Most of us are terribly scared of life-threatening conditions but we should have a few more goals than simply staying alive. Take chronic fatigue, for example – it’s not going to kill you, but how good can your life be when you’re feeling tired all the time (and probably fail to enjoy many things because of it).
If you’re crawling throughout the day like a snail, just waiting for it to be over so you can crash on your couch in front of the TV – you have a serious problem on your hands. Luckily, it can be fixed with a bit of dedication and a ton of self-analysis, aka. get to know your body and identify the culprits.
To get you started on your way to a more energetic you, here are some of the most common energy drainers and a few tips on what you can do to completely remove them from your life.
The way we sleep and for how long is the first obvious trigger to our lack of energy. Very often, although we think we get enough night’s rest, we spend the following day waiting for the moment we return to bed. Our bedtime routine may be to blame for our poor sleep quality.
Using technology before bed can prevent us from having restful sleep. We are surrounded with lots of gadgets and we are tempted to check our email , or watch a movie just before going to sleep. Thus, our brain activity is stimulated when it actually should be starting to slow down. The artificial light produced by cell phones, computer or TV screens also reduces the release of melatonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating our sleep and wake circles.
So if you have problems sleeping or falling asleep it is best to shut down all electronics an hour before going to bed.
Having a drink before bed time is another “forbidden” habit if you want to have a restful sleep. The common belief is a glass of wine helps you relax and fall asleep faster but it actually reduces REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, the deepest phase of sleep, associated with dreams. REM sleep deprivation can lead to drowsiness and exhaustion during the day.
Wow….it’s really hard to summarize what could be wrong with your diet and make you feel tired and energy-depleted throughout the day, and that without considering other cumulative factors.
I’m not going to tell you to eat your breakfast. This simply doesn’t work for everyone. The truth is, breakfast is a pain for some people. Not only are they not hungry in the morning, but it also makes them hungrier, pretty soon after. We could elaborate, but this is not the topic of this post so let’s get back to it.
What is important, in terms of keeping your energy levels up, is you need to know your own body, and give it food when appropriate (not when someone else tells you to). If breakfast gives you an energy boost and you feel like you can’t start your day right without it, by all means eat it! The same goes with the rest of the meals.
Just stay away from junk food – highly processed foods are major energy drainers. What you need, in order to keep your blood sugar and insulin levels stable are whole, natural foods. They digest more slowly and they’re obviously more nutritious, giving your body what it needs to function properly.
Speaking of, anemia is a common cause of fatigue and the first to blame is dietary deficiencies. A simple blood test should reveal if you have a lack of iron, or other key nutrients, such as potassium. An iron deficiency can leave you feeling irritable, weak, unable to focus and it can be a problem especially for women with heavy menstrual periods. Red meat, eggs, nuts, peanut, butter, spinach and leafy greens are loaded with iron so be sure to add them to your diet and pair them with foods rich in vitamin C for a better absorption of iron.
However, this goes beyond just iron deficiency – pretty much any major lack of a nutrient in your diet can be an energy drainer of “vampiric” proportions, but like I already said, blood tests can reveal dietary deficiencies, and set you on the right path to fixing the problem.
The level of dehydration is another thing to check when you feel tired all the time. Drinking enough water helps ensure the nutrients get where they need to go in your body. When you are dehydrated your blood volume decreases and the blood thickens. This requires your heart to pump less efficiently, reducing the speed at which oxygen and nutrients reach your muscles and organs.
Dehydrated bodies trap toxins and encourage water retention as a natural defense against the chronic drought. Your body is about 60 percent water, so be sure to drink enough liquids for it to function normally. Besides water, tea, natural juices, watermelon and vegetables soups help you stay hydrated and energised.
Move more and you will get more energy, as surprisingly as that sounds. When you feel too tired to even think of an work out, you should do exactly the opposite of what you want. Studies show regular exercise help boost overall energy levels in those who felt chronically tired. Regular exercise boosts strength and endurance, helps make your cardiovascular system run more efficiently, and delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. So next time you are tempted to crash on the couch, resist the temptation and at least go for a brisk walk, it’ll make all the difference in the world.
We can refer to stress as the feeling that things overwhelm us, and they became too much for us to handle. Anything which poses a challenge or a threat to our well-being is a stress and all that worrying can actually make you feel tired on the long term.
Our fight-or-flight response is our body’s sympathetic nervous system reacting to a stressful event. When your body is constantly in fight-or-flight response, your heart rate goes up, your blood pressure rises, and your digestive system slows down. Over time, this exhausts your body’s functions, which leads to chronic fatigue.Take a look at the stress in you life and try to eliminate as much as possible. Making time to take care of the inner you by praying, meditating, connecting with nature, or even sitting in silence is very important because it helps recharge you.
A messy office
You didn’t expect that, did you? Although you don’t like it, it is true: a messy office is counterproductive. Not only for the obvious reason, the mess itself, but also because all that stuff reminds you of all the projects you have to finish. Having a cluttered desk means in the first place you don’t have enough space to work because everything is all over the place. Also it is mentally exhausting because it restricts your ability to focus and process information. That is why it is best to keep on your desk only the items you need for the current project. If your office needs major reorganizing, avoid becoming totally overwhelmed by taking it one step at a time: start by tidying what you can see, then move through your desk and cabinets drawer by drawer.
Having problems saying no
Trying to be the perfect parent, the perfect employee, friend or neighbor can be exhausting. People-pleasing often comes at the expense of your own energy and happiness and in time it can lead to anger and frustration. It is ok to say “no” every once in a while and make some time for yourself.
What things in your life have you found to be energy drainers? And more importantly, how did you manage to get rid of them? We’re excited to hear your own experience and valuable insights!
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