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Fighting Those Feelings of Fatigue

 width= There can be lots of reasons why you might be feeling the effects of fatigue. And if you can get to the bottom of why you are feeling tired all the time, you have a basis for coming up with a solution.

What are some of the reasons for fatigue?

  • Stress is one reason - and we all know how common this has become. When you are really stressed, cortisol keeps on flooding your system so that fatigue sets in and your immunity is lowered, leading to the possibility of picking up infections and inflammation.
  • Another reason is the lack of quality sleep.
  • Not getting up and getting going is another one. When you live a sedentary lifestyle, this contributes to fatigue in several ways. People who are sedentary often have higher levels of cortisol which in turn is linked to insomnia. They can also have an increased heart rate, lower oxygen consumption and weaker muscles - all leading to fatigue.
  • Are you letting emotions get in the way of your life? Negative thoughts and emotions such as fear, anger and grief can trigger a stress response, often leaving you feel drained.
  • How much caffeine are your drinking? Drinking too much caffeine later in the day can keep you from getting a good night’s sleep. It can even go on to cause fatigue the following day coupled with the desire for more caffeine.
  • Poor diet is relevant too. Eating highly processed foods that are high in calories and added sugar and low in nutrients spikes your blood sugar which in turn causes insulin to surge. When the blood sugar drops down again, you could feel tired and hungry all over again.
  • The Menopause is another cause of fatigue, often due to a combination of changing hormone levels and increased life stresses that together can cause a lack of sleep with night sweats and anxiety.
  • Although drinking alcohol can have an initial sedative effect, it will go on to disrupt your sleep pattern. Alcohol also acts as a diuretic, perhaps causing you to wake several times per night to visit the bathroom.

Now that you know all the reasons for fatigue, what can you do about it?

Obviously, coming up with solutions for all the reasons above that are causing your fatigue is paramount. But there are other ways too, here are our top ten tips:
  1. Take up a new hobby or activity. If you can do something you enjoy on a regular basis, it can energize you.
  2. Learn to relax. Developing a relaxation practice such as gentle yoga, meditation or Tai Chi can be a big help.
  3. Keep a journal. Lots of people find it helpful if they put their daily routine down in writing, discovering patterns throughout your day that might be leading to your fatigue.
  4. Work on the point above about a poor diet. Nourish yourself with real food while avoiding highly processed foods and sugar.
  5. Avoid long naps. You might be surprised to read that short naps can sometimes make you feel energized while long naps can leave you feeling disconnected, making it harder to fall and stay asleep during the night.
  6. Seek help from others. If you are feeling overwhelmed for whatever reason, getting help can make all the difference.
  7. Exercise regularly as this is key. It helps to increase energy levels, to improve your mood, to make you feel mentally more energized and to help you sleep more soundly so you feel more refreshed the next day.
  8. Remove the clutter in your life. This is because clutter actually increases your cortisol level.
  9. Find solutions for any unhealthy emotions. Suggestions include tapping (EFT) or cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) which is expressing how you feel creatively.
  10. Establish a bedtime ritual. This ritual can include turning off all electronic devices before and during bedtime, enjoying a soothing Epsom salt bath with lavender essential oil, avoiding difficult conversations, going to bed and waking up at the same time each and every day, sleeping in a cool bedroom and avoiding caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime.