friend.

    After graduating PA school and passed my national board exam (a HUGE relief), my brain is telling me I need to get busy and be on the job hunt… but my productivity is basically zero right now. There are so many unknowns in my personal life (bicoastal relationships are rough), and I’m feeling really overwhelmed with a lack of clarity on where I should focus my energy or what the best next step is.

    I also am struggling to get back to a regular fitness routine, and I am particularly hard on myself in this arena because my first career was in the fitness/wellness industry. “This should be easy for you, stop being so lazy..” is a thought I often tell myself. So.. all of that said.. I am also going to work on being kinder to myself this week and commit to at least 3 days of moving my body, in whatever way feels good at that time.

    Thank you again for sharing this friend, you are not alone.

    9.21.21 Reply
  98. Sharyn:

    A pox on your last long term boyfriend. That is all.

    9.21.21 Reply
  99. Drew:

    I hear you so much on this, Grace! Pandemic fatigue is real!! I’m exhausted just from the strain of comping with all the craziness! Every afternoon I feel exhausted. I’m turning 44 on October 5th, and my body is not bouncing back from the weight I put on during lockdown either. Maybe it never will. It makes me sad. Yes, I agree, these are first world, privileged problems, but they’re still real and affect us emotionally. Thank you for sharing all of this!

    9.21.21 Reply
  100. Kayla:

    Wow Grace- thank you so much for writing the post that captures how I’m sure so many people feel right now. I read this meme the other day that said, add, during a deadly pandemic?!? At the end of everything you’re feeling bad about and you won’t feel so bad. So, why do I feel so tired during a deadly pandemic?!? And it gives you a lot of perspective. We’re all just doing our best♥️

    9.21.21 Reply
  101. Kayla:

    I needed to hear this today! I’ve been so hard on myself for eating candy and ice cream more than normal. Plus I have small upper body and lower body injuries that are limiting my workouts. I feel guilting resting and when I push myself thinking I will be fine, I feel guilting again the next day when my injury flares up. I too want to get back to where I was physically so I’m hard on myself when clearly my body needs rest so I can heal. I need to keep reminding myself to be kind to myself too

    9.21.21 Reply
  102. Meliss:

    I can completely relate to this. It’s like that expression “so much, ugh!”, is exactly how I feel. If I look around my life things are good… but I really think it is a delayed reaction to the past 18 months of worry, upset and uncertainty.

    9.21.21 Reply
  103. Jen:

    I think you wrote what so may of us feel. Thank you for having the courage to share.

    9.21.21 Reply
  104. Theodora:

    Ahhh thank you for this post and thank you to your amazing community of readers. I read this post this morning and then my dad pointed out to my cousin—in front of me—that I had gained back weight that I had lost a few years ago, and I came back to read these comments for validation.

    I moved from NYC to LA in mid-2019, and although LA is an active city, to me, it takes more effort to be active, if that makes any sense? In NYC, by virtue of just leaving my apt, I walked a ton without thinking about it, something that doesn’t happen in LA, especially during a pandemic! I also worked for a fitness company in NYC and so I spent a lot of time working out for work and as a way to socialize, without even thinking about it. Add in a pandemic/grad school, and I am so much more sedentary. I know the 10K steps is an arbitrary and BS number, but I also know I feel better the more I move, and I have a hard time getting steps in these days! Like others have said, I know sometimes it may feel like we are “just blaming things on the pandemic,” but living through a global pandemic (+ everything else of the last 18 months) is traumatic, and trauma changes the body and hormone levels.

    I resonate so so deeply with the “I’m a beginner again, and I hate it.” I feel this way about most fitness right now, but especially running. I’m a marathoner, and I can barely run three miles right now, and I want to run the NYC Marathon again next year. Starting over when you’ve been at a certain level of fitness is so difficult because it’s hard to keep pushing through when it sucks so much.

    Re:the midday nap: if you can, embrace it!!!! I fought it for so long, but I finally realized that I can either keep fighting through when I’m exhausted and not being productive anyway, or I can take what I call a kitten nap (10-15 min) and feel a little more refreshed after.

