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Last Updated on November 26, 2020

Why Am I Feeling Tired All the Time? (And How to Fix It)

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Why Am I Feeling Tired All the Time? (And How to Fix It)

Let’s start with the fact that there are healthy reasons to feel tired and there are unhealthy reasons to feel tired.

If you are feeling tired all the time, that is a good sign you are feeling tired for an unhealthy reason. It is healthy to feel tired after working out, going on a run or participating in an extracurricular activity. It is unhealthy to feel tired after sleeping for 10-hours and not exerting yourself throughout the day.

If you are feeling tired all the time, you may have noticed your productivity or ability to focus suffer. In this article, let’s discuss some of the most common reasons you feel tired and how to fix it.

1. Not Taking Care of Yourself

Feeling tired all the time could be a sign you are not taking care of yourself.

Think of yourself as your favorite luxury vehicle. To keep your car running optimally, you need regular oil changes, to use high-quality fuel and to keep up with the regular maintenance schedule. If you don’t replace your oil on a regular basis, your car won’t efficiently.

When you are feeling tired all the time, check to see if you are getting the proper amount of sleep. Are you sleeping the recommended 8-hours a day? If not, that could be the easiest change you can make in your life.

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Much like a car, the quality of fuel you put in your engine impacts your performance. Are you eating food that is full of nutrients or are you eating empty calories? All energy is not created equal. Even if you eat the same number of calories, you will get more energy from fruits and vegetables than you will from cake and ice cream. If you don’t feel you are ready to change your diet just yet, a good place to start is by taking more vitamins.

Lastly, consider what your ideal weight should be and if you are not there, make a plan to get there. If your body is carrying around extra baggage, studies show it can negatively impact your sleep, joints and organs.[1]

2. Pretending to Be Something You Are Not

Let’s just rip the bandage off and get at the heart of the discussion. If you feel tired shortly after you start working, then you may be exerting a significant amount of mental energy with your coworkers.

Much like your physical exertion can exhaust you over time, mental exertion can exhaust you too. Most people start feeling tired around the end of a long work day. This is normal. You have used a hefty amount of mental energy making various decisions throughout the day.[2] If your decisions are limited to work, you will likely make it through most of the day before feeling tired. If you are feeling tired all the time, then you are not being honest with yourself and others.

When work is overly political, you have to cautiously calculate every step you take. That is adding a significant amount of decisions to your daily count. The same can hold true with relationships in your personal life. If you have a family member who is very sensitive, you are walking on egg-shells to ensure you don’t offend them.

Whether in your professional or personal life, if you are forcing yourself to act in an unnatural manner, you will be feeling tired all the time. In a way, you are living a lie and you don’t want to be caught. And like most lies, you have to pause before each interaction to make sure you haven’t exposed yourself.

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It takes less energy to be true to yourself. When you do what comes naturally to you, it is like you are operating on autopilot. A good example of this is the energy you apply when driving home. It is so natural to you that you could daydream while driving and still make it home safely. When things are so natural to you that it can be accomplished by your subconscious, you are saving your mental energy for the important decisions.

Ideally, having a conversation with a coworker or a family member would be as natural as blinking or brushing your teeth. You say what comes to your mind and there is nothing for you to consciously consider.

3. You Loathe Something About Your Life

Stress is a real thing my friend, but keep in mind that all stress is not bad. Much like feeling tired, you don’t want to feel stressed all the time.

Some common causes of acute stress are losing a job, going through a divorce or the death of a loved one. As you see, these examples are unique circumstances that should not happen on a regular basis. However, when stress has you feeling tired all the time, then you are dealing with stress related to activities you perform on a daily basis. The most common of these triggers are being unhappy in your job, feeling insecure in a relationship or having a heavy work load.

There are two ways to deal with chronic stress in your life: You can remove the stress and you can manage the stress.

Ideally, when an aspect of your life causes you to feel stressed on a daily basis, you should remove it from your life. Understanding you may not be able to eliminate the stressful aspects of your life overnight, you may be better suited to start by managing your stress. Whether you are talking about work or family, they didn’t always cause you so much stress. By focusing on what excited you most about your job when you accepted it, you can reduce the stress your job creates.

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Are you grateful for the ability to provide for your family or could the friendships you built be a bright spot? In those strained relationships with your family and friends, reflect on a time when things were better. What about your spouse caused you to say, “I do” and when was your friend supporting you when others didn’t? If you are among those who genuinely cannot recall a time when things were better, then you need to manage your stress by limiting your interactions until you can eliminate them altogether.

4. Progress Has Stopped

If your future is not more compelling than your life today, you can’t help but be feeling tired all the time. One of the most beautiful and motivating things about life is growth. Of all the differences each of us have, the desire for growth and progress is something we all share.

