Fatigue seems to have become the new normal in our modern lives. Between the late nights at the office, keeping up with the extra-curricular activities with the kids, as well as all the technology and stress upsetting our sleep, it seems that fatigue is a battle that can’t be won. Thankfully, there are things that you can do that can help you feel refreshed and get ahead of the fatigue even in today’s busy atmosphere. These lifestyle changes are not only going to help you feel better but they’re essential for your long term health and wellbeing.
Fatigue isn’t just associated with sleep
While not getting enough sleep will obviously cause you to feel tired and you should prioritise getting enough, the way that we approach and think about fatigue also plays a factor. If you constantly think about how tired you feel it ensures that your feelings of fatigue will also persist. Avoid ruminating on your fatigue and look into other strategies to combat your tiredness. There are also other factors that play into our fatigue other than just sleep, like poor sleep habits. Work on healthy bedtime routines, such as reducing naps throughout the day, reducing screen time before bed and making the time to unwind before bed with meditation, mindfulness, or reading.
See a doctor during extreme fatigue
If you have persistent fatigue, a medical condition may be preventing you from feeling rested. There are many treatable medical conditions that contribute to feeling tired such as depleted iron or B vitamin levels, anxiety, depression etc. Getting regular check ups with your doctor will help rule out any medical issues that may be contributing to your fatigue.
If you’re not exercising, you need to. Contrary to what you might think, less activity is actually associated with greater fatigue. Gradually increasing your time exercising as well as getting up to move around or stretch every 30 minutes will help. You can also look to getting up and moving during your lunch breaks, if possible. Habits such as these will help reduce the feelings associated with the afternoon slump many workers feel.
Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake
Caffeine, while it may temporarily energize you, when consumed in excessive it will cause a caffeine crash which will leave you even more tired than you started with. Alcohol doesn’t help either as it will dehydrate you and disrupt deep sleep patterns leading to poorer quality sleep.
Many signs of fatigue (and hunger) are actually associated with dehydration. Our bodies are made up of about 60% water meaning that getting enough water is essential for good health. So before you reach for another cup of coffee or processed snack, fill up a water bottle and snack on lots of fresh fruit and vegetables that carry plenty of water and fibre.
A healthy diet rich in fruit, vegetables, iron and protein will help you feel more energized and will assist in avoiding conditions like anemia. Keeping your sugar consumption low and sticking to whole grains and complex carbs, as well as focusing on smaller and more frequent meals will prevent your blood sugar from crashing and the sluggish feeling that comes with it. It’s also worth taking a multi-vitamin, especially B complex vitamins, to make up for any nutrients that you might be missing.
Reduce stress and lighten your work load
Chronic stress wrecks havoc on your body, physically and mentally. If work is the major contributor of your stress, for your wellbeing, look into lightening your workload. Other ways to manage stress come with setting aside time for yourself with things that you enjoy doing, practicing mindfulness, yoga, and mediation or looking into relaxation techniques like aromatherapy.
If you need another reason to stop, smoking can deplete your energy levels as it can reduce oxygen levels making it harder for your lungs to do their job.
Unfortunately, if you’re overweight you may be more prone to exhaustion as your body is working harder to carry that extra weight around. Look to exercise and healthy eating and see if your doctor can help you come up with a plan to lose weight.