Frustrated by fatigue? You’re not alone–most of us experience periods of fatigue at some point in our lives. Read on for the inside scoop on how to rediscover your energy.
Rule Out Medical Causes
If you experience severe, persistent fatigue, it’s important to see a medical professional immediately. Fatigue can be symptomatic of more serious conditions–if it’s your body’s red flag, then it’s important to heed it. Fatigue can also be caused by mental illness, such as depression, which left untreated can make it harder to take steps like those below–leaving you stuck in a rut.
According to the CDC, insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic. You probably know at least some of the big tips for getting better sleep: go to sleep and wake up at a set time, avoid nicotine, avoid caffeine or alcohol, don’t eat big meals before bed, etc. There’s a good summary of why we don’t here— and we get it. If you have small children, are in a financial situation that requires you to work long hours or deal with a crazy commute, 7-8 hours may be out of reach. But for the rest of us: make sleep a priority. You aren’t being selfish–sleep deprivation decreases cognitive function, makes you more dangerous on the road, and has all sorts of nasty side effects that hurt others around you.
Take it from a fitness convert: those people insist a morning workout really does energize you are right. If at all possible, try to get a run, jog, or brisk walk in before you begin your day or at lunch.
If you don’t have time for a full-on workout, regular jaunts may do the trick. Take five and go for a quick stroll around the neighborhood, or take a longer lunch hour hike. If you’re worried your boss or manager may see these as shirking work, perhaps leave this somewhere easy to find. Better yet, bring any of the various studies on the relationship between exercise and creativity to a supervisor or HR representative in person and negotiate how you can make walk breaks part of your routine. Fitness bands, like those from Fitbit and Jawbone, sync with your smartphone and allow you to set walking alarms to make sure you move every hour or two. To reap the most benefits, make sure your walk is fast enough to work as cardio. You can find a great guide for how to do this here.
Nutrition, Supplements and Vitamins
You are what you eat. A soggy fast food burger is about as energizing to eat as it is to look at. Think you’re eating fairly well, but still always sleepy? Try consulting with a professional nutritionist. They can run tests and use your medical history as well as lifestyle to recommend a customized plan that works for you without controlling your life. Remember: they’re people, too, and don’t just know how to eat well, but how to prepare meals that are easy and tasty. What’s more, they can recommend quality supplements and vitamins, using science to steer you clear of the “snake oil” solutions.
Up to 75% of US adults may be chronically dehydrated. And guess what–if you feel fatigued often, chances are, you may be one of them. Dehydration is a common cause of fatigue. Need help drinking your fill? Check out this article for some great tips!
Visit a Wellness Center
Wellness centers are great resources for holistic treatments for fatigue. At centers like ours, we have experts who can provide nutritional consults, genomic testing and all kinds of other ways to diagnose the causes of fatigue and treat them in a way that’s appropriate to your needs.