Waking up feeling tired? Hitting a mid-day lull? Get home from work and wanting to just crash on the couch? Whether it is seasonal, maybe the cooler weather and shorter days of Fall and Winter approaching, or more of a chronic occurrence, fatigue and lack of energy hits us all from time to time. Our society tends to lead a fast pace lifestyle and the constant go-go-go can take its toll on our mind and bodies. Feeling tired or fatigued is not desirable, nor is the lack of energy, all of which can cause less productivity and make life less enjoyable.
So what can we do about the lack of energy? How do we combat the feeling of fatigue? Below are eight tips that I do to not only help get me moving, but keep me moving throughout the day as well.
1. Get Plenty of Sleep. Getting a full nights rest is important. When you do not get enough sleep, you begin to lack energy, and if you go long enough with little sleep, fatigue will definitely start to set in. Aim for 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. If that means you need to go to bed a little earlier, do so. Have a hard time falling asleep? Turn off all the lights and electronics in your room. Dim your digital clock displays or cover any lighted displays when you go to bed. Even the most subtle amount of glowing light can disrupt your melatonin levels from rising, which you need to not only help you fall asleep, but to reach that deep, restorative sleep.
2. Wake your body up in the mornings. If you are like me, waking up and getting out of your warm, cozy bed in the mornings, especially when it is dark and cold out, can be a struggle. Your body feels heavy and you are moving at a slow pace. Get into a routine of doing some morning stretches to wake up your senses and promote energy. Take deep breathes and reach your body into elongations and gentle twists. Remember to go slowly, as you are trying to wake up your body, not do an intense yoga session.
3. Eat a protein packed breakfast. When you skip breakfast, or just grab a quick piece of toast, you are not helping your energy levels. Your body needs fuel to get going and protein and healthy fats are an essential part of producing the energy that your body needs. Eggs, yogurt, and even peanut butter can be good and quick sources to add to your breakfast to get you started off in the right direction.
4. Drink plenty of water. I always start my mornings drinking a glass of water, even before my cup of coffee, and I keep a full water bottle with me throughout the day to constantly drink from. Dehydration can cause fatigue, brain fog, headaches, and a lack in performance both mentally and physically. Drinking water throughout the day will help hydrate you, give you more energy, and give you an overall sense of well-being.
5. Eat frequently. Instead of eating three large meals throughout the day, try to eat slightly smaller portions, and eat every few hours. The more frequent consumption of food will help you digest the food better, reduce to feeling of sugar crashes and food comas, and give your body a more consistent level of energy throughout your entire day.
6. Take breaks at work. Sounds simple, yet so many of us either forget or simply feel like they do not have the time to take breaks. Take them anyway. Even if you have to schedule reminders to do so. Getting up and walking around the office, stretching your legs, and chatting with coworkers for a couple of minutes will do wonders for your energy levels. Sitting at a desk and in front of a computer screen, or slaving over reports and projects will fatigue your eyes and brain. Taking a step away and giving yourself a quick break will help alleviate stress and help clear your mind, refreshing your energy and productivity.
7. Movement and exercise. Ok, so when you are feeling fatigued and lack energy, you probably are lacking motivation to do any type of exercise too. However, moving your body, using your muscles, and opening up your lungs is exactly what your body needs to increase oxygen intake, expel toxins, and boost your endorphins (feel good hormones). If you are not feeling the heavy gym session of weight lifting or boot camps, do another form of exercise. Go for a run, take a yoga class, or simply take your dog on a nice 20 plus minute walk when you get home. I especially like the walk when I am feeling particularly fatigued. Between the physical movements, the fresh air, and having some quality time with my puppy, it helps me to de-stress, calm down from the busy work day, and clears the mind. I come back into the house feeling re-energized and ready to start enjoying my evening.
8. Unwind at the end of the day. No matter how busy my day is, how much work I need to get caught up on, or whatever project that I am working on to complete by a certain deadline, I always stop about an hour before bed, if not earlier. I turn off the computer, I set my phone off to the side or in another room, and I move myself to the couch. Sometimes I simply play and cuddle with my puppy, sometimes I pick up a book to read for a bit, sometimes we turn on Netflix and watch an episode of a TV show, a quick documentary, or if it’s early enough, maybe check out a movie. Regardless of what we do, I make sure that I am not thinking about work or anything that I am stressing about at the moment. I simply let my mind drift to something different. It is nice to let go and unwind. It also helps prep you for going to bed and getting that good night’s sleep that your mind and body is craving in order to combat fatigue and give you a renewed sense of energy to tackle your next day.
I hope my little tips and tricks to help combat fatigue and the feeling of lack of energy is helpful to you. I always like to add regular massages into my monthly plan as well, but there are plenty more ideas out there to help you out. Also, your diet plays a big role in your energy levels. If you find that you are chronically tired, you should consult with your doctor and nutritionists to rule out any serious health issues, that you are not reacting to any medications, not deficient in any vitamins or minerals, and that you are eating foods that are good for you. Food sensitivities and allergies can cause the feeling a fatigue as well. Talk to your healthcare professional if your lack of energy and feeling of fatigue is a common occurrence and is interfering with living your life.