Do you regularly feel tired, lethargic or drained, even after resting? These signs of fatigue can manifest from serious underlying medical conditions such as heart problems, kidney disease, thyroid issues and more. However, according to Better Health Channel, 50 to 80 percent of fatigue cases are traced to psychological factors related to your lifestyle choices.
Did you know your daily habits could make it more difficult for you to handle stress, which in turn makes you feel fatigued? With just seven simple lifestyle changes, you can reduce stress-related fatigue and restore your energy levels to where they once were.
Get More Sleep
Fatigue is commonly caused by not getting enough good quality sleep. Adults need about eight hours of sleep to function properly, though your requirements may differ. To help you get enough shut eye, try these tips:
- Limit your caffeine intake, especially after dinner. Drink no more than five caffeinated drinks per day.
- Create a bedtime routine to help your body fall asleep quickly. This may include turning off all bright lights, playing relaxing music, reading or stretching before climbing into bed.
- Avoid relying on sleeping pills because they don’t address the underlying problem.
Improve Your Diet
The nutrients you ingest largely determine your energy levels. As you strive to improve your diet, follow these suggestions:
- Drinking plenty of water, since a dehydrated body functions less efficiently. Carry a water bottle with you throughout the day and sip from it often.
- Never skip meals, especially breakfast, so your body’s blood sugar levels remain steady.
- Make sure your meals consist of healthy food, including fruit, vegetables, lean meat, whole grains and low-fat dairy.
- Avoid foods high in fat, sugar and salt to support good energy levels and your ability to handle stress.
If you think your ongoing fatigue is caused by dietary issues, we offer nutritional assessments to help you get to the bottom of it.
Being physically active provides many benefits to the body and mind, including increased energy levels. Even a brisk, 10-minute walk improves blood flow and boosts energy. Plus, moderately intense exercise earlier in the day helps you sleep better at night, which further improves your energy levels the next day. If you haven’t exercised in years, are over age 40 or have a chronic medical condition, ask a Freedom Health physician what small steps you can take to get more active.
Learn to Relax
Constant stress drains your energy reserves and leads to burnout. Take up activities that help you relax, such as meditation or yoga. Carve out a few more hours each week to simply hang out and unwind. If you can’t find the time, rethink your priorities and commitments.
Assess Your Work Situation
If you have a demanding job, sit at an uncomfortable desk all day or deal with mentally draining drama in the workplace, these stressors could be contributing to your fatigue. Take steps to address these problems:
- Talk to your human resources officer and strive to be a peacemaker among your coworkers to combat workplace drama.
- Invest in ergonomic office equipment to ease headaches and neck pain that can cause fatigue.
- Seek pain relief treatments, massage therapy or chiropractic care to realign your body.
Cigarettes may calm you when you’re stressed, but they exacerbate the underlying problem. Smokers tend to be more lethargic because the extra levels of carbon monoxide in their blood reduce the amount of oxygen available to combine with glucose and make energy. For the sake of your health and suffering energy levels, quit smoking.
Get Help for Substance Abuse Problems
Chronically stressed individuals often reach for alcohol or recreational drugs to forget their worries, but excessive consumption contributes to fatigue. More importantly, substance abuse is physically and mentally unhealthy on several levels. If you rely on substances to feel normal from day to day, seek treatment to overcome your addiction.
If your fatigue lingers despite your efforts to implement these tips, you should seek a medical evaluation. Contact Freedom Health Centers today to learn more about how we can help you overcome chronic fatigue.