    9.21.21 Reply
    • grace at the stripe:

      It makes me SO FURIOUS when anyone but especially men comment on women’s bodies. It’s just so rude and gross and wrong. I am sorry that happened to you 🙁 I feel that about NY being active without even trying. I walked at least 10,000 steps a day, usually more! Here, especially in the summer, my steps have been down and you are right – everyone drives in LA so being active is more of a thing you schedule (like going hiking etc) vs a lifestyle, if that makes sense.


      9.21.21 Reply
  105. Christina:

    This all sounds familiar. I am reminded of a quote I read on The Fashion Magpie’s blog, “Is it (productivity/yoga/late nights) serving me, or am I serving it?”

    I can no longer do a long run in the heat and humidity of summer. It’s terrible and I hate it. So I take a hiatus until the weather is bearable again. Sadly, it took me DECADES! to figure this out. I can change.

    9.21.21 Reply
  106. Christina:

    I needed to hear this today. I have been so down lately – no energy and no motivation despite always being such a hard worker and go-getter. And, similarly, I feel so much guilt because I know I should be grateful for all I have and how much easier I have had it than most during COVID. It is a relief to know I am not alone.

    9.21.21 Reply
  107. Diane:

    Grace- thank you so much for rendering yourself vulnerable on such a public stage. I can wholly relate as it seems can most of your readers. I struggle with the ennui and then the guilt of feeling that way because I know I am incredibly fortunate to live in a progressive city where vaccination rates are high, my quality of life is very good and I am surrounded by friends and a supportive husband as well as a house full of furry and finned ones..(we just had a pond put in because life is short and covid..) Our daughter is off at her first year of college on a full ride and the list goes on, but still it is hard to motivate sometimes…and the scrolling I do-oy! and shopping..it has made me happy to keep up my sense of style during the pandemic..even if it’s just to walk up to our retail zone a few blocks away to buy toothpaste 🙂 we all must recognize that this time in history is unprecedented and asking us to bear more than we ever imagined. Be kind and gentle to yourself. You will find your way back to what brings you joy and thus energy whether it be yoga or a new endeavor. I am glad you are surrounded by love. That is what helps the most really at the end of the day.

    9.21.21 Reply
  108. Heather:

    Thank you for sharing this Grace! I have been feeling the same way and couldn’t figure out a way to describe it. This resonates so much and I’m so so happy I’m not alone in this.

    9.21.21 Reply
  109. Nellie:

    OH MY GOSH THANK YOU this is so me. I feel like I have no stamina!!!! I am a beginner again! I used to run half marathons and had to start couch to 5k it’s ok. We’ll get there. And we will be nicer to ourselves in the process!!!!!

    9.21.21 Reply
  110. Carly:

    Your writing brought up so many emotions for me right now. My vaccinated husband and young son have Covid- thankfully both incredibly mild cases, just know after testing when hubs lost his sense of taste. I feel like I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster and so much of what you’ve said I’m feeling. Thank you for being so vulnerable- it made me feel less alone on a dark day. Thank you, Grace. Please remember to give yourself some grace, and know that today is not forever.

    9.21.21 Reply
  111. Brittany:

    I totally understand this, I think for me covid has been worse for my anxiety etc. which leads to being unproductive, unmotivated and feeling exhausted. I am 29 so I don’t think it’s an age thing, more of a stage of life and hard to quantify the effects of covid when you really think about it. Lots of long term affects on our way of living etc which can also add to stress levels.

    9.21.21 Reply
  112. Kimi, Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair:

    I feel so much of the same things. It’s nice to know I’m not alone but it makes me sad so many of us feel this way! I’m in my early 30s and it feels like last year was a (terrible) dream. I can’t remember whether things happened last year or two years ago. My memory is even worse than it used to be.

    My body is also soft (the switch to WFH for 14 months really made me realize how much doing stairs every day at work helped me stay in shape); I went up a size in bottoms because I carry weight in my midsection. I’ve done a pretty good job not getting down about it (my partner has been super down about his weight for years so I’m trying to set a good example) but it sucks when I need to buy new clothes bc nothing fits (a total privilege).

