With the business of daily life, it is no surprise that tiredness and feelings of fatigue are increasingly common. Fatigue can affect each individual differently, with symptoms ranging from moderate-tiredness and lethargy to difficulty in being able to function on a daily basis.
Heavy fatigue over a long period of time can have a detrimental impact on mindset, mood and concentration levels, affect relationships with loved ones and friends, decrease the ability to work and even prevent you from participating in activities and hobbies that you would normally look forward to and enjoy.
Fatigue can be caused by a number of things, including anaemia, previous illness and treatments, lack of sleep, stress and psychological worries. It is important to ensure that there are no underlying medical issues that may be causing your fatigue – consult your doctor if persistent levels of fatigue continue.
Thankfully, often when fatigue has no underlying medical cause, energy levels can be improved by paying attention to one’s body and mind, listening to cues for rest, changing diet and exercise habits and incorporating vitamins and herbal supplements into a daily routine.
11 Useful Ideas To Reduce Fatigue And Improve Energy Levels
1. Identify when your fatigue levels change. Keep a diary of your fatigue levels during the day and highlight when you are feeling at your most energized and most tired. This could be useful when planning tasks and activities over the week.
2. Prepare as much as possible for the week ahead. Prioritize your tasks and break them down into manageable chunks, using your fatigue diary to map out the more time-consuming and energetic activities. Create a weekly meal plan and cook food items in bulk to store in the freezer.
3. Make changes to your diet. Making simple changes in diet help to reduce fatigue and have a positive impact on physical and mental energy levels. In The Essential Guide to Vitamins, Mineral and Herbal Supplements, Brewer highlights ways to improve energy levels through diet, including eating low-fat foods, increasing fiber intake by eating wholemeal bread, brown rice and wholewheat pasta, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and cutting down on sugary snacks. It is also important to drink lots of water – studies have shown that even mild dehydration can affect fatigue and concentration levels.
4. Exercise regularly. While exercise may seem like the last thing that you wish to do when feeling tired, it is one of the most effective ways to boost energy levels. Aerobic exercises increase oxygen in the blood, while more calming, focused exercise like yoga and pilates helps to relax the mind while toning the body. Scheduling time with a friend on a weekly basis to take an exercise or relaxation class will also help to increase and/or maintain levels of motivation, whilst helping reduce isolation, which is recognized as a major risk factor for depression.
5. Incorporate an effective self-care routine into your week. While this may seem like a challenge, particularly if you are responsible for a busy family, remember that your own mental health and wellbeing is important. Whether is it simply half an hour to take a bath, meditate, read a book or go for a run, rest and downtime should be included in your daily activities.
6. Examine your sleep patterns. Most adults generally need between 7-9 hours of sleep a night and chronic sleep deprivation can have an enormous impact on your physical and mental health, including memory problems, moodiness and irritability, difficulty in concentration, making decisions and managing emotional stability, a weakened immune system and even weight gain. Keep a sleep diary and identify how many hours of sleep you have, when and how often you awake in the night and whether you need to the snooze button to get up in the morning. Create a ‘wind down’ evening routine, change the time when you go to bed by half an hour, avoid screen time and caffeine just before you go to sleep. If persistent sleep deprivation continues, consult your doctor for advice.
7. Identify worries and causes of stress. If there is something that is causing a high level of anxiety, examine the problem in more detail. If it is something that is within your control, look at potential solutions and avoid procrastinating over tasks that are often put off. If the situation isn’t within your ability to control, accept that there is nothing to be done and move forwards.
8. Reduce fatigue and boost energy levels with vitamins and herbal supplements. In addition to making changes to lifestyle, healthy diet, regular exercise, rest, and adequate sleep, there are a whole range of vitamins and herbal supplements that can help boost energy levels in those suffering from fatigue. As well as taking a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement, Brewer recommends using the following remedies: Vitamin B complex, Siberian/Korean ginseng (stress-related fatigue), St John’s Wort (low mood-related fatigue), 5-HTP (depression-related fatigue), Evening Primrose Oil (long-term fatigue), Guarana (short-term energy boost) and Co-enzyme Q10.
9. Create a chore chart for the whole family. It is unfair for one person to be expected to be responsible for keeping a household clean and tidy – creating an effective weekly chore chart will reduce your workload, break seemingly large tasks into smaller, more manageable ones and help to keep on top of the clutter.
10. Start saying no. It is always nice to be helpful and show others that you care. However, if taking on tasks and chores for others is adding to your fatigue and reducing your energy levels, start to say no, particularly to those who rarely reciprocate. There is nothing wrong with putting yourself first sometimes.
11. And finally, don’t be afraid to talk. This may seem like a difficult prospect, particularly for those who are fiercely independent or who are the main source of support for others, but speaking to a loved one or asking for help from a professional can help to identify and find to solutions to worries that may be adding to your fatigue.
Challenging periods and busy lives will sometimes make each day seem a little overwhelming. During these times, keep these tips to reduce fatigue and boost energy levels handy to ensure you stay mentally and physically healthy, positive and productive.