One of the biggest complaints women share with me is that they are tired from morning to night and they want to know if there is a reason? Is it my thyroid? Is it my adrenals? I can tell you from experience, more often than not, it isn’t actually just one thing, but rather a several things that have built up over time. Many women these days are juggling multiple hats – employee, entrepreneur, spouse/partner, parent, caregiver to a parent or other family member etc. – that “self-care” has taken a back seat to everyone else’s needs. The whole day is filled with taking care of others that taking time for self is a faraway dream. Self-care doesn’t have to be super time consuming, but it does take planning. Food and drink choices are a big part of fatigue. Adequate and restful sleep at night is necessary to have energy during the day. And body movement (exercise!) also plays a role in sustaining energy. Are you planning your day and time? Or are you just hitting the ground running (or dragging!) every day? Planning your days and weeks are essential to getting a handle on fatigue. Start today – the single most effective way to regain energy in your life to take charge of your life and schedule, rather than it taking charge of you. And the best starting point is to spend 10 minutes in the evening planning your next day. Use a tool like Google or Outlook calendar to plug in your day – from getting up, to getting kids ready, driving to work, lunch breaks etc. Whether you work full or part-time out of the house or are a homeschooling parent or caretaker of a family member – using a calendar to block out your day is the first step in reclaiming your energy! Next, plan on getting up just 10 minutes earlier than usual starting tomorrow morning. Use those 10 minutes to do some light stretching or some light callisthenics to get your blood moving and your body awake. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day….. depending on you and your life there are many variations of a “good breakfast”. What is most important is to stick with what works for you. For some, this is a healthy smoothie, for others a more ‘traditional” breakfast like eggs. But this is where your “diet” comes into play. (“Diet” actually means “The regular food and drink consumed”, not the “deprivation” of counting calories to lose weight!) Plan your day to include healthy snacks to keep your blood sugar stable, rather than reaching for “emergency” snacks that are often filled with sugar or caffeine to keep you going. Nuts, hard-boiled eggs, veggies with hummus dip, cottage cheese with celery are some easy examples of blood sugar-stabilizing snacks for the day. Once you are getting a handle on getting up and starting your day with light exercises and a good breakfast and stabilizing your blood sugar through the day, examine how you are spending your evenings. Are you spending too much time in the evening doing things on the screen that stimulate your brain in the wrong way while looking to wind down? Are you drinking caffeine too late in the day to keep going? There are many things that can interfere with your ability to sleep, leaving you unrested and tired all day, and then unable to sleep at night. Take these simple steps to help your brain wind down in the evening so you can fall asleep easier and ultimately wake more rested:
Eliminate the use of devices, computers, emails, and any other work related to your job (or other stressful things) at least 3 hours before you plan to go to sleep. Continuing with tasks that get your mind overly activated, such as anything dealing with work or other stressful things in life will keep your mind in an overactive, alert state. Combine that with the blue light emitted from your computer, tablet or smartphone blocking melatonin production and you will continue to have sleep challenges. An overly active mind late at night is one of the BIGGEST things keeping many people from falling asleep
Stop ALL device use (LED TVs; tablets, cell phones, computers, laptops) at least 2 hours, and preferably 3 hours, before bed, AND LEAVE these items OUT of the bedroom altogether.
And lastly, try this simple trick to help you fall asleep if you are struggling, it’s a technique called progressive relaxation. Most patients see a strong effect after doing it for a few nights. a) You start with a breathing exercise to slow everything down - Breathe in through your nose counting to 4, then hold your breath for a count of 7, then breathe out through your mouth slowly for a count of 8. b) Try to keep your mind on the breathing and the counting, completing at least 4 full cycles practicing this mindlessly to let your brain relax. c) Keep trying, even if it doesn’t help the first night or two or even three. Most people find that every night gets easier and easier and more successful.
I wish you well in your journey to reclaim your energy and move from fatigued to fantastic! Feel free to contact us, if you’d like to explore the personal reasons for your fatigue and a personalized approach to overcoming it!