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Feeling Fatigue? 3 Reasons Why And How to Fix It

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Feeling Fatigue? 3 Reasons Why And How to Fix It

Fatigue can be described as the overall feeling of tiredness, lack of energy, and having no motivation. This feeling of fatigue is such a common problem that it has its own abbreviation, TATT, which is short for “Tired All The Time”.

Various factors can contribute to fatigue, including psychological, physical, and lifestyle factors. The key is to understand which contributing factor or factors may be resulting in you feeling fatigued and understanding what steps you can take to fix the problem.

Forming new habits, lifestyle changes, and a change in mindset can be the first steps in overcoming fatigue. It may simpler than you first think.

What Contributes to Fatigue?

There are three main factors that can contribute to feeling fatigued. These are the following:

1. Psychological Factors

Work and family worries can lead to feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression. If you are facing any problems in your relationships, they may be causing you mental and psychological burdens, which can make you feel fatigued.

2. Physical factors

Sleep apnoea, anemia, being overweight, and pregnancy are some of the examples of the physical causes of feeling fatigued. It is important to see your doctor if you are experiencing ongoing fatigue that you cannot attribute to psychological or lifestyle factors.

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3. Lifestyle Factors

Sleep, hygiene, working long hours, exercise, diet, and alcohol can all contribute to fatigue. In today’s world, it can seem that there is too much to do but too little time to do it.[1]

How to Overcome Fatigue

Now that you know the factors that are contributing to your feeling of fatigue, what steps can you take to overcome it?

An important factor in overcoming fatigue is to practice self-care. Utilize your time more efficiently to create more time for you to do what you want to do rather than spend too much time worrying about what you have to do. A simple change in your mindset and approach to life can make a big difference to how fatigued you feel.

1. Daily Chores and Habit-Forming

Let’s start with the basics. There is a saying that a tidy home helps promote a tidy mind. If your home is untidy and cluttered, then how are you able to even think about relaxing? You will always have tasks on your mind that you need to do, and you won’t be able to fully take advantage of your relaxation time.

Create daily habits that take little time to do but if done every day enables you to keep on top of your housework and chores.

The result is that you do not have to spend a large part of your weekend on a big tidying up of your home. You will not spend your relaxation time in a cluttered home not fully being able to relax because everywhere you look reminds you of the chores that you need to do.

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  1. Make your bed in the morning. This sets your intention for the day and also helps create a tidy bedroom.
  2. Set your alarm 10 minutes earlier than you need to. This ensures that you are not in a rush in the morning and have time to have a quick tidy up after yourself and your family. Being in a rush creates undue stress and anxiety that can affect the rest of your day.
  3. If you do not have time to wash your breakfast dishes, put them in a neat pile next to the sink. If dishes are scattered around the house, it immediately creates the illusion of more work to be done.
  4. When you get back from work, calm down for 10 minutes, sit down, watch TV, and create a line between your work life and your home life. If you have kept on top of the morning routine, then there should not be much housework for you to do when you get back home.
  5. Start making the evening meal, do the dishes as you go along, and make lunches for the next day. Multitasking is the key to creating more time for yourself.
  6. Eat the evening meal as a family at the table. Use this time to catch up on the day’s events and anything that you need to discuss.
  7. After the evening meal, set 10 minutes for relaxation and then clean up. Get your child to help you to take the dishes out and share this task with your partner if you can. You can use this time to chat among yourselves and communicate before you all do your separate things.
  8. Finally, give the house a quick hoover. Put your clothes out for the following day, and you are ready to do what you wish with your evening. You can relax knowing that lunches are prepared for tomorrow, the house is tidy, and the chores are completed.

2. Live a Healthy Lifestyle

The best way to overcome feeling fatigued is to avoid what causes it, and you can do this by living a healthy lifestyle. To live a healthy lifestyle, take note of the following:

Sleep

The amount and quality of sleep that you get each night is an important part of preventing fatigue. Good sleep hygiene is a must. The recommended amount of sleep for adults is 7-9 hours per night to promote health and well-being. The benefits of good sleep hygiene are increased focus, productivity, and being more present throughout the day.[2]

Sleep is the time when the body heals and restores itself. It promotes weight control and lowers the risk of health complications. Quality sleep can also improve memory and mood.

If you struggle to obtain good quality and amount of sleep, then there are a few tips that you can follow to ensure that you get a restful night’s sleep.

  1. Try to limit caffeine late in the day. Caffeine is a stimulant and can affect when you are ready to sleep.
  2. Try to avoid food close to your bedtime. Your stomach can take 3 to 4 hours to empty. If you go to bed soon after eating, then indigestion or heartburn can disturb your sleep.
  3. Turn off devices at least an hour before bed as devices can create too many distractions. You may be tempted to reply to emails or scroll through endless social media posts. Why not read a book rather than reaching for your phone?
  4. Avoid naps in the day and try to get in the habit of going to bed at the same time every night.
  5. Meditate before you sleep. There are plenty of apps and videos on the internet that provide guided meditation. Meditation is a good technique to practice to promote relaxation ready for sleep.