    I’m also so unmotivated. My house is a wreck. How can two adults with no kids make such a mess? We can’t keep it clean. Most days I dread waking up and have to drag myself to my FT job. I’m trying to scale my blog and sometimes doing the things I need to do just doesn’t happen because I’m not in the mood. I just want to lay on the couch and sleep forever. You’re definitely not alone. xo

    9.21.21 Reply
  113. Caroline Klobas:

    Thank you for writing and posting this, Grace. ❤️❤️❤️

    9.21.21 Reply
  114. Tara:

    As we start to reaclimate ourselves to being able to socialize, I am finding that doing two events two days in a row has become a hard no. I started the pandemic at 48 1/2 and now, 18 months later, I am fifty. Life was quieter, but I was looking forward to getting out there and seeing people. What I have discovered is when we go out two days back to back, I realize somewhere during the second event I’m not having a good time. Im tired. We were kind to ourselves during the toughest part of the pandemic, why not extend that to ourselves now? So I told my husband one day of socialization means the next day is recoup. I felt guilty, strange to proclaim this. Didn’t I miss seeing people and need to catch up, hear real voices, see real reactions? Yes, but I also needed tonight…I invited my husband out to the front porch, on our couch there with a light blanket and two glasses of wine. We listened to the crickets and discussed another bug song we couldn’t figure out. He told me he has been trying to figure out that sound since a young boy lying in his bed with the window open in late summer. I visualized that, mustn’t he have been adorable! Now there’s something I wouldn’t have ever known if I hadn’t invited him onto the porch! Isn’t that small intimate moment a celebration of socialization? I don’t want to make excuses for the fact I’m finding I don’t gravitate toward large socialization constantly and may never again…is it age and a changing body? Sure. But isn’t it also that in the pandemic maybe I discovered the need for quiet and how healing that can be on its own…how lying in bed trying to figure out a bug song is productive, too. Restorative, that’s what I’m looking for now!

    9.21.21 Reply
  115. Kristen:

    Grace, thank you for this! I feel like I’ve been trying to add water to a very full cup these past months. I’ve felt challenged to get back into the shape I was in during COVID (with no plans, living alone and really not drinking I was in stronger shape). Now as I’m back to work in healthcare and adding back in time with friends, I’m struggling to make healthy choices. Between a terrible breakup mid pandemic (he was leading a separate life!!) and a sibling who has special needs and hasn’t done well at home with my parents, I’m on the verge of tears all the time. I feel terribly stressed. This post and all the comments really mean a lot, thinking of you and the community here.

    9.21.21 Reply
    • grace at the stripe:

      Oh Kristen, I am SO sorry. I got ghosted at the beginning of the pandemic and it was awful.. It’s so hard to deal with these things on top of a global pandemic/world in crisis!! Sending you so many hugs.

      9.21.21 Reply
  116. Sogol:

    100% behind this. I read a great article that basically said our fight or flight hormones have been triggered on since the pandemic started and that takes all your energy, mental and physical and focuses it on “staying alive”. And that made so much sense.
    On top of that like other readers said, you feel fantastic at 40 and then two years in it starts to change – trust me I’m there now at 44.

    The important thing is we change and so can our routines, we’ve convinced ourselves that we have to maintain the status quo but the world is different and so are we. I suggest really focusing on what makes you feel good.

    Quite honestly I’m exhausted AF – 44, peri menopause, work, not seeing family and friends, etc , And I don’t think the reality of the rest of the regular world news on top of it all helps.

    I’ve just accepted this new me and I’m focused on making me feel good.

    Thanks for posting and thanks to everyone’s comments, it’s always nice to feel not so alone.

    9.21.21 Reply
  117. Monica:

    Wow, this post really resonated with me.. Thank you for sharing as I think so many of us can relate! xoxo

    9.21.21 Reply
  118. Samantha:

    I just want to say I always thought of myself as one of your older readers/followers, and I’m so happy to see SO MANY readers in my age bracket. Exciting! Also, when us women hit 40 and start feeling off in our bodies, or tired, or lacking stamina, examine more deeply what might be going on with your body. Things REALLY start to change at 40 for most of us females. It was eye opening for me to say the least. I wanted to blame so many other things before acknowledging something just was always off no matter what I tried, and I couldn’t figure it out on my own.

    9.21.21 Reply
  119. Helen:

    The pandemic and our youth obsessed culture have a lot to answer for. I have accepted getting older and embraced the changes because what choice do we really have? I keep reminding myself it’s a privilege to get older, one that many people sadly don’t get to experience. It can be hard to adjust and some people don’t actually need to – I have friends in their 60s actually getting stronger, faster and healthier which is very inspirational (and I hate that word!). I hate the women in particular feel so much pressure. Well done on recognizing where you are at, acknowledging it and being mindful going forward. Happy birthday!!!

