Life is more of a marathon than a sprint. Sometimes we keep on going, with our lives stuck in a rut. There may be little change to our demanding daily routines, and few things to provide any fun. Over time, we can become stale and feel empty inside.
It’s impossible to separate our bodies from our emotions. If we are overtired and run down, we will feel flat emotionally. If we feel depressed, we will be tempted to just sit in a chair all day. Fortunately we can take control of our lives rather than just being victims. There are things we can do to address both physical and emotional fatigue. Let’s discuss them now.
Our bodies will feel better if we eat healthy portions of whole grain foods, and fresh fruit and vegetables. Low fat dairy products are good for our hearts and energy levels. Iron-rich lean red meat will help us stay alert, too. Stay off junk foods with all their calories, fats and sugars.
Eat at regular mealtimes and don’t skip them. A breakfast that is full of carbohydrates will set in place a slow release of energy that will tide us over till lunchtime without snacking. Anyone who eats too much for lunch will risk feeling sleepy while their bodies work overtime to digest their food.
Consider supplements and drink well
These are particularly important for vegetarians and vegans, and people who can’t eat such things as wheat, dairy or gluten. According to Supplement First, there are vitamins and minerals we can take to support our immune systems when we are feeling physically low. Doctors recommend that people take 500mg of Omega 3 each day for their general health. There are also multivitamins people can take.
Our bodies need to stay hydrated in order to feel energised, so drink plenty of water each day. Do this particularly after taking vigorous exercise. Alcohol drunk in the evenings can disturb our sleep during the night, so avoid this if possible.
Be disciplined with sleep
Stick to a healthy amount of seven to eight hours a night. Don’t go mad at the weekends either, as our bodies like routine. Stay away from computers and phones before bed as they inhibit our sleep hormones. Use light-blocking curtains, particularly during the summer. Consider wearing an eye mask if this is not possible.
If outside noise or snoring is an issue, use earplugs from time to time. Be mindful that overuse can push the wax into our ears and cause deafness. Sleeping tablets can help people, but they should ideally be used for a restricted season only. They usually make people feel sluggish and hungover the next day, particularly in the mornings.
When we experience fatigue, this can feel like the last thing we want to do. Actually, our bodies are like batteries with a ‘use it or lose it’ function. If we get fit and stay fit, we get the most out of our bodies. If we live a sedentary lifestyle, our health will suffer. Cardiovascular exercises are the most important. Brisk walks, or sports of gym activities are great. Do this with other people to make it fun, to increase your motivation.
Write a priority list
There may be psychological factors triggering this feeling of fatigue. If someone is experiencing stress, they should write down all the things they need to do, and prioritise them. People always feel better once they have done ‘that thing they kept putting off’. It may be that a change of lifestyle is needed, such as taking more exercise, or eating or working less.
Create a dream board and gratitude journal, and practice mindfulness
In order to have purpose for today, people need to have hope for the future. When every day is the same and it feels like drudgery, a dream board can save the day. Write down (or use pictures) a list of dreams for the future, such as holidays or new hobbies. Then write down ways to achieve these.
Gratitude journals are great from a neuroscience point of view, because they help us train our minds to look for the positives in our lives. Each day, briefly write down several different things to be thankful for, and review these each week.It’s also beneficial to practice mindfulness for a few minutes each day. This helps us focus on the present, and to step back from responding to every random thought we have.
When we do all we can to build up our emotional and physical batteries, we are best placed to live out our lives, be they for good things or challenges. We can amaze ourselves and become an inspiration to others.