It happens to the best of us! Sometimes we just get run down. Other times we get run down, and then we get run over, and steam rolled. . . resulting in crazy fatigue and what seems like an inability to function in day to day life. Anyone else been there? I sure have.
That was me last week. I was so far gone that I decided to go see the doctor. I got my slips for blood work, and then we chatted about uncomplicated fatigue management for middle aged adults (insert all the wide eyed emojis here- oh, and the one with the lady smacking herself in the face).
While I waited for the blood results to come, I decided to effectively do some research on things to help me get a pep back in my step.
Firstly, fatigue is a symptom, not a condition. It manifests differently for people, but it's typically a result of a combination of factors such as social, lifestyle and general wellbeing issues.
Here are a few things to ask yourself, in the comfort of your own home, to see if you might find the root cause of your tiredness.
I learned that 1.5 MILLION Australians head into the doctor's office for fatigue annually. 1 in 5 people typically feel tired, while 1 in 10 seem to have prolonged fatigue. The best news is that most of the time fatigue can get better with a few simple lifestyle changes.
Here's a short list that I compiled to help you if you're feeling "flat" or struggling with fatigue:
2. Move ya body:
Exercising regularly can help to improve energy levels and lessen feelings of mental and physical fatigue. True story. Boosting endorphins if easy to do, free and will help to carry you through your day. Try walking to work or skipping that Uber if possible. Ask someone in HR at work if they would be interested in offering their employees some corporate yoga during lunch or after work.
If you need some guidance to get your sweat on, look up local studios nearby that you can visit right before, or immediately after work. If you're struggling with fatigue, you'll most likely get home from work and then talk yourself out of leaving the house again. If time is of the essence, there are fantastic websites such as YogaGlo that offer free trails and you can do the classes from the comfort of your own living room.
3. Social media detox:
Take time away from social media. Have you ever noticed how often you check your phone when you're bored, lonely or depressed? It's scary to think that we've been hardwired by apps to look for positive affirmation from a screen the size of our palm. Even the way in which Instagram pushes notifications is strategic to make you feel a certain way, building an addiction to the little red bubble. I try to limit my social media time because I find that it's really easy to get caught up in the game of comparisons. I wrote more about this in a blog post here, touching on how checking social media first thing in the morning was a sure fire way for me to start the day feeling flat and unmotivated. Just like with the 3pm coffee craving, try to put the phone down when you feel the urge to check your number of likes or scroll mindlessly while at work or on your commute.
4. Head out to go in:
Head outside, to heal within. Try mediation, earthing, floating or yoga. There is a lot to be said for getting out in nature, listening to the birds or letting your toes kiss the sand. Plan your week and spread out your tasks, being realistic about what you can achieve each day. Be sure to include some of this "you" time. It might be as simple as eating your lunch outside on a bench during your lunch break.
5. Bye - Bye blue light:
Blue light (like that of your phone screen), inhibits the production of the hormone melatonin which helps facilitate sleep. During the day, blue wavelengths are beneficial because they help to boost attention, mood and reaction times. However, at night exposure to this blue light will throw off your circadian rhythm, which is your body's biological clock.
Try to make your bedtime routine sacred. Aim to have no screen time 30 minutes before bed, working your way up to an hour or more. If you think this sounds impossible, try to fill in this time as effortlessly as you can. For instance, after you turn off the tele or put your phone away for the night, start your evening ritual. I take shower, brush my hair, floss and brush my teeth, moisturize, wash my face and gua sha which takes about 30 minutes. Then I crawl into bed and read a book to help get my eyes tired and help me to wind down. Getting more sleep is the best way to help fight fatigue.
Hope this helps you guys. Fighting that flat feeling is no fun, but these little tweeks to my routine helped to make a difference.
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