    9.21.21 Reply
  120. Lauren:

    Girllllll you are NOT alone on this! Life today is exhausting and unfortunately there are too many reasons why that is so. Take the nap <3

    9.21.21 Reply
  121. Cassie Stevens:

    I appreciate these words. I celebrated my 39th birthday today in lockdown in Australia. I have tried to make the most of it. I also have enjoyed WFH not going to lie cause I needed the break. The break to slow down, to get a little extra sleep in the morning, to go for a walk whilst there is still sunshine, to have time to make lunch. It’s the most I have looked after myself. x

    9.22.21 Reply
  122. Ailsa Emmel:

    Well, hot damn you did it again. I hate whining and fight it daily, but deep down I am feeling blah. Thanks for articulating so much of how I am feeling.

    9.22.21 Reply
  123. Jennifer:

    Girl, YES. Thank you for writing this. I’ve been really hard on myself about losing my spark at work over the last 18 months, like it’s this totally personal problem, but I think we all need to give ourselves permission to just feel burned out by everyone that’s been going on in the world. I’m having the same types of issues with body image, too. Sharing these feelings can at least help us feel less alone in them…. but I think maybe we all just need more time, too? Anyway, thank you again.

    9.22.21 Reply
  124. Camila Araujo:

    You made me cry. This is exactly what I’m feeling right now. And your boyfriend sure did give the best advice. We should be nicer to ourselves. These are not normal times and we shouldn’t feel guilty for feeling this way.
    Also, if I May suggest something: Here in Brazil is “Yellow September” (I don’t know if it applies on the rest of the world), basically it’s mental health awareness month (it’s more focused on suicide but you get the gist!), and if any of you feel depressed or with similar symptoms, please find a professional to discuss such matters with him. Our physical health is important, but our mental is too!
    Sending you lots of love.

    9.22.21 Reply
  125. Molly:

    This post put words around abstract feelings that have been swirling around and within me for months now. I’ll echo the hundred (!!) of other readers who have already commented and say one huge thank you – both for writing this so eloquently and for sharing it with us.

    I haven’t been able to put words around what I’ve been feeling but a lack of stamina is certainly it and the embarrassment that comes with it. My family wants to run a 5K during the holidays and I’m so embarrassed that I might not be able to do it. I looked at my schedule for the week before the world shut down in March 2020 and I was shocked to see I had been to five power yoga classes. I couldn’t even fathom doing one now. But as I read this post for the first time from bed….at 5:30pm yesterday because I just needed to lie down before continuing work, I realized that I will never ever get back to where I was if I don’t try. So I signed up for my first exercise class since March 2020 and I’m going tonight. Unfortunately, the stress of the pandemic seems to be here to stay; I can’t keep waiting for things to go back to normal. Thank you for giving me the clarity to realize that I can’t just keep waiting; if I want my stamina to improve I have to put in the work to improve it. (Sounds so duh! when i type it out). And for the reminder to be kind to myself. I think we all need more of that!

    (I will caveat this by saying that there are myriad reasons why someone can’t just do it – from low iron levels to depression to life circumstances – for anyone reading this who needs more help than you can offer yourself, please start with your PCP. You deserve to feel good and you’re not just lazy!)

    9.22.21 Reply
  126. Sasha:

    I feel like there’s nothing I can add but just wanted to join everyone else in thanking you so much for putting into words what so many of us are feeling. Your post came at the perfect time as I had literally just been texting with a friend about these exact feelings. I think as life starts to “resume” (sort of?) also the body image struggles are real. I’ve recently gone back to the office and feel like none of my clothes fit, I don’t even know where to begin with buying new ones and that definitely hasn’t helped with the overall blah feelings of all of this. Anyways thank you so much for sharing this- both the post and the comments section has really helped me to feel less alone! <3

    9.22.21 Reply
  127. Lily:

    Thank you for putting into words something that I’ve been feeling (deeply) too – especially the combination of having a much shorter fuse/capacity than I’m used to, while also knowing I’m in a privileged position in terms of my COVID experience (not getting it, having a job where I could transition to work from home etc). I’ve slowly been trying to get back into working out and anything longer than 30min has been really hard to focus on. And then I get irrationally angry, both at myself and at the world — also trying to be a little kinder to myself on this front!

