We all have days when we’re tired and don’t have the energy to take on a busy day. That’s normal! On those days, it’s important to take a little time off, recoup, and then get back up and get going again. One or two days of low energy isn’t an issue. But an extended period of time sure is. If you’ve been battling low energy and high fatigue for several days, weeks, or months, it may be time to make some lifestyle changes.
It’s well-known that diet, exercise (especially yoga), and sleep quality play a major role in our energy levels during the day. But you can augment those basic practices with some other tools that promote increased energy.
Supplements and vitamins
If you know that you deal with an underlying medical condition that makes you tired, consider tailoring your diet accordingly. If you have an intolerance to a food, limit or completely eliminate that food from your diet. If you’re dealing with chronic pain, try foods that have been shown to reduce inflammation, such as turmeric. You can add more turmeric into your cooking, or you can regularly take a supplement like Terry Naturally CuraMed. This proprietary blend of turmeric and other herbs may help to lower inflammation and reduce pain.
Nearly 90% of Americans don’t get the recommended amount of at least one vitamin or mineral daily. A deficiency in any major vitamin can lead to health issues, which in turn can lead to fatigue. While diet is the best way to get all our recommended nutrients, if you need to fill in a nutrient gap, take a look at supplements. A daily multivitamin can help you reach your recommended intake.
Certain pressure points in our bodies trigger endorphins and healing chemicals throughout our system. Using these points is known as acupressure. Acupressure is something you can practice on yourself. Try these three points a few times a day to see if they make even a slight difference:
- Use the thumb and pointer finger of one hand to press between the pad of the thumb and index finger on the other hand.
- Use fingers to apply light pressure to the third eye point between the eyebrows.
- Apply pressure at the spot three finger widths below the belly button.
Acupuncture is another way to trigger these points. Acupuncture consists of the insertion of small needles in to pressure points on the body. Although acupuncture has been considered a homeopathic remedy, hospitals and other medical institutions have started integrating acupuncture into their treatments. Acupuncture helps with other ailments as well, such as arthritic pain and digestive problems, which in turn can lead to exhaustion.
Essential oils may also help increase your energy. Basil, peppermint, rosemary, geranium, and eucalyptus oils all promote energy and fight chronic fatigue syndrome. Many of them also can abate some chronic pain. Some of these, like rosemary, are effective enough that you actually shouldn’t use them close to bedtime, because they’ll keep you up! You can use essential oils by simply smelling them, putting them directly on your skin or putting a few drops in a diffuser.
Take care of your psyche
Fatigue can sometimes be a response to how we’re feeling mentally. Stress, depression, anxiety, and relationship problems can all contribute to exhaustion. Examine your life: are you dealing with any of these issues? While it is probably impossible to make your circumstances go away, there are some techniques professionals recommend to help you find peace of mind amidst the stress and worry.
- Meditation: Meditation releases a relaxation response that is the opposite of our stress response. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine demonstrated that people who practiced mindfulness and meditation regularly actually experienced better sleep and less fatigue than those who took a sleep education class! You can find special meditations that help fight fatigue. Some are only a few minutes long, so they’re easy to work into a busy day.
- Tai chi: The slow, mindful, circular motions of tai chi make it a moving meditation. Even though it is slow, it actually can also increase your strength and joint health. Those who practice tai chi report improved mood, better sleep, and decreased stress.
- Your favorite things: Taking the time to simply engage in your favorite relaxing activity, such as reading or listening to music, can turn your brain away from your stressors. Even this small break can play a big role in reducing stress-related fatigue.
Talk to your doctor
If you find that lifestyle changes aren’t doing the trick, you may need to consult a professional. You could be dealing with an underlying issue, such as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or anemia. Your body may be battling any number of undiagnosed conditions, including diabetes, fibromyalgia, arthritis, or thyroid disease. Your doctor may ask if you have any other symptoms. You might be asked to do a sleep study, to see if you have sleep apnea or another disorder.
If you’re taking medications, see if any of their side effects contribute to fatigue. If the fatigue is getting in the way of your daily functioning, consult with your doctor to see if there is an alternative medication.