by Katie Ferraro
If you experience fatigue you know that your mile-long to-do list doesn’t wait for you to regain the energy to knock out those tasks — and pushing through not feeling well is frustrating experience that can leave you feeling even more wiped out. Research shows that many times, fatigue can be related to lack of nutrients, basic human needs and healthy blood flow, meaning that there are actions you can take to try and keep those moments at bay. So read on to discover how to give your body the rest or nutrition it needs to feel energized, healthy and ready to tackle the day.
We get it — this is always easier said than done. But reducing stress and slowing down is so important in order to accomplish everything you need to do and have time to do what you love. This probably seems counter-intuitive and admittedly can be really hard, but it’s not impossible. Generally, on our busiest days, sleep and self-care are the first things to go. However, these things should be non-negotiable.
Getting at least seven hours of sleep and establishing a morning routine to ground you for the day ahead is the best way you can set yourself up for a winning day. This could mean reading a book, doing some yoga or writing morning pages when you first wake up — whatever works best for you to lay the foundation for your day. Everyone’s routine looks a little bit different. Need some ideas? Here are some great ones.
Of course, an established and protected morning routine doesn’t guarantee a totally stress-free day, but it’s a great start. Some of these self-care steps should be sprinkled throughout your day, especially when you’re feeling the heat of stress creeping in. Adding a five-minute guided meditation is a great way to re-center if you’re feeling particularly overwhelmed or are starting to feel fatigued. It can bring you back to calm, offer a clearer mind and allow you to pursue your list with a little less mental weight.
Don’t Skip Meals
Repeat after me: I will not skip meals. When we get stressed, the first things to go are so often self-care and healthy meals. And hydration? Forget about it! (Actually, please don’t!)
By denying yourself these basic human necessities, you’re putting yourself on the path to feeling sub-par or fatigued. You need healthy, nutritious food to give you energy to power through your day.
As tempting as it may be to reach for the quickest option, it could cost you in the long run. This also applies to caffeine, especially if you’re prone to anxiety (and that spike in anxiety can make it difficult to focus on the task at hand, leaving you even more exhausted at the end of your day).
Easy food options include wraps or sandwiches made with high-quality ingredients and some fruit. Not only will these be easy to eat, but foods like fruit will also help maintain your blood sugar without leading to a crash at the end. Additionally, sit down to eat and put your work away. Allow yourself to reset as another measure to reduce stress. So next time you’re feeling fatigued take a moment to assess the last meal you ate — chances are you could use a nutrition boost!
Let the Blood Flow
General fatigue is a productivity killer, and it’s something that can come with long days and endless errands. Give yourself a one-up by rolling on a pair of compression socks in the morning. Wearing compression socks promotes blood flow in your legs, allowing blood to be more available for your heart to source to your head.
Hopefully you’ll start feeling better after you’ve implemented at least a few of these tactics — both mentally and physically. Keep those good feelings going by rewarding yourself with an activity that brings you joy. You may be tired and want to skip out, but don’t look at it as another thing on your list but rather as something you get to do. Having a positive reinforcement to tie up your day will make your next marathon day even easier.
And remember: Fatigue can be a symptom of underlying health concerns, so it is important to check with your doctor immediately if you are experiencing any ongoing issues.
Katie Ferraro is a writer and group fitness trainer in Los Angeles. When she’s not writing or at the gym, you’ll find her somewhere in the wilderness camping, hiking or backpacking.
Lightheadedness (Healthline) https://www.healthline.com/health/lightheadedness
Treating Low Blood Sugar (UCSF) https://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/treating_low_blood_sugar/