1. You skip or don’t exercise
If you are sedentary or regularly skip your workout because you are tired, you need to think again.
Exercising as little as a few times a week for 20 minutes can boost your strengths, energy levels and endurance. Your cardiovascular system runs more smoothly and exercise takes oxygen to your tissues.
2. You don’t drink enough or eat unhealthy
Even a little dehydration can take a toll on your energy levels. Make sure you drink enough water so that nutrients and oxygen can reach your muscles and organs.
Iron deficiency can leave you tired as well. So stock up on those green leafy vegetables, eggs, nuts, lean beef, kidney beans etc. Combine those with high vitamin C foods (bell peppers, kale, broccoli, papaya, strawberries, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, pineapple, kiwi etc) for a better iron absorption.
Avoid junk food. Junk food rapidly increases your blood sugar. The inevitable drop causes fatigue during the day.
Cut down on the booze. Do you have a glass of wine in the evening to wind down? This can actually backfire and keep you from having a proper night of sleep. It is recommended that you stop alcohol intake at least 3 to 4 hours before bedtime.
Same scenario for coffee. Cut it off by at least mid afternoon.
3. You’re trying to be perfect
We live in a fast paced world that demands a lot from us. We want to be a perfect mother, a perfect employee, wife, friend, daughter… But in trying to be perfect for everyone we either set our goals way too high or we tend set too many goals in too many areas of our life. No wonder then that we have no sense of self-satisfaction. Set a small number of achievable goals. Limit them in time. Review and adapt them regularly. Get help if needed. And remember: perfection does NOT exist.
4. You’re looking at ‘worst-case scenarios’.
In trying to be perfect and organising and controlling everything and everyone, we often tend to ‘catastrophize’ just so that we have a plan B, C and D in case things do not go according to plan. This additional planning, the to do lists and anxiety that go along with it can be exhausting. Your head is just too full. Instead, make one simple plan and get good at improvising. Create systems for things that you do more than once. Go outside when overwhelm hits, hug a tree, breathe and meditate.
5. You do not say NO enough.
When you people please, you sacrifice your own energy and happiness. It can even make you resentful and angry over time. Learn how to say no. Set up a ‘proactive no’: make rules and regulations for your life and household (ex. no dinner parties on Sunday, no volunteering this summer, no baking cookies for school…) so that when people ask for your help, you have a set answer ready. This is like a template which makes saying no so much easier as it is prepared and prevents uncomfortable emotions to take over.
6. You live in a mess.
Whether at the office or at home, if your surroundings are messy, over cluttered, chances are that your brain gets mentally exhausted because it can no longer focus. Try some basic and simple decluttering exercises. Start small. Get help. Clean and lean surroundings make for a clean and lean head.
7. You’re constantly connected.
You wake up and go to bed reading and responding to emails. You check Facebook several times a day, post pictures on instagram, and don’t even hear your kids ask you a question because you were ‘just checking’ something. You need to truly unplug and allow your mind to rejuvenate. Unplugging also allows you to really tune in to other people, listen and create connections. So set yourself some rules: emails only twice a day for 30 minutes, social media at set times, complete unplug on weekends or holidays. If you have trouble to stick to it, organise something instead: setup game time with your kids, schedule a call with a friend…
8. You have irregular sleep patterns
Do you tend to go to bed later on weekends and sleep in? Zig zag sleep patterns can confuse your body and make you more tired. So even if you party on Saturday night, try to wake up at the normal time in the morning and take a power nap in the afternoon. This way your body clock does not get upset but you still get the needed sleep.
There is a difference between being tired and being exhausted.
You are tired when you have used your body and mind to achieve something: exercise, taking care of children, working on a project. Mind and body are in alignment and agreement on the goal to achieve, the reasons why and things are moving forward.
Exhaustion on the other hand is when your mind, body, energy and emotions are drained because something is in conflict with your best interests. Things are not moving forward. And if this happens often and over a longer period of time, it empties our reserves and we no longer have any energy to take action. We feel uninspired, sleepy, have doubts, are listless and just want to sleep or sit on the couch and do nothing.
While being tired is usually fixed by changing the above behaviours, the treatment of fatigue and exhaustion often depends on the underlying cause which may be physical or psychological and require help from your doctor, therapist or coach.
If this is something you think you deserve too, then contact me.