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Last Updated on January 14, 2021

7 Things You Can Do to Deal with Low-Energy Days

7 Things You Can Do to Deal with Low-Energy Days

How do you deal with low-energy days? We all have our highs and lows, but very often we expect too much from ourselves. Our own standards seem to demand that we are on top of things all day, every day.

Low energy can be the result of working too hard, not putting enough time toward self-care, or going through a period of depression or grief. In order to get through these days, we need to find strategies that work for the situation we find ourselves in and that match our unique personalities. Some people will find that spending time with friends helps to raise energy levels, while others will find that an hour walking alone in the forest is the best remedy.

In order to deal with low energy, you need a combination of short-term relief and long-term strategies to help you deal with these off days. Here are 7 things to help you get started.

1. Be Compassionate With Yourself

Forget about all the things you have not yet achieved or even finished. Stop beating yourself up and being so judgmental, and instead try incorporating positive self-talk into your thought processes.

Let go of the “should” and the “must,” settle in to where you are, and accept that while you may be going through a hard time, that does not make you a bad or unworthy person[1].

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Practicing Self-compassion to improve your energy

    Low energy often occurs when we waste time and energy attacking our own minds, as it can leave you feeling tired. Instead, refocus your energy toward acknowledging the positive things about yourself. This will increase your ability to focus and get your tasks done.

    2. Stop Dwelling on Your Emotions

    In addition to the low energy, there are also feelings of lack of motivation, hurt, resentment, frustration, and anger. We love to talk to ourselves about these emotions in our head. We talk, rationalize, and explain it all to ourselves for the hundredth time, even though it is not helping us get closer to a solution.

    Instead of trying to justify your emotions, take a moment to welcome them into your mind, acknowledge why they have arrived, and treat them with a sense of empathy. This will help you stop wasting energy on going around in circles when confronting difficult emotions.

    Instead, you’ll be able to be frank about what these emotions are saying and how you can overcome them without feelings of anger or resentment.

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    3. Acknowledge That You’re Tired

    Tell yourself that this is going to be a low-energy day instead of fighting it. Many times, when we feel like we are low on energy and motivation, we push through and try to maintain the same routine. Unfortunately, this dwindles our energy reserves even more, which means the low-energy day may turn into a low-energy week or month.

    When you acknowledge that you’re tired and need to boost energy levels, you can take the time to recuperate, which will help you in the long term.

    4. Limit Bad News

    We are surrounded by bad news on all forms of media, from TV to smartphones. It seems that there are endless news stories that cause anger, frustration, and sadness. If you’re experiencing low energy, it’s time to limit the bad news you’re taking in as it will eat away at any positive energy that you have left.

    Instead of watching or reading the news, put on a podcast, make a healthy meal, or do some exercise. Do anything that will help you stop doomscrolling.

    5. Keep an Eye on What You Eat

    Diet plays a huge role in our energy levels. When we have low energy or are experiencing a great deal of stress, we often turn to sugary foods, caffeine, and foods high in fat. This is because the stress hormone cortisol tells the body to take in these kinds of foods[2].

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    When you’re low on energy, consider the following:

    • Ramp up on protein (eggs, cheese) at breakfast.
    • Reduce simple carbs so that blood sugar crashes mid-morning are less frequent.
    • Aim for smaller, frequent mini meals/snacks[3] rather than a large meal. The energy you need to digest a large meal can make you feel very lethargic.
    • Eat fruits like watermelon, bananas, kiwi, and pineapples, which are rich in potassium and magnesium.

    6. Pamper Yourself

    We talked about being kind to yourself, so let us put this into action with one or two of the following:

    • Cuddle up with a relaxing book.
    • Take a long bath or shower to promote relaxation.
    • Go for a walk in a pleasant neighborhood with trees and flowers.
    • Listen to your favorite music, and sing along if you want to.
    • Practice mindfulness by enjoying the smells, sounds, and sights around you.
    • Do some stretches or any physical activity you enjoy.