    9.22.21 Reply
  128. Cy:

    Oh Grace, We are so hard on ourselves! I don’t think I know anyone that hasn’t felt depressed and exhausted. Our world has turned upside down, that and the added personal struggles we may have had to deal with. I caught COVID early on and the accompanied pneumonia ( no ventilator thank god). I was very ill, could barley eat and shuffle around my apartment. For awhile my hair was falling out. Then my sister and I had to take over care of our elderly dad and had the honor of caring for him for until he passed away 3 weeks ago. We were lucky that he was able to stay in his home and he died peacefully. Life this last 18 months has been joyful, sad, depressing , funny and every other emotion. We all need to be kind and understanding to each other and especially to ourselves. You as always look beautiful. You make me laugh, help me keep up with all the best books, fashion, travel, art and beauty finds. We introverts are not so good about tauting our acomplishments. We are not always made for this “ extroverted” world. You are the bright spot in many a dark day. “Put your oxygen mask on first”! Sometimes we forget that. And the 40’s are awesome by the way. Thank you!

    9.22.21 Reply
  129. Jules:

    I feel you! I experienced the same lack of energy starting 4-5 years ago – I thought it was just very serious work burnout (which is was in part) but it turns out I was also severely anemic. You may also be starting peri-menopause which can make you feel ‘off’ but is not as scary as it may sound. Check with your doctor and definitely be kind to yourself and your body. 🙂

    9.23.21 Reply
  130. Chelsea:

    Hi Grace – for several days after reading this post, I’ve been thinking about my response which is basically — I FEEL YOU.
    I went to my first workout class in-person this week and looking at myself in the mirror was so demoralizing. I still fit my clothes, similar to what you said, but my body has changed. My bras are tight around the bottom despite having been the same size there for 15+ years; my yoga pants also fit weird. And it’s frustrating because it’s just one. more. thing. to come out of this year of back to back big and small “bad things.” Also, I feel like our bodies have needed nourishment in the form of hearty food and yes, even wine during this time and I just wish it would be more consequence free – like can’t we just catch a break there?
    The other thing is, I went to opening night at the NYC Ballet on Tuesday and expected it to be this amazing experience with so much energy around being back in Lincoln Center after so much time. The ballet performance itself was stunning but the energy just wasn’t there. Everyone was kind of like “yaaay.” I think most of us are too exhausted and depressed at this point to get excited about anything. It has been so hard for so long, we’ve run out of energy for all things both good and bad at this point.
    Thanks for writing so openly about how you are feeling because it made me feel way less alone in this phase.

    9.23.21 Reply
  131. Sarah:

    This was very comforting to read – I am in the same boat. I’ve gained 10 pounds during Covid (and agree, not knocking my own body, trying not to shame, etc). But it feels different and I notice things look different. That, plus lack of workouts + my own laziness, is hard. I lack the motivation to get a short workout in every day. We are in different places mentally than we used to be, and it can be hard to get back.

    9.23.21 Reply
  132. Anne:

    Oh my goodness, I feel this so much. I am 41 and a busy professional, Mom, and wife. Here’s what I’ve learned – take the nap! It doesn’t make you lazy. I regularly take a short nap midafternoon. Frankly, it makes me a better employee/mom/wife. Doing work while feeling sluggish and exhausted doesn’t create high quality work. Taking 30 minutes to take a quick nap makes me more efficient and productive.

    9.23.21 Reply
  133. Erin:

    You did your job, I feel seen and can totally relate. Thank you!

    9.24.21 Reply
  134. JB:

    Wow this feels like my daily thoughts put into words by someone else! Thanks for being honest and vulnerable enough to post this. The past year and a half threw me for a loop, and I kept guilting myself for feeling so bad considering I was childless, gainfully employed, healthy, etc. But I hardly recognize myself anymore. I feel like I’ve completely lost my mojo, I can’t stay on top of work and obligations, I’m eager to be social until the time comes to be social and then I’m…just too tired! And my body is SO different. I just started running again and it’s saving my sanity and self-worth, but most days it’s HARD to get motivated to do anything. I’m sorry you’re not feeling your best, but selfishly, I’m glad I’m not the only one!

