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14 Female Celebrities that Bash Hollywood’s Ideal Body Image

14 Female Celebrities that Bash Hollywood’s Ideal Body Image

Being a role model doesn’t mean looking like a model — and these actresses, singers, and comedians know it. They’re working to break down our norms of how women should look, with honest talk about being healthy, finding true happiness, and the mind-boggling amount of work (and makeup artists, and personal trainers, and Photoshop) that goes into creating the Hollywood version of female beauty. Check out some of our favorite body image quotes from 14 amazing women.

1. Jennifer Lawrence

jennifer lawrence body image quote

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                      by  Gage Skidmore

                    “Why is humiliating people funny? I get it, I do it too. We all do it. … But I think when it comes to the media, the media needs to take responsibility for the effect that it has on our younger generation, on these girls that are watching these television shows and picking up how to talk and how to be cool. … So then all of a sudden being funny is making fun of the girl that’s wearing an ugly dress.
                    And the word fat! I just think it should be illegal to call somebody fat on TV. I mean, if we’re regulating cigarettes and sex and cuss words because of the effect it has on our younger generation, why aren’t we regulating things like calling people fat?”

                    As she showed in the Barbara Walters interview quoted above, Jennifer Lawrence is the opposite of a celeb you love to hate — if anything, she’s the star everybody loves to love. Yet another reason to love her is her regular insistence that Hollywood be held accountable for the kinds of messages it conveys about size, beauty, and femininity. She famously refused to lose weight for The Hunger Games, instead focusing on working out and getting strong — and she caught flack for it from critics (yes, female as well as male). The New York Times wrote that Lawrence’s “womanly figure makes a bad fit for a dystopian fantasy about a people starved into submission.” What does J-Law have to say to that? She told Elle, “I’m never going to starve myself for a part … I don’t want little girls to be like, ‘Oh, I want to look like Katniss, so I’m going to skip dinner.'” For a star who’s beloved for her ability to laugh at herself, she takes her position as a potential role model seriously — all the more reason to love her.

                    2. Adele

                    adele body image quote

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                                    by  nikotransmission

                                  “I love food and hate exercise. I don’t have time to work out… I don’t want to be on the cover of Playboy or Vogue. I want to be on the cover of Rolling Stone or Q. I’m not a trendsetter, I’m a singer. I’d rather weigh a ton and make an amazing album… my aim in life is never to be skinny.”

                                  Adele doesn’t pull punches when it comes to taking down exes in her music, and she doesn’t have time for body critics either. As it turns out, her success has landed her the covers of Rolling Stone and British music mag Q… as well as Vogue, Elle, and Cosmopolitan. Adele’s uncompromising attitude and belief in her talents has definitely worked out for her.

                                  3. Amber Riley

                                  amber riley body image quote

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                                                      by  Gage Skidmore

                                                    “Hollywood is a very hard place to be in. It really is. Being the person that I am, you know, being the size that I am, being a woman, being a black woman, there’s not a lot of roles for us. … I was being offered the girl who sits in the corner and, you know, eats all day, the girl who wanted to commit suicide ’cause she was fat. It was never anything that I felt had a good ending. I never wanted to play a character that hated herself. I wanted people to know that those aren’t the only kind of roles for women like me, normal girls. Going to the auditions, and hearing the casting director say ‘you need to lose a little weight,’ I didn’t understand why people couldn’t accept me for who I was. … I’m not gonna conform and hurt myself and do something crazy to be a size 2.”

                                                    She’s known for playing the uber-confident Mercedes on Glee, but before landing that role Amber Riley had given up on Hollywood and decided, with the support of her parents, to go back to being a regular high school student. Luckily for us, she eventually decided to try again and found a role that let her shine without having to compromise.

                                                    4. Kate Winslet

                                                    kate winslet body image quote

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                                                                        by  GabboT

                                                                      “I resent that there is an image of perfection that is getting thinner and thinner. I hope that in some small way I’m able to say, ‘I’m a normal person; I’m doing all right. I’ve got a lovely husband and children, and I didn’t lose weight to find those things, and those things are what should be important.’

                                                                      This Brit has always been open about her struggles with body image and comparing herself to other Hollywood actresses. Her words are not only important criticisms of the standards set out for female celebs; Winslet also wants to be sure she’s sending the right message to her own daughter. “As a child, I never heard one woman say to me, ‘I love my body.’ … So I make sure to say it to Mia, because a positive physical outlook has to start at an early age.”

