Do you wake up in the morning feeling you still need another eight hours of sleep? Do you find that your energy reserves are dried up by early afternoon? Do you wish you had more energy to do all the things you want to do? Then read on!
Doctors report that more and more patients are coming to them complaining about fatigue. Usually a series of tests are run and they all come back negative – meaning there’s nothing within the scope of modern medicine “wrong” with them. This can feel like a mixed result. On the one hand the patient is relieved there’s nothing seriously wrong with them, but they are still none the wiser as to why they feel so tired.
The issue tends to be a number of lifestyle choices. That is to say not just one but SEVERAL habits that chip away at a person’s energy levels until they are left feeling constantly drained.
That is why I have put together a long-term solution to boosting your energy levels.
Ditch caffeine completely
Remember how Wimpy would say “I’d gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today”? Well that’s kind of what drinking caffeine is like. It will give you a very short-term energy boost and then make you crash. Not only that but caffeine causes you to sleep much more lightly, not giving you the proper night’s sleep you need. And it will leave you less hydrated than just drinking water; poor hydration being another cause of fatigue.
Quitting caffeine can be difficult for the first few days as it can cause headaches since your body will have become chemically dependant on that cup of tea or coffee you like to kickstart your day with. Have some painkillers on standby and power through it as best you can. Your body will eventually reward you for it.
I was lucky when I quit caffeine. I had none of the headaches and the very first night I slept better than I ever remembered.
Practice proper sleep hygiene
Proper sleep hygiene isn’t something to do with washing before you go to bed. It means avoiding artificial light (such as TVs and cellphones) and allowing yourself to properly wind down before you go to bed.
If you go to bed and then play on a mobile game or chat to someone on Facebook for a couple of hours, this confuses your brain on the purpose of the bed. A lot of people treat their beds like an extension of the living room or an office and then wonder why their brains are moving at a mile a minute with ideas while they’re trying to get to sleep.
Treat your bed as a sacred place only for sleeping and intimacy.
Drink a vegetable juice in the morning
Instead of reaching for the coffee in the morning, instead make yourself a vegetable juice. Juicing doesn’t have to be expensive or contain hard-to-find veggies. A couple of tomatoes, a carrot and some cucumber with a chunk of ginger can make a high quality vitamin and mineral booster without breaking the bank.
This will start your day off in the right way, feeding your body a host of nutrients without making your digestive system have to work hard.
Take a multivitamin at night
About an hour before you go to bed eat a piece of fruit and drink a glass of water before taking a multivitamin. This will give your body the fuel it needs to repair itself whilst you sleep.
Keep a close eye on your diet in general
If you’ve been feeling especially tired then it’s worth keeping a food diary where you write down what you’ve had to eat and drink, the time you consumed them, and a score of your energy levels every couple of hours.
Not only will this encourage you to eat more cleanly, you might also find that there’s a particular food that causes your energy levels to crash. Maybe a wheat intolerance is at the heart of your fatigue problem? The only way to find out is to track your eating habits and test any hypothesis you come across. Eliminate any potential problem foods you come across and see how you feel after a month.
Take daily exercise
This can be tough when you’re feeling especially tired but this is one of those things you really must push yourself to do.
Exercise improves heart health, releases pleasurable endorphins into your bloodsteam and greatly reduces stress levels.
You don’t have to go jogging for an hour every day to boost your energy levels. Something as simple as doing a circuit of 20 squats, 10 push-ups, and 20 sit-ups a few times a day can really help.
I would also personally recommend yoga as it doesn’t have to be too strenuous yet it will get the heart pumping whilst loosening tired and aching muscles. And, if you have the room, you can do it in the comfort of your own home.
Don’t reward yourself for feeling tired
This is a little tip from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Many people accidentally reward themselves when they feel tired and this teaches the brain that it’s good to feel tired.
What do I mean by “reward”? Well common rewards people give themselves when they feel tired include: takeaway meals, fatty foods, alcohol, vegging out on the sofa, etc.
One of the problems with humanity at its current stage of development is that it still hasn’t really evolved passed the caveman stage yet. There’s a part of the mind that still just wants to eat and lay about all day. When you reward feelings of tiredness you are essentially feeding this part of the mind and allowing it to grow.
So instead of reaching for the comfort food when you feel tired, go for a walk and get some fresh air or keep yourself busy in some other active way. Don’t reward yourself for feeling tired, it can be a hard cycle to break.
Remove all unnecessary stress
Stress is a real energy sapper as it puts the mind in a hyper-alert state because it believes itself to be in a life-or-death situation.
Take stock of your life. Do you have any responsibilities that you’ve taken on unnecessarily? Maybe you take your child to a weekend class that they no longer are enthusiastic about. Why both suffer?
Similarly you might be undertaking hobbies that you no longer enjoy and are now more stressful to you than they are fun. I had a friend who enjoyed playing online video games until he eventually realised he was scheduling his life around them and they were feeling more like a job than a bit of fun.
There may also be some people in your life who drain you of energy. These “energy vampires” are toxic people and are best avoided as much as possible, even if it means a tough confrontation or cutting out a long standing friend from your life.
Give yourself a weekly mini-break
Unless you’re very financially secure, you’re probably not going to be able to get out of the house every week. This doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself to a mini-break from the stresses and strains of your life once a week though.
It can be as simple as a long soak in the bath with some relaxing music playing in the background while a scented candle gently flickers away. Or going to the park and sitting in the sun whilst you eat your lunch. The important thing is to give yourself a bit of a break and change things up regularly.
Using positive affirmations can help you stick to the energy plan and boost your willpower if you’re struggling.
I have an Energy Boosting Subliminal MP3 that masks positive affirmations into a relaxing piece of music that has been a big help to a lot of people suffering from fatigue. It’s perfect to listen to while you’re relaxing in the bath or unwinding before bedtime.
I hope this guide has helped give you a few new ideas on how to live your life and beat fatigue. If you have any tips of your own, please feel free to share them with us in the comments section below…