Finding it hard to leap out of bed, tear through the day, and still have the pep to enjoy your evenings anymore? If you never seem to get enough sleep, are fatigued beyond reason, don't feel right, have trouble concentrating or making decisions (even simple ones), then it's understandable why your seemingly unbeatable fatigue has got you down.
If you're wondering about where your energy went, you're not alone.
While it may seem out of your control, know that the cycle of fatigue can be broken — sometimes quite easily. Simple changes can spark a return to your former energic, exciting self.
So why do you feel like this?
There are plenty of common reasons for feeling fatigued day after day. Maybe a short-term sleep loss problem has escalated or maybe you're working too hard. A big change in your life (like a change in job) could be an issue. Or maybe you're just bored.
You could be suffering a vitamin deficincy or the lingering effects of a recent illness. Too little exercise, carrying around too much body weight or not eating properly could also be the problem. Perhaps you have poor sleep habits or are getting poor quality sleep. Or, depending on the time of year, you may be showing signs of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Whatever the reason, here's how to make things right again.
Putting some pep back into your life will require a little work. But the payoff will be well worth the effort.
Let's start with some fatigue fighting nutrition tips:
- Drink plenty of water
- Hold that caffeine — two caffeinated drinks per day at the most
- Don't skip breakfast — or other meals
- Eat healthy — fruits, vegetables, whole grain foods, low fat dairy products, lean meats; cut back on high fat, high sugar, and high salt foods.
- Don't overeat — watch your portion sizes since large meals can drain your energy
- Don't crash diet — low calorie diets or diets that severely restrict carbohydrates don't contain enough energy for your body's needs
Now let's look at some lifestyle issues that you can control:
- Don't smoke — smokers usually have lower energy than non-smokers
- Get active — this will boost your energy and help you sleep better
- Enjoy yourself — there are tons of things you have to do, but make time for the things you want to do and get some work/life balance back into your life
- Do nothing — relax, hang out, don't worry
- Reduce stress — solve ongoing problems, even if this means getting professional help for personal or work issues
And finally, when it's not happening easily, make a plan to get that 7 1/2 to 8 1/2 hours of sleep most of us need each night to properly re-charge our batteries.
Time to see the pros
If none of these ideas help or if things get worse, it's probably time to see your healthcare professional. Ongoing fatigue that doesn't respond to common self-care strategies may be an indicator of an underlying medical condition. And that's going to require help from an expert.
Remember that you can find the help you need to break the cycle of fatigue, and to put that spring back into your step.