Feeling stagnant in your life is exhausting within itself. It is unlikely you are feeling stagnant due to a lack of effort. You are most likely exerting a lot of energy to change your life, but for one reason or another you have are no closer to your goal. You feel like a hamster running on its wheel. Even though the hamster is not any closer to its goal, it did exercise the energy to do so. If you deal with this feeling long enough, you won’t just stop running on the wheel; you will stop running altogether.

As mentioned, there is little more deflating than the feeling that you are not growing. Especially, if you are putting in the effort to achieve the results you desire.

As simple as it sounds, the life you have is the life you know how to create. The actions and decisions that created your life today, will not be able to create the life you want. You must change the rituals and habits you employ each day to change your life.

A bodybuilder has a different set of eating rituals than a sumo wrestler. Yet, if you are not sure about the rituals of either of them, you cannot change your life to match theirs. You must research and learn how a body builder chooses the food they eat, when they wake up, and how often they work out. If your goal is to create the results of a sumo wrestler, then it does not benefit you to mirror the lifestyle of a bodybuilder.

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The same holds true with your life goals. If you are not progressing toward the results you want, implement the tactics of someone successfully living the lifestyle you want.

Learn the 6 Ways to Make Progress Every Day (And Realize Your Goals).

Final Thoughts

If you are feeling tired all the time, you need to take a step back and recognize what is making you feel so tired. Once you know what is causing the problem, take small steps to change your life overtime.

If your lack of energy is tied to you taking poor care of yourself, then make the necessary adjustments to improve your health. However, if your exhaustion is internally driven, you must take the steps to align your internal purpose with your external actions.

Being yourself is the easiest person you can be. Attempting to be anyone else can be exhausting to say the least. When you are feeling tired all the time because you feel as though you are not making enough progress, review your daily actions and adjust accordingly.

The more you learn about yourself, the better equipped you will be to successfully change your life.

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More About Mental Energy

Featured photo credit: Lily Banse via unsplash.com

Reference

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Last Updated on October 20, 2021

7 Daily Stress-Management Rituals that Improve Your Productivity

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7 Daily Stress-Management Rituals that Improve Your Productivity

If you’re trying to be as productive as possible, stress will always be your biggest obstacle—and it’s not an easy one to overcome. To do it, you’ll need to develop a plan to make stress management a core component of your daily routine, but doing that takes commitment. The good news is that if you succeed in learning how to manage stress, you’ll unlock your potential and be well on your way to peak performance. But first, you need to learn how to make it happen.

The best way to do that is to learn about and integrate some stress management rituals into your daily routine. To help you get started, here are seven tips on how to manage stress and improve your productivity.

1. Give Yourself an Extra Hour in the Morning

If you were to do some research on some of the world’s most successful—and productive—people, you’d notice that many of them have one thing in common: they tend to be early risers. Apple’s Tim Cook gets out of bed before 4 AM each day.[1] Michelle Obama is already getting in her daily workout at 4:30 AM.[2] Richard Branson gets up at 5:45 AM each day, even when he’s vacationing on his private island.

There’s a good reason why they all do it—once you reach the point in your day that your work schedule kicks in, you no longer have control of your time. That means you have a limited opportunity every morning to reduce your stress by taking care of the things you need to do without anyone making other demands on your time.

What’s important about this isn’t the time you get up. The important part is getting up early enough to start your day without feeling rushed. For most people, getting up an hour earlier than you normally would is sufficient. This should give you ample time to complete your morning tasks without having to hurry or fall behind.

But when you implement this ritual, be careful. Don’t do it at the cost of getting the right amount of sleep each night. If you do, you might increase your stress instead of relieving it. Sticking to a proper sleep schedule and getting enough sleep is, in itself, a critical part of stress management.[3]

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2. Determine and Review Your Most Important Tasks Each Day

If there’s one productivity tip that almost all experts agree on, it’s that you should spend some time before bed each night to write down your three most important tasks for the following day. But if you want to maximize that practice and turn it into a stress-buster, you should turn that notion on its head.

Instead, you should do this as a part of your morning routine. There’s a couple of reasons for this. First, it’s that our always-on, always-connected business world means your priorities can change overnight, literally. You may list your top priorities, go to sleep, and wake up to find them woefully out of date. That means the best time to set your priorities for the day is in the morning. This will keep those priorities up to date and let you think about them before the distractions of the day begin. But don’t stop there. You should take some time before bed each night to review that day’s priorities.

Ideally, you’ll be able to check them off as accomplished. If not, though, think about what prevented you from getting to them. This is your chance to figure out some of the common daily interruptions that get in your way. Chances are, these also cause some of your stress. So, spend the time before bed game-planning how to remove those interruptions and stressors from your day. If you make this a habit, you’ll be more productive and far less stressed out in no time.

3. Save Your Emails for Later in the Morning

Another tip on how to manage stress is to save your emails for later. One of the key causes of stress comes from our inability to cope with the unexpected. If you stop to think about it, what is your most prominent source of near-constant unexpected information every day? You guessed it—it’s your email.