    Any of these will help raise your energy levels.

    7. Kick That Mood

    Fatigue and bad moods often go hand in hand. Think about why this bad mood is a recurring episode. It could be due to stress or conflicts in relationships and at work. It could be simply that you are overworking.

    Think about how you react to your workload and people at work or close to you. This is often the key to understanding our moods.

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    One of the best ways of lifting your mood in the short-term is to practice gratitude. Do a reality check and repeat the things that you are so blessed to have.

    Final Thoughts

    We all experience low-energy days. The problem arises when these low-energy days become more frequent and begin affecting our quality of life. If you find that your overall energy levels have taken a hit recently and you feel exhausted, it’s time to slow down and see where the problem lies.

    Once you get your energy back up, you’ll be more productive and ready to tackle your next tasks, so get started with one or two of the tips above.

    More Tips on Overcoming Low Energy

    Featured photo credit: Adrian Swancar via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Medium: Practicing Self-compassion
    [2] Harvard Health Publishing: Why stress causes people to overeat
    [3] WebMD: Top 10 Ways to Boost Your Energy

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    Robert Locke

    Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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    Last Updated on January 15, 2021

    Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Tired and How to Fix It

    Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Tired and How to Fix It

    “Why am I so tired?” is a question that people ask themselves pretty frequently. Everyone gets tired at one point or another, particularly after something like an illness, a long night up with a sick child, or a busy week at work. However, when tiredness is persistent—when you feel tired as soon as you wake up in morning or when sleep doesn’t seem to help, no matter how much rest you get—it may often indicate a deeper, underlying problem.

    While there are a lot of possible reasons for tiredness, here are some of the most common causes of fatigue.

    1. Dehydration

    If you’re asking “Why am I so tired?” and want to boost your energy levels, first check whether you are dehydrated. The human brain is 85% water, and it needs to maintain this level in order to perform its essential functions[1].

    Signs of dehydration

      If you fail to drink enough water, the brain extracts fluids from your blood to compensate for the deficit[2]. As a result, the oxygen levels in your blood drop, reducing the amount of energizing oxygen available to your organs and tissues. Fatigue and sleepiness set in rapidly, leaving you more vulnerable to the 2 pm post-lunch crash that many of us experience.

      You cannot cure this crash with caffeine; the only long-term, effective solution is to drink hydrating fluids throughout the day.

      2. Lack of Exercise

      A workout will surely leave you feeling even more tired, right? Wrong! As counterintuitive as it may sound, physical activities have an energizing effect. Moving your body releases endorphins, increases your heart rate, and boosts your concentration.

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      Try to fit in at least 30 minutes of medium-intensity exercise every day. It’s easiest if you can make this part of your everyday routine, either as soon as you wake up or right after work.

      3. A Poor Diet

      The food you eat has a direct impact on sleep quality and the amount of rest you get every night. For maximum energy, stick to protein, slow-release carbohydrates, and a moderate amount of healthy (unsaturated) fats.

      The majority of your food should be plant-based, high in fiber, and low in sugar. These choices will prevent blood sugar fluctuations, which can leave you feeling exhausted.

      An easy way to make sure you stick to a good diet is through meal preparation. It’s easy to just get take-out when you’re tired after work, but if you have a meal ready for you in the fridge, you’ll be less tempted by a frozen pizza or cheese sticks.

      Find out more about healthy meal prep here: 10 Meal Planning Apps You Need To Have To Get Healthier Easily

      4. Skipping Breakfast

      Eating breakfast is key to maintaining a good level of energy throughout the day. When you eat breakfast, you are sending calming signals to the areas of the brain responsible for avoiding danger, along with those that instruct the body to conserve as much energy as possible.

      Ingesting food signals to your brain that there are enough calories available to ensure our survival. This encourages it to stay relaxed, which in turn, promotes restful sleep.

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      Some great ideas for healthy, filling, and make-ahead breakfasts include overnight oats, smoothies, and freezer-friendly breakfast burritos.