    9.24.21 Reply
  135. Natmari:

    Happy Early 40th Birthday! I feel you on being tired. I’m not in my 40s, but in my 30s and I’m tired more than in my 20s.

    9.24.21 Reply
  136. Kelly:

    I had my son at 42 (he’s now 3) and I feel that same feeling of utter exhaustion basically all the time. Is it perimenopause or preschooler?? Ugh…
    I 100% don’t fit into my prepandemic clothes and sometimes I truly horrified at my weird new belly pooch and how I look. I split up with my sons father 1.5 years ago and feel like I have to get back out there and start dating in the next 3-5 years as I know dating in your 50s is even harder than it is at 40. And at the same time I’m like who would want this chub body of mine?

    Part of how you are feeling I do think IS the pandemic – that life is sort of normal and yet not.

    Also, did you ever disclose the story of how you met your BF? Us loser singletons need relationship success stories 🙂 You may be feeling shitty but your new relationship glow is palpable! You’re just radiating and look beautiful of late.

    I am wondering though if all your travel to see him, your friends in NYC etc. is partly to blame – I was in a long distance relationship to London for 4 years and honestly what you are saying was kinda me then too.

    Finally, I fucking hate your ex BF!


    9.24.21 Reply
  137. Jennifer:

    I loved your honesty – your article really spoke to me as I nurse an injured knee. I turned 50 last year (makes me a little teary just to write that). My experience is that, as you age, your body will put up with less. You cannot take your body for granted the way you could when you are younger, whether that’s exercising without stretching, having a few drinks and a late night, or eating badly on a consistent basis. I have exercised more since the start of the pandemic than in 20 years but I find that I have to build everything up slowly. If a hot yoga class flattened you, take it down a level and do some easier classes (I know how frustrating it is to feel like you are a beginner again, that is what stopped me from going back to exercise for so long). You don’t want to injure yourself and not be able to do anything. Stay positive – so long as it’s not on a covid test!

    9.25.21 Reply
  138. Annette Scherrens:

    I resonated with so much of what you said in this post. Like reading my journal, really.
    I have been suffering, and I use that word because it is just that, from peri-menapause for about 10 years now. It.Sucks. Get your hormone levels checked. You do not bounce back from workouts as easily. You do feel worse the next day after 2 glasses of wine. I am constantly looking for ways to manage these hormone fluctuations and it’s not easy. Mainstream medicine is not equipped for women in our age group. Good luck to you and thank you for your candid portrayal of your life.

    9.25.21 Reply
  139. Rebecca Coutant:

    Thanks for sharing this and YES! I am 48 so WAYYYYY older than you 🙂 but I got hit hard with these feelings in the last few years and then again in the last few months. It’s tough because as soon as you hit 40, everything is going to be diagnosed as some stage of endless menopause. And at 40? That sounds crazy – it mostly is!

    But i JUST went to the doctor to get the full “I haven’t been to the gyn in 2 years….ok…4 years” exam and I have a swollen thyroid…I thought it was menopause (and I’m sure that can’t be helping) but there is more. Anyway…a doctor’s check-up turns out to be a good thing. Now I can work on figuring out what I’ve got and being on top of it.

    Just wanted to say thank you for this and I HEAR YOU!

    9.25.21 Reply
  140. Jen:

    This is exactly how I feel
    To the T
    Omg funny and not so funny but very encouraging
    I hope we get our energy and motivation back soon
    And happy birthday to you
    Thanks fir your story

    9.26.21 Reply
  141. Abbey:

    Ask your doctor about PMDD (Pre Menstrual Dysphoria Disorder)! It happens to some women in their late 30s/early 40s before peri-menopause and menopause. Your cycles are still regular, but your hormone levels are not what they should be or have been (and yet NOT at numbers that would qualify typical hormonal treatment). For me, when I ovulated and when I had my period, I had such a difficult time functioning – my body was sore all over, I was physically exhausted (to the point where I wondered if I was pregnant – which is impossible, as my husband had a vasectomy). I was so irritated and stressed out, waiting for someone to give me a reason to blow off steam. I KNEW it wasn’t normal for me and I hated it so much, feeling like I had no control or even recognized my body. (And I hated it affecting my relationship with my husband and small kids.) It’s taken me 18 months, so many women’s health/OB/primary care doctor’s appointments, and many, many questions asked to finally get the PMDD diagnosis. Frankly, I don’t think that’s a completely accurate term, but since there is virtually no funding for this sort of research, they’ve lumped this into PMDD. Treatment can be supplements (I tried, didn’t work for me – chaste tree oil, magnesium, calcium, probiotics, rhodiola, women’s vitamins, etc.); then birth control, and ultimately, adding psychiatric medications (such as zoloft), if the birth control doesn’t completely even things out. I have been on birth control for 2.5 months and I feel like a different person. It is such a relief. Get your hormone levels checked, talk to a women’s health doctor, look up PMDD and try not to be so hard on yourself!