Healthy Eating

Your body runs off what you feed it. The best way to get the most energy from your food is to make sure you’re giving yourself the best food possible. Besides what you eat, when you eat can also impact your energy.[3]

The key to healthy eating is making time to prepare.

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  1. Make a meal plan each week before you go shopping. Plan for both evening meals and lunches at work. This saves you money but also ensures that you are eating healthy and not rushing to the shop on your lunch hour to grab a high-calorie convenience food.
  2. Involve your family in the meal planning. Use websites such as BBC Good Food to find a healthy variation of quick healthy meals. look for some ideas for delicious and healthy lunches you can take to work.

Finally, make sure that you value mealtime. Use your evening meal as quality time with your family. Try not to think of mealtimes as an inconvenience but as precious time that you can spend with your family without any distractions.

Exercise

It’s free, easy to take, has an immediate effect, and you don’t need a GP to get some. Exercise is the miracle cure we’ve always had. But for too long, we’ve neglected to take our recommended dose. Our health is now suffering as a consequence. Research shows that physical activity can also boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy.[4]

Many forms of exercise can suit your lifestyle, current fitness ability, and resources. Exercise can have a positive influence on fatigue as it impacts areas such as sleep quality and energy as mentioned above.

You may have the time, money, and no other commitments that enable you to join a gym and to attend the gym regularly. You may use your exercise time as social time and join a class or a sports club.

You may have family commitments, confidence issues, money issues, or other obstacles that prevent you from attending a gym or sports club. However, there are many online videos or fitness apps that you can do in the comfort of your own home or you may prefer to go running, jogging, or walking. Exercise is very personal to you and your lifestyle.

Yoga

One form of exercise that can be done at home is Yoga. Yoga is an ancient practice that involves both the mind and body. It can have an effect on your whole lifestyle with regular practice and help change your whole mindset and thus, having a positive impact on your feelings of fatigue. You can try out some beginner yoga poses first.

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The benefits to practicing yoga can include:[5]

  • Decreases stress
  • Relieves anxiety
  • May reduce inflammation
  • Could improve heart health
  • Improves quality of life
  • May fight depression
  • Could reduce chronic pain
  • Could promote sleep quality
  • Improves flexibility and balance
  • Could help improve breathing
  • May relieve migraines
  • Promotes healthy eating habits
  • Can improve strength

Summary

Fatigue can be attributed to one or more of the following factors: psychological, physical, or lifestyle. Whichever of the factors contribute to fatigue, the key is to ensure that you have self-care as your priority.

If you have a healthy, balanced lifestyle, then you will be more equipped to be able to deal with and overcome any factors that could cause you to be overwhelmed by fatigue.

The first step is to form a calm and relaxed environment as a base to practice your self-care. Creating daily habits and routines can ensure that your home environment is as relaxed and easy to manage as possible.

From this foundation, you can then have the time and energy to invest in healthy sleep habits, healthy eating, and exercise to achieve a healthy and balanced lifestyle and prevent the risk of being overcome by fatigue.

More Tips When You’re Feeling Fatigued

Featured photo credit: Yuris Alhumaydy via unsplash.com

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Reference

More by this author

Charlotte Chidlow

Declutter Consultant and Life Coach with a BSc (Hons) Psychology with the Open University.

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Last Updated on October 7, 2021

7 Reasons Why Your Body Feels Heavy And Tired

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7 Reasons Why Your Body Feels Heavy And Tired

Interestingly enough, this topic about our bodies feeling heavy and tired has been assigned right around the time when I have been personally experiencing feelings of such “sluggishness.” In my case, it comes down to not exercising as much as I was a year ago, as well as being busier with work. I’m just starting to get back into a training routine after having moved and needing to set up my home gym again at my new house.

Generally speaking, when feeling heavy and tired, it comes down to bioenergetics. Bioenergetics is a field in biochemistry and cell biology that concerns energy flow through living systems.[1] The goal of bioenergetics is to describe how living organisms acquire and transform energy to perform biological work. Essentially, how we acquire, store, and utilize the energy within the body relates directly to whether we feel heavy or tired.

While bioenergetics relates primarily to the energy of the body, one’s total bandwidth of energy highly depends on one’s mental state. Here are seven reasons why your body feels heavy and tired.

1. Lack of Sleep

This is quite possibly one of the main reasons why people feel heavy and/or tired. I often feel like a broken record explaining to people the importance of quality sleep and REM specifically.

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The principle of energy conservation states that energy is neither created nor destroyed. It may transform from one type to another. Based on the energy conservation theory, we need sleep to conserve energy. When getting quality sleep, we reduce our caloric needs by spending part of our time functioning at a lower metabolism. This concept is backed by the way our metabolic rate drops during sleep.