                                                                      5. Kelly Clarkson

                                                                      kelly clarkson body image quote

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                                                                                          by  SportsAngle.com

                                                                                        “[E]veryone in the magazines is Photoshopped! Beyoncé is one of the most beautiful girls in the world but she gets Photoshopped too. We’re all human! … It affected me when people were saying about me and some other artists that we were the ‘thicker’ ones. I’d be a liar if I said I was always fine with it. But I’m wise enough by now to know that you’re never going to please everyone so you may as well stop trying.”

                                                                                        Clarkson has come a long way since winning American Idol more than a decade ago, and throughout her career she’s faced intense scrutiny for her weight fluctuations (including a scandal when Self Photoshopped the singer to appear extra skinny on the cover of their “Body Confidence” issue). No matter what her size though, Clarkson has always been vocal about calling out Hollywood’s unrealistic standards and the importance of loving yourself.

                                                                                        6. Gabourey Sibide

                                                                                        gabourey sibide body image quote

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                                                                                                        by  greginhollywood

                                                                                                      “‘Gabourey, how are you so confident?’ It’s not easy. It’s hard to get dressed up for award shows and red carpets when I know I will be made fun of because of my weight. There’s always a big chance if I wear purple, I will be compared to Barney. If I wear white, a frozen turkey. And if I wear red, that pitcher of Kool-Aid that says, ‘Oh, yeah!’ Twitter will blow up with nasty comments about how the recent earthquake was caused by me running to a hot dog cart or something. …
                                                                                                      If I hadn’t been told I was garbage, I wouldn’t have learned how to show people I’m talented. And if everyone had always laughed at my jokes, I wouldn’t have figured out how to be so funny. If they hadn’t told me I was ugly, I never would have searched for my beauty. And if they hadn’t tried to break me down, I wouldn’t know that I’m unbreakable. So when you ask me how I’m so confident, I know what you’re really asking me: How could someone like me be confident? Go ask Rihanna, a–hole!”

                                                                                                      Earlier this year at a Ms. Foundation gala, the star of Precious gave an unbelievably inspiring speech about finding confidence and inner strength in spite of people — from internet commenters and fashion reporters to her grade school classmates and family members — who dismissed her based on her appearance. It’s definitely not the only time that Sibide has confronted Hollywood’s beauty standards head-on, but there’s a reason this very personal speech went viral: It’s incredibly heartfelt and moving.

                                                                                                      7. Rihanna

                                                                                                      rihanna body image quote

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                                                                                                                      by  oouinouin

                                                                                                                    “You shouldn’t be pressured into trying to be thin by the fashion industry, because they only want models that are like human mannequins. They know that if we see an outfit on a mannequin in a shop window we will love it and want to buy it whatever size we are. That’s why they have size zero models — they want to sell clothes. But you have to remember that it’s not practical or possible for an everyday woman to look like that. Being size zero is a career in itself so we shouldn’t try and be like them. It’s not realistic and it’s not healthy.”

                                                                                                                    So why is Rihanna so confident? RiRi is real with herself about the expectations placed on women, and as she told the UK’s Daily Mail, she’d rather be herself than try to force herself to fit others’ expectations.

                                                                                                                    8. Mindy Kaling

                                                                                                                    mindy baling body image quote

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                                                                                                                                        by  watchwithkristin

                                                                                                                                      “I always get asked, ‘Where do you get your confidence?’ I think people are well meaning, but it’s pretty insulting. Because what it means to me is, ‘You, Mindy Kaling, have all the trappings of a very marginalized person. You’re not skinny, you’re not white, you’re a woman. Why on earth would you feel like you’re worth anything?'”

                                                                                                                                      We loved her as Kelly on The Office, we adored her hilarious memoir, and with statements like this, it’s hard not to fall head over heels for the real Mindy Kaling. Kaling works hard to keep it real (like in this quote from an interview with Parade magazine), and regularly uses her star status to give the world some straight talk about body image.

                                                                                                                                      9. Amy Poehler

                                                                                                                                      amy poehler body image quote

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                                                                                                                                                      by  David Shankbone

                                                                                                                                                    “[W]e’re all different, everybody’s different, every body is different. There’s only, like, five perfectly symmetrical people in the world, and they’re all movie stars, and they should be, because their faces are very pleasing to look at, but the rest of us are just a jangle of stuff, and the earlier you learn that you should focus on what you have and not obsess about what you don’t have, the happier you will be. You really will be happier in life if you let go of the things that you will never have.”

                                                                                                                                                    Actress Amy Poehler might be mom to two sons, but with Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls (“Change the World by Being Yourself”), she’s an amazing surrogate mother to girls (and women) everywhere. This quote from her YouTube “Ask Amy” series is but one small example of how empowering — and endearing — Poehler is. Leslie Knope would love Amy Poehler.

                                                                                                                                                    10. Margaret Cho

                                                                                                                                                    margaret cho body image quote

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                                                                                                                                                                    by  brainchildvn

                                                                                                                                                                  “If you’re a woman, if you’re a person of color, if you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, if you’re a person of size … then you’re considered a minority in this world. And it’s going to be hard to find messages of self-love and support anywhere. It’s all about you have to look a certain way or else you’re worthless. For us to have self-esteem is truly an act of revolution and our revolution is long overdue.”

                                                                                                                                                                  Comedian Margaret Cho has always been outspoken on a wide variety of topics, but in recent years, she’s become more vocal about warped standards of beauty and the impact they have on people’s lives. Cho goes out of her way to use public forums — from her stand-up act to her Twitter account — to speak out against rigid and sexist beauty standards, and to call out those who judge women solely by their looks.

                                                                                                                                                                  11. Rebel Wilson

                                                                                                                                                                  rebel wilson body image quote

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                                                                                                                                                                                      by  Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer

                                                                                                                                                                                    “There are so many glamorous actresses — but in the real world, nobody looks like that. I want to inspire girls who don’t think they’re cool or pretty. To do that, I need to put out a realistic version of what it’s like to be a girl who looks like me. Sometimes that means getting broken up with by a dude who says, ‘You’re too fat.’ That way, when my character wins, it’s gratifying.”

                                                                                                                                                                                    Her Super Fun Night may not have won over viewers (many felt it relied too much on making fun of the actress’s size), but Rebel Wilson still deserves props for being consistently, unapologetically herself. She told InTouch she credits her appearance with helping her succeed in Hollywood: “[N]ot looking like anyone else has made things easier for me, because I’m distinctive.”

                                                                                                                                                                                    12. Beyoncé

                                                                                                                                                                                    beyonce body image quote

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    by  sashimomura

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Confidence makes a woman sexy. Women should not get caught up in someone else’s definition of beauty. We are too obsessed with what a perfect nose is, or perfect hair, but there is nothing more beautiful than loving yourself and being confident.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  As Kelly Clarkson pointed out, Beyoncé is an astonishingly beautiful woman and yes, she gets Photoshopped. But Queen B doesn’t let her get it down — and she doesn’t think you should get hung up on that stuff either, as she told Very magazine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  13. Melissa McCarthy

                                                                                                                                                                                                  melissa mccarthy body image quote

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      by  MingleMediaTVNetwork

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sometimes I wish I were just magically a size six and I never had to give [my weight] a single thought. … But I am weirdly healthy, so I don’t beat myself up about it — it wouldn’t help, and I don’t want to pass that on to my girls.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Melissa McCarthy is known for playing crazy, off-the-wall characters, but when it comes to body image, she is downright sane. Pretty much every interview she does involves answering questions about her size, but she keeps the conversation focused on physical and emotional health, as here in Good Housekeeping. And in the meantime, she continues to steal every scene in pretty much every movie she’s in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    14. Kristen Bell

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Kristen Bell body image quote

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        by  Gage Skidmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      “I recently saw a picture of myself in a bikini in [a tabloid magazine], and they circled some bumps on my bottom and said, ‘We didn’t see any cellulite when Kristen was filming Forgetting Sarah Marshall.’ I looked at the picture, and I laughed so hard! I thought, I look good — really fit. Who cares if there are lumps on my thighs? I’m guilty of having human legs made up of fat, muscle and skin, and sometimes when you sit, they get bumpy! If I had not been a normal weight, they would’ve said, ‘Oh, she’s way too skinny.'”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Though she’s played heroes (Veronica Mars) and villains (Sarah Marshall) on screen, the general consensus is that in real life, Kristen Bell is a total gem. Another reason to love her: She’s totally down-to-earth about her body, and refreshingly honest about Hollywood’s skewed standards. Bell’s quote is something to think about when you look at a picture of yourself — you are human. Give yourself a break!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Featured photo credit: Gage Skidmore via flickr.com

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Last Updated on March 30, 2020

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (And What