In a world where being ‘busy’ is almost a status symbol of your success, it’s no wonder that fatigue affects us all. But if ‘feeling tired’ is always your reason for saying no to events, then you may need to consider what’s affecting your energy levels.
It might be obvious, but if you are always tired then the first thing to address is your sleep cycle.
7-8 hours is the recommended amount of sleep we should be aiming for each night, but this can vary from person to person. If you struggle to fall asleep at bedtime, why could that be? Do you spend all evening scrolling through social media apps? Do you check work emails late at night?
Try limiting your screen time after dinner — the blue light from your phone or device can affect your quality of sleep. And if anxious thoughts are keeping you up at night, try practising meditation or mindfulness to calm your brain’s chattering.
Getting poor quality sleep, or not enough sleep can affect your energy levels during the day. If this is the case, it may be helpful to improve your sleep by establishing a bedtime routine.
Eating heavily processed foods, such as refined carbohydrates and unhealthy fats, can make us feel overly tired and sluggish. Try to eat healthy, balanced meals at regular times each day to ensure you’re getting all the essential nutrients you need to keep energy levels consistent.
Food is fuel for our bodies and minds. Choosing food high in nutritional value should help you stay healthy and energised.
Keep in mind that if you follow a restricted diet, you may be missing out on essential nutrients that could affect energy levels. If you are vegetarian or vegan, consider taking a Vitamin B supplement — B vitamins are usually found in meat, fish, dairy and eggs, and (Vitamin B12 in particular) can help to reduce tiredness and fatigue. Low iron intake can also contribute to tiredness, so consider speaking to your doctor to see whether taking an Iron supplement is an option.
Dehydration can make us feel tired. Make sure you are drinking water throughout the day, and keep in mind that you need more water if you sweat due to exercise or hot weather.
Remember, not all drinks are equal. Caffeine and alcohol can also affect your energy levels. They are both stimulants that can mess with the quality of your sleep, and both also act as a diuretic, meaning that if you drink alcohol or caffeine in the evening, they can make you need to go to the bathroom at night, disturbing your sleep.
When drinking alcohol, alternate your drinks with water or non-alcoholic options to stay hydrated and limit your overall alcohol intake. For hot drinks, try decaffeinated coffee and teas, or swap to herbal teas which are naturally caffeine-free.
Ever heard the phrase ‘productivity breeds productivity’? Keeping active by doing some form of exercise every day can help you feel more energised overall. Try incorporating exercise into your day by walking or cycling to work, playing sports with friends, or simply doing some gardening.
Even better, you can use exercise as a way to destress. Many people depend on exercise to help them feel less stressed — whether it’s hitting the gym to lift weights, or taking your dog for a walk, any movement is great for your body and mind. Plus, reducing stress can lead to better sleep!
Yoga is a great way to unwind after a long day — you don’t need to be an expert yogi to try it. Improve flexibility, feel stronger, and relax your mind. Alternatively, try a morning yoga session while using essential oils to help you feel present.