In 30 seconds…
Are you dragging through your day? Life is pretty hectic, stressful and all-consuming these days, so it’s understandable if you’re feeling a little more exhausted than normal.
Everyone is familiar with all-out energy drain – that exhausting day (or night) when no matter how enticing that new movie, fabulous shoe sale, or friendly barbecue, we just can’t psych ourselves up to go.
What can be harder to recognize is a low-grade energy drain. In this case, you may not necessarily feel the classic signs of exhaustion – like achy muscles or that all-over tired feeling. What you do experience is an increasing lack of get-up-and-go for many of the activities you used to love.
If this is starting to sound familiar, take heart. Energy zappers are all around us, some obvious, some hidden. The good news: There is a way around almost all of them.
If you often feel tired throughout the day, you may need more quality sleep. Try going to bed earlier and reducing screen time before bed.
A good way to keep up your energy throughout the day is to eat regular meals and healthy snacks every 3 to 4 hours, rather than a large meal less often. People who eat breakfast every morning report less fatigue and stress than people who skip it. High-fiber foods, like hot oatmeal, stick with you longer than a sweet roll or pastry. As the day wears on, they’ll prevent you from getting hungry (hunger can lead to low energy).
Dehydration can leave you feeling drained and fatigued. You don’t necessarily have to follow the “eight glasses a day” rule, but you do want to drink enough water to keep your body well hydrated. You can tell you’re well hydrated when you don’t feel thirsty and your urine is light-colored. Try to get to the fridge or water cooler for a refill every few hours. The walk there will also help you wake up.
Exercise while tired may not sound appealing, but it can stimulate the body, get the blood flowing, and help make a person feel more alert. The workout does not have to be intense.
Simple activities, such as a short brisk walk, dancing to music, or even a few jumping jacks, can help get the heart and breathing rate up, which can wake the body up faster.
Let the sunshine in
Research suggests that just a few minutes of walking outside on a warm, clear day may enhance mood, memory, and the ability to absorb new information. Going outside can even improve your self-esteem. If you absolutely can’t get out, at least open the shades.
Social isolation can cause low mood and tiredness, especially as you get older
Getting out of the house and mingling with other people is beneficial for both your energy levels and your health. Try organizing social activities with your friends or starting a new activity by joining a social club.
Avoid smoking, caffeine, alcohol and added sugar
Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your health. The toxins and tar in the smoke also reduce the efficiency of your lungs. Over time, this can reduce the amount of oxygen transported around your body, making you feel tired.
Drinking alcohol is another lifestyle habit which may make you feel tired. This is because alcohol can act as a sedative and make you feel drowsy. Because of this, many believe that an alcoholic drink (or a “nightcap”) will send them to sleep and help them sleep more soundly.
However, regularly drinking alcohol before bed can interfere with the quality of your sleep. This could make you feel more tired than you otherwise would.
When you feel tired, it can be easy to reach for a sweet, sugar-filled snack.
However, although sugar can give you a short-term energy boost, it will wear off quickly.
This is because high-sugar foods cause your blood sugar to rise quickly, sometimes referred to as a blood sugar spike. This results in your body releasing large amounts of insulin to bring your blood sugar back down.