      If meal-prepping isn’t your thing, stock up on easy but healthy breakfast foods like multigrain cereal, yogurt, and fruit.

      5. Poor Quality of Sleep

      We all know that it’s important to wind down a couple of hours before bed, but did you know that it’s what you do throughout the day that promotes good-quality sleep? It’s not just about the number of hours you sleep, but how restful and deep that sleep is if you want to stop asking “Why am I so tired?”

      To feel rested, try to regulate your everyday routine to make your sleep deeper and better. Get up at a regular time in the morning to ensure that you get regular sunlight.

      Eat nutritious foods in moderate amounts, and make sure you stay hydrated. Go to bed at the same time, and before bedtime, avoid screens that can give off harmful blue light and also keep you stimulated when you need to fall asleep.

      6. Sleep Apnea

      Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder where a person’s airways get blocked off while they are asleep, causing their oxygen levels to drop while sleeping[3]. This often causes people to stop breathing at night and then to jerk themselves awake (this can happen over 30 times an hour).

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      Risks of Untreated Sleep Apnea

        Because of this, people with sleep apnea can feel short of breath and have low energy levels[4]. Mouthpieces and other devices to aid in breathing can be used to keep oxygen levels in a safe zone.

        If you feel tired all the time and think you might have sleep apnea, consulting with a doctor is important. Do a sleep study, as this can often reveal if there is an underlying problem causing your tiredness — and once a diagnosis is made, treatment to help you get your energy back begins.

        7. Depression

        Depression is the most common mental health disorder in the United States (and in many other countries of the world, as well). It is marked by persistent feelings of sadness or unhappiness but has physical symptoms, too. Apart from fatigue, people may also experience changes in sleeping and eating habits and difficulty concentrating that leave them asking “Why am I so tired?”

        Treatment can often center on anti-depressants, counselling, and lifestyle changes, like stress management to help manage this condition.

        Many people also benefit from activities like yoga and meditation, which help regulate both the body and mind.

        8. Hypothyroidism

        If a person has hypothyroidism, they have an underactive thyroid gland that does not produce adequate levels of important hormones, and the result can be a persistent and unrelenting fatigue, even if someone is getting enough sleep. Other common symptoms of this disorder include mood swings, weight gain, and feeling cold all the time.

        Fortunately, simple blood work can reveal if there is a problem, and it can be treated with artificial thyroid hormone pills. Check here for signs of a thyroid problem. If you suspect that you might have hypothyroidism, talk to your doctor.

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        9. Anemia

        People with anemia are not able to make enough red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout their bodies. This is often due to a lack of nutrients like iron or B-12 and can be caused by problems such as heavy periods, bleeding in the digestive tract, or pregnancy (due to the increased demands of the growing baby).

        However, in most cases, this can be resolved with treatments like changes in diet, iron supplements, or B-12 shots. A simple blood test can tell you if you have anemia, so check in with your doctor if you suspect this.

        10. Cancer

        While you shouldn’t be freaking out about cancer just because you are tired, it is a fact that fatigue is one of the symptoms of cancer. Other common symptoms can include unexplained weight loss and the presence of palpable lumps or growths. This disease is marked by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells that can do damage to surrounding tissues and possibly spread to other parts of the body.

        Diagnosis is usually by biopsy, and treatment often focuses on radiation, chemotherapy or surgery—and generally when a diagnosis is made early, the outcomes for the patient are better.

        Final Thoughts

        If you find yourself constantly asking, “Why am I so tired?” it may be time to see your doctor to find out if any of the problems above apply to you. All of them have treatments that can help improve your quality of life and get you back to normal energy levels.

        More on Overcoming Fatigue

        Featured photo credit: Lily Banse via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] Harvard Health Publishing: Fight fatigue with fluids
        [2] NuCara: Are You Dehydrated?
        [3] Sleep Foundation: Sleep Apnea
        [4] Very Well Health: What Is Sleep Apnea?

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