Feeling burned out? Energy levels at an all-time low? You’re not alone. Fatigue is real and it impacts more people than you might think. These days, almost everyone’s exhausted. It has become the new norm, affecting people of all ages and demographics.
We’re burning the candles at both ends, constantly keeping up with a never-ending to-do list while balancing careers, families and our personal lives. Our modern, technology-driven world has certainly made life more convenient, but has also taken its toll on our energy levels and how we feel overall.
Take social media, for example. Dr. Patricia Bratt says social media “can run the gamut from being fabulously uplifting to being totally depressing and exhausting.” These impacts, she says, applies to all ages.
Whether it’s caused by social media, stress, lack of sleep or something else, fatigue can be overwhelming. Following are a few ways you can fight fatigue and feel your best.
1. Get Frequent Exercise
You’ve heard it before, and you’ll probably hear it again. Exercise is amazing for boosting energy. Did you know that physical activity can increase energy levels for up to two hours? You don’t need to pump iron at the gym or run a 5k to get your “quota” of exercise each day, either. Ten to fifteen minutes of walking will do wonders to help you fight fatigue, even if you have to force yourself to get up and do it.
The last thing you may want to do when you’re feeling tired is to get up and get moving, but it’s one of the best actions you can take to help fight fatigue and naturally increase your energy. If the idea of exercising is intimidating, try starting slowly and increasing your physical activity gradually. 10 minutes is better than none at all. Try working your way up to 30 minutes at least five days a week and you’ll begin to notice a serious difference in the way you feel.
2. Eliminate/Reduce Energy-Zapping Foods From Your Diet
Have you ever noticed that when you eat garbage, you tend to feel like garbage? What we put into our bodies has a huge impact on our energy levels, and making even small adjustments to our diets can do wonders. Refined carbs, processed foods and sugar are all energy-zapping foods that might make you feel good for a short time, but often end up making you feel sluggish and unwell over time.
We’re not saying you need to overhaul your entire diet, simply become more aware of the foods you eat regularly that might be taking a toll on your energy levels. Consider eliminating or reducing your intake of these “fatigue foods” and replace them with energy-inspiring foods instead. Fresh fruits and veggies, lean proteins, nuts and whole grains are all foods that can enhance your energy rather than weigh you down. You might also want to consider taking a multivitamin if you’re not getting enough of the nutrients you need from the food you eat. Make sure to discuss it with your doctor first.
Be sure to drink plenty of water as well! Our bodies are composed of approximately 70% water, and even slight dehydration can take a serious toll on our energy levels, both physically and mentally. Research shows that even low levels of dehydration can alter cognitive performance and physical performance. There are varying opinions on exactly how much water you should drink each day, but many experts agree that 64 ounces (roughly 8 glasses) each day is sufficient.
3. Stick to a Regular Sleep Schedule
Lack of sleep is one of the main culprits responsible for stealing your energy. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day is a great way to help fight fatigue. Experts say we need 7-9 hours of sleep each night to get enough restorative rest. If you’re not sleeping well every night, there are natural ways to help you get the sleep you need to fight daytime fatigue.
Melatonin supplements are one option. Giving yourself time to relax before bed is another. Why not try a gentle bedtime yoga routine? Don’t forget to keep electronics out of the bedroom. The blue light that radiates from our screens is known to alter our sleeping patterns by delaying the natural release of melatonin.
4. Keep Your Stress Levels in Check
Stress is another major reason many of us feel fatigued. Let’s be real—stress is exhausting. How do we keep our stress levels in check so we can feel less fatigue and have more energy to face each day? There are plenty of ways to combat stress.
One of our favorite methods is to practice deep breathing exercises when we notice feelings of stress throughout the day. One technique is to inhale slowly for a count of four seconds and exhale for a count of eight seconds. You may find that doing this exercise for just a minute or two has a dramatic effect on shifting your stress. We’re also huge fans of starting the morning mindfully. The way we start our day has a profound effect on how the rest of the day tends to unfold. Just getting up and going for a walk around the block during a lunch break or after work can help get you out of your head and reduce the stress you’re feeling.
While fatigue is something we all face, it doesn’t have to control our lives. You can fight fatigue and boost energy with a few simple lifestyle changes. Are you someone who regularly feels fatigued and wants to fight back? We invite you to embrace these tips to help you take control of your energy levels and break free from unnecessary tiredness once and for all.
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Hannah Smith is Joy Organics Director of Communications. She is driven by her passion for providing clear and accessible wellness and CBD education. In 2015, she received her BA in Media, Culture and the Arts from The King’s College in New York City and before Joy Organics, worked as writer and photographer in the Middle East and North Africa. Her work has been featured on Forbes, Vice, Vox, Denver Post, and the Coloradoan.