    9.26.21 Reply
  142. Gillian:

    I relate to this on a very deep level. I have been struggling to feel good about myself, my fuse has been shorter than short with my husband, kids, myself, and my body is less than desirable in my eyes. It’s been hard and frustrating and sometimes I hate they way things are going. Thank you for writing this and making me feel way less alone. I truly need to give myself grace and love. We are surviving a pandemic and I suck at survival mode I’ve learned, but you are right, we can get through this.

    9.27.21 Reply
  143. Aam:

    I haven’t read all the comments, so I’m not sure if anyone’s put this out there yet, but I experienced a very similar thing (at an earlier age) when I moved from DC to a mid-sized Midwest city. The culture was more relaxed and less body-focused, so I gained weight rather quickly. Idk if it helps, but it could be related to your new environment. And it’s really ok for our bodies to change even if we don’t love love it when it happens

    9.28.21 Reply
  144. Marie wilson:

    Happy Birthday 🙂
    What your describing for me is accepting that I am a little older (55) and now I have retired and am trying to fit in all the hobbies and interests I wanted to pursue that I do need to pace myself. And, its Okay because if I do step back and rest that I am better company for others but more importantly for myself. Go Gentle.

    9.28.21 Reply
  145. Lindsay:

    I held off from reading this post because I thought it was going to be solely about the ability to run up a hill fast or not and I was already feeling sad for myself. To my surprise, this post totally resonated with me. I feel the same way all the time – tired. I am constantly sleeping or want to sleep, I went up a couple sizes and none of my pre-pandemic clothes fit properly, yet I’m very happy with my life right now. I feel like I just want my body and energy back. I keep reminding myself that there is most likely a correlation between them. Anyways, thank you, Grace, for making me feel not so alone. x

    10.5.21 Reply
  146. Lynnbcroland:

    I see this is last year but it doesn’t matter at all . What a terrific compliment to have a man say he loves your body as is no doubts but your own . It’s been a very hard two years and I’m very critical of myself too. I know I was blessed when I was younger but I didn’t think of myself as beautiful at all. I didn’t even feel smart because of what my ex husband told me . I take care of mist everything now because my sweet and caretaking husband has dementia . He always built me up and now even when I’m tired and want to sleep I have the responsibilities he had . My hair turned gray . I don’t get to do nails so much and I’m in sweats a lot . Yet he says I’m beautiful to him when he can’t remember what I like to eat or if I had a tooth pulled . You just put one foot in front of another and you get through each day even if you didn’t do much but do wash and wash yourself and your hair . You are definitely my hero because you are so honest and you care about people . Beautiful is outside only. The really beautiful you is inside and that us what people love ❤️ your friend Lynn

    3.5.22 Reply
  147. Lynnbcroland:

    I see this is last year but it doesn’t matter at all . What a terrific compliment to have a man say he loves your body as is no doubts but your own . It’s been a very hard two years and I’m very critical of myself too. I know I was blessed when I was younger but I didn’t think of myself as beautiful at all. I didn’t even feel smart because of what my ex husband told me . I take care of mist everything now because my sweet and caretaking husband has dementia . He always built me up and now even when I’m tired and want to sleep I have the responsibilities he had . My hair turned gray . I don’t get to do nails so much and I’m in sweats a lot . Yet he says I’m beautiful to him when he can’t remember what I like to eat or if I had a tooth pulled . You just put one foot in front of another and you get through each day even if you didn’t do much but do wash and wash yourself and your hair . You are definitely my hero because you are so honest and you care about people . Beautiful is outside only. The really beautiful you is inside and that us what people love .

    3.5.22 Reply