Research suggests that eight hours of sleep for human beings can produce a daily energy savings of 35 percent over complete wakefulness. The energy conservation theory of sleep suggests that the main purpose of sleep is to reduce a person’s energy use during times of the day and night.[2]

2. Lack of Exercise

Exercise is an interesting one because when you don’t feel energized, it can be difficult to find the motivation to work out. However, if you do find it in you to exercise, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by its impact on your energy levels. Technically, any form of exercise/physical activity will get the heart rate up and blood flowing. It will also result in the release of endorphins, which, in turn, are going to raise energy levels. Generally speaking, effort-backed cardiovascular exercises will strengthen your heart and give you more stamina.

I’m in the process of having my home gym renovated after moving to a new house. Over the past year, I have been totally slacking with exercise and training. I can personally say that over the last year, I have had less physical energy than I did previously while training regularly. Funny enough I have been a Lifehack author for a few years now, and almost all previous articles were written while I was training regularly. I’m writing this now as someone that has not exercised enough and can provide first-hand anecdotal evidence that exercise begets more energy, period.

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3. Poor Nutrition and Hydration

The human body is primarily comprised of water (up to 60%), so naturally, a lack of hydration will deplete energy. According to studies, the brain and heart are composed of 73% water and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery: 31%.[3] If you don’t consume sufficient amounts of water (and I suggest natural spring water or alkaline water), you will likely have more issues than just a lack of energy.

In regards to nutrition, a fairly common-sense practice is to avoid excess sugar. Consuming too much sugar can harm the body and brain, often causing short bursts of energy (highs) followed by mental fogginess, and physical fatigue or crashes. Generally, sugar-based drinks, candy, and pastries put too much fuel (sugar) into your blood too quickly.

I have utilized these types of foods immediately before training for a quick source of energy. However, outside of that application, there is practically no benefit. When consuming sugar in such a way, the ensuing crash leaves you tired and hungry again. “Complex carbs,” healthy fats, and protein take longer to digest, satisfy your hunger, and thus, provide a slow, steady stream of energy.

4. Stress

Stress is surprisingly overlooked in our fast-paced society, yet it’s the number one cause of several conditions. Feeling heavy and tired is just one aspect of the symptoms of stress. Stress has been shown to affect all systems of the body including the musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine, gastrointestinal, nervous, and reproductive systems.[4] Stress causes the body to release the hormone cortisol, which is produced by the adrenal glands. This can lead to adrenal fatigue, the symptoms of which are fatigue, brain fog, intermittent “crashes” throughout the day, and much more.[5]

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It’s important to look at stress thoroughly in life and take action to mitigate it as much as possible. Personally, I spend Monday to Friday in front of dozens of devices and screens and managing large teams (15 to 30) of people. On weekends, I go for long walks in nature (known as shinrin-yoku in Japan), I use sensory deprivation tanks, and I experiment with supplementation (being a biohacker).

5. Depression or Anxiety

These two often go hand in hand with stress. It’s also overlooked much in our society, yet millions upon millions around the work experience symptoms of depression and anxiety. Many that are depressed report symptoms of lack of energy, enthusiasm, and generally not even wanting to get up from bed in the morning.

These are also conditions that should be examined closely within oneself and take actions to make improvements. I’m a big proponent of the use of therapeutic psychedelics, such as Psilocybin or MDMA. I’m an experienced user of mushrooms, from the psychedelic variety to the non-psychedelic. In fact, the majority of my sensory deprivation tank sessions are with the use of various strains of Psilocybin mushrooms. Much research has been coming to light around the benefits of such substances to eliminate symptoms of depression, anxiety, PTSD, and more.[6]

6. Hypothyroidism

Also known as underactive thyroid disease, hypothyroidism is a health condition where the thyroid gland doesn’t produce sufficient levels. This condition causes the metabolism to slow down.[7] While it can also be called underactive thyroid, hypothyroidism can make you feel tired and even gain weight. A common treatment for hypothyroidism is hormone replacement therapy.

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7. Caffeine Overload

I’m writing this as someone that went from five cups of coffee a day to now three cups a week! I’ve almost fully switched to decaf. The reason I stopped consuming so much coffee is that it was affecting my mood and energy levels. Generally, excessive consumption of caffeine can also impact the adrenal gland, which, as I covered above, can almost certainly lead to low energy and random energy crashes.

Final Thoughts

The most important thing is to identify that you feel heavy or tired and take action to improve the situation. Never fall into complacency with feeling lethargic or low energy, as human beings tend to accept such conditions as the norm fairly quickly. If you’ve made it this far, you’re on the right path!

Examine various aspects of your life and where you can make room for improvement to put your mental, emotional, and physical self first. I certainly hope these seven reasons why your body feels heavy, tired, or low on energy can help you along the path to a healthy and more vibrant you.

More Tips on Restoring Energy

Featured photo credit: Zohre Nemati via unsplash.com

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Reference

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