Now, you can’t simply ignore your email. The only thing you can do about your email is to learn how to manage it most effectively. But no matter what you do, it’s going to remain a source of daily stress and distraction. That’s why you should make a habit out of giving yourself an email-free hour or two at the beginning of each day’s schedule.

In that time, try to tackle one of your daily priorities and get it taken care of. Your email will still be there when you’re done. And when you do get to it, you’ll do so in a much better frame of mind knowing that you’ve already gotten some real work done before having to deal with anything unexpected. That alone will improve your mood and reduce the amount of stress you’ll feel—no matter what’s waiting for you in your inbox.

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4. Take a Walk After Email Time

Since you’ll have to deal with your email sooner or later, there’s no way to completely avoid the stress that will come with it. Although you’ll be in a better frame of mind after putting off your email to get some real work done, you’ll still feel some stress when you get to it. That’s why you should make a post-email walk a part of your daily routine.

Taking a walk is one of the best ways you can relieve stress. It’s a form of meditation that will put you back into the right condition to be productive, and there’s no better time to do it each day than after taking care of your emails.

Ideally, you’ll want to take a walk outdoors, and preferably in the most natural setting possible. If you’re in an urban environment, a nearby park will suffice. Studies have demonstrated that walking in such environments for as little as 20 minutes per day leads to an overall reduction in the body’s cortisol level.[4]

Cortisol, if you’re not aware, is your body’s main stress hormone. It helps regulate your blood pressure, energy levels, and even your sleep cycle. Every time your stress goes up, cortisol production also increases, throwing your body into chaos. So, taking a walk right after dealing with your email will help you to relax, reset, and get ready to be productive for the rest of the day.

5. Reserve Time to Research and Plan a Vacation

By now, everybody knows that taking vacations every now and then can improve your productivity and lower your stress level. But did you know that even thinking about a vacation can help you to reduce your stress? It may sound strange, but it’s true.

A Cornell University study in 2012 found that the anticipation of a positive experience—like a vacation—can reduce stress and make you measurably happier. It logically follows, then, that adding to that anticipation each day can maximize the stress-relieving effects of a vacation.[5]

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To do it, set aside at least a half-hour each day to research or plan an upcoming vacation. You can read about destinations. You can research airfares. You can even look at places to stay in locations you’re interested in visiting. And if you’ve already got a vacation booked, use the time to take a deep dive into what your destination has to offer.

This is an especially important daily ritual to observe right now, while the COVID-19 pandemic may be limiting your vacation options. If it’s been a while since you’ve been able to take a trip, the act of planning your next vacation will have a therapeutic effect. With vacation rental bookings still hovering below 50% in most major markets, there’s no doubt that the vast majority of people are in desperate need of their next stress-relieving vacation.[6]

6. Create a Shutdown Ritual to End Your Day

Another simple yet effective way to manage stress is to create a shutdown ritual. Just as it’s important to get your day off to a stress-free, unhurried start, you’ll want to do the same when the day is through. It’s because after spending each day in a reactive mode—dealing with the unexpected—you need to get back into a proactive mode to relax.

Studies have shown that having the perception of control over what you’re going through acts as a buffer against negative stress.[7] In other words, feeling like you can manage even a small chunk of your own time counteracts the stress from the parts of your day when you can’t.

This also means that your shutdown ritual can be whatever you want it to be. You might write in a journal, get in a quick light workout, or prepare your outfit for the following day. As long as you’re the one in complete control over what you’re doing, anything goes. Just make sure that you include the aforementioned review of your daily priorities somewhere in your routine!

7. Set a No-Screens Rule to End Your Day

Even though your shutdown routine is important, there’s one more ritual to include before bedtime that will help you manage stress. Spend the last 30 minutes to an hour before you plan to go to sleep observing a strict no-screens rule. Not only will this give you time to disconnect from the stresses of your day, but it will also allow your body to make a transition into a proper sleep mode.

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The screens we use—smartphones, tablets, laptops—all emit a wavelength of blue light that disrupts our sleep patterns. It’s the same type of light that our bodies recognize as daytime, so seeing it is like telling your brain that it’s the wrong time to be asleep.[8]

By eliminating all sources of this type of light before bedtime, you’ll increase your odds of getting restful, deep sleep. And since getting proper sleep is one of the best ways to manage your stress, this is the perfect way for you to end each day.

Final Thoughts

Although a totally stress-free lifestyle would lend itself to achieving maximum productivity, not many people will ever manage to live that way. So, the next best thing is to work some or all of these daily stress-busting rituals into your day to minimize the inevitable stress instead. Doing so will put you in the best possible position to succeed. And there’s no better antidote for stress than to make the most out of every day no matter what it has to throw at you.

More Tips on How to Manage Stress

Featured photo credit: Kaboompics via kaboompics.com

Reference

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