We all want to feel energised, alive and happy but unfortunately more and more of us feel worn out, fatigued and want to stay in bed and hide!
Energy is a commodity and if you want to truly look after your health boosting it with caffeine and sugar isn’t the best way to deal with it.
Having said that, if you are in desperate need to beat fatigue and boost your energy levels – we have your back. In order to be your best self, you need to know how to get the best out of your body, so we’re here to help you boost your flagging energy levels and combat fatigue.
We equate energy with youth, vigor, fun, and excitement… that energetic woman who always seems to be the life of the party, the neighbour who seems to have time to perfect her front yard, back yard, and bathe her children or the woman who works full time, takes the kids to sports, lessons, goes out for dinner, looks good and seems so organised!
It is life’s biggest driver and it helps us make our lives worth living.
Is it pretty normal, though, to feel fatigued from time to time?
If you were to pay your doctor a visit with symptoms of fatigue, they would tell you to rest up, eat well, and exercise regularly. They might take some blood tests and tell you that they are all normal. That’s all well and good, but that doesn’t equate with how you are feeling and some more specific suggestions would be helpful, right?
What Is Fatigue?
Before we dive in, let’s first discuss what fatigue really is, because tiredness is just one symptom. There are more profound symptoms including problems with sleeping, headaches, extreme exhaustion (and not necessarily after mental or physical exertion), trouble concentrating, forgetfulness, as well as pain in the muscles and/or joints.
These symptoms are the main ones, though there are others. While these appear manageable in the short-term, when they persist for weeks (or even months) it can have a serious impact on your health and wellbeing. They are just indicating to you, that YOU HAVE A PROBLEM!
Basically fatigue is your cells not able to provide enough energy to support life, more specifically the mitochondria in your cells which are your powerhouse, the engine room of life and when they aren’t getting the fuel they need or are damaged in some way the end result is fatigue, chronic unrelenting fatigue and exhaustion.
The Causes Of Fatigue
There could be a variety of reasons for your fatigue, from medication, illness, or lifestyle. Many patients who have heart disease, cancer, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, thyroid problems, and depression suffer from fatigue.
Stress and anxiety are two serious contributors to extreme fatigue, and it’s terrifying just how much they can impact your mind and body. Additionally, a poor diet and lack of exercise can also be a factor.
If you haven’t been diagnosed with an illness but you are extremely fatigued you should visit your doctor to rule out any health issues that may be the underlying cause of your exhaustion. Once you have ruled out any medical issues you can put useful changes into practice.
- So, are you worn out long before your day is done?
- Are you too exhausted to enjoy your days off?
- Is the thought of sex or exercise enough to make you cry?
You aren’t alone and it’s a problem for women of every age.
Demands are growing, whether it’s the pressures of maintaining a household while working and dealing with the needs of your children or financial problems, we are all under a lot of pressure. To be honest, it’s surprising that anyone is managing to get any sleep ever.
According to Gallup, 40% of American adults are failing to get the minimum 7 hours sleep required for peak performance.
Sadly, it seems as though fatigue has just evolved into being the norm for many women who are otherwise healthy, feeling tired for months (or years) is simply accepted now.
“Chronic stress is one factor that so many of my clients overlook. Many don’t realise how important stress is in affecting our energy levels and more importantly our overall health and wellbeing”. Julie Wood
Don’t underestimate how much havoc stress can wreak on your body and your quality of life.
Stress is a normal response to an event in your life but chronic stress affects your adrenal glands which produce the cortisol and other hormones which regulate your metabolism, immunity and a whole lot of other functions like digestion, heart health, blood pressure, blood sugar/glucose regulation. This has a flow on effect to other areas of the body.
As I mentioned above stress can be caused by a number of things:
- Unresolved biomedical dysfunctions (infections, hormonal imbalances, etc.)
- Nutrient-poor diet
- Lack of sleep
- Stimulants (such as caffeine)
- Work-life imbalance
- Over training physically
- Emotional trauma
Some signs and symptoms that your adrenals are suffering include:
- Persistent and nonspecific fatigue
- Struggle waking up in the morning
- Imbalanced energy levels throughout the day
- Difficulty handling stress
- Food cravings (particularly for salt)
- Weakened immunity
- Unexplained body aches and joint pain
- Depression and anxiety
- Dark circles under eyes
- Impaired recovery after physical activity
- Low blood pressure/ high blood pressure
- Poor circulation and numbness
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Weight gain and fluid retention
- Decreased libido
A lot of thyroid problems actually are a result of your adrenals running out of energy and once you have addressed the issues with your adrenals your thyroid function can return to normal.
Managing stress then, is one of the most important factors of leading a healthy life and the first step is ensuring you are getting at least seven hours of sleep every night.
So start off by creating a bedtime routine that is designed to help you unwind and prepare your body for sleep and if you’re having serious trouble consider speaking to your doctor about a temporary sleep aid solution. Just three nights of this should help you reset your body clock and get your body back into the routine of sleeping at the right times.
Once you have your sleeping patterns under control you should see an improvement in your stress levels and in your ability to cope with life’s typical stresses.
You will never be able to eliminate all the stress from your life, you can, however, learn how to manage it and learn effective coping skills when dealing with it.