Do you wake up feeling tired, does the afternoon slump hit you hard around 2 or do you overall feel drained? If you can identify with any of the above statements don’t feel bad you are not alone out there. Did you know that the CDC (Centers For Disease Control and Prevention) have found that around 15.3% of women and 10.1% of men regularly feel tired in the United States. The first step is being honest with yourself and tuning into these feelings. The next step is the FUN part, TRUST ME!
There are many reasons we feel tired or fatigued throughout the day. We are going to tackle some of the most common culprits:
- Lack of Sleep
- Nutritional Gaps
- Sedentary Lifestyle
- Stress Management
Lack of Sleep: It is recommended that adults get 7-8 hours of restful sleep per night. Let’s be honest right here, right now. If that number feels like a long shot I want you to evaluate what season you are in your life right now. Do you have a new baby, have you started a new job. If so, give your self some patience and grace and realize this is short lived even if it feels like an eternity…Trust me being a mom of 3 kids currently 10, 8, & 5 1/2 years old, I think I have been sleep deprived for at least 6 of the last 10 years but I have been too tired to keep track.
Here are some tips to help you achieve the most restful sleep:
- Limit your caffeine to morning hours so it has worn off by the time you are going to bed.
- Limit the blue screens (computers, phones) 2 hours before you go to bed – Harvard studies has linked that exposure to blue light suppresses the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that influences circadian rhythms therefore disrupting our sleep patterns.
- Create and maintain a sleep routine – try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day.
The easiest and the most effective way to increase your energy is to make adjustments to your diet. It is essential to have a balanced diet that includes essential vitamins and minerals to keep your blood sugar stable, which helps to promote even energy. To ensure this balance you need to be incorporating a healthy mix of fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains.
Here are some tips in eliminating nutritional gaps in your diet:
- Incorporate more whole vegetables and fruits: Try to have half of your plate made up from veggies and fruits.
- Vary your protein: Try a variety of lean poultry and proteins. Quinoa is an excellent protein, along with unsalted nuts and seeds.
- Cut down on sugar: Limit your sugar to natural sugar found in whole fruits. Sugar can give you a quick rush of energy but then you enviable crash.
- Increase your water: Lack of water increases dehydration, which not only effects your energy but also leads to constipation. Let’s be honest being constipated is a sure fire way to feel less energetic.
3 Essential vitamins and minerals that also lead to fatigue if they are missing are:
- Iron: Make sure you are incorporating chicken, turkey, ham, cooked beans, canned lima beans, canned kidney beans or chickpeas (all canned beans should be rinsed prior to eating), dark leafy greens (such as broccoli or spinach), dried apricots, raisins peaches or prunes.
- B-12: Make sure you are incorporating fish and shellfish, chicken, eggs, and low fat diary products.
- Magnesium: The old saying “eat an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Is still true! Apples are great a source of magnesium, along with beans, avocado, raisins and spinach.
We have all heard that exercise improves our mood and increases our energy levels…but I am here to tell you it IS ALL TRUE. Any type of exercise that increases your heart rate and gets your blood pumping, releases endorphins. With the release of endorphins your energy level increases. My advise for exercise is don’t overcomplicate it. Don’t compare yourself to others. Find what you enjoy and as Nike says JUST DO IT!
You truly want to aim to being active 30 minutes a day. I know you can do it!
Wow let’s talk about stress. We all have it and have to learn how to manage it or it will control us. Here we are going to identify the Four A’s, once you have seen them try to identify your stress per category . Are there ones you can avoid by saying no too, are there situations that you can adapt or alter by some organizational changes (see below) and which ones do you need to accept. I find once I have categorized my stress and have written it out, it is very freeing. Try it today!
Four A’s of Stress
Change the Situation
- Can you avoid the stressor?
- Can you alter the stressor?
Change your reaction
- Adapt to the stressor.
- Accept the stressor.
I hope you have found these tips to be helpful and that you try to incorporate them into your daily living. If you would like more personalized coaching please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a complimentary coaching session.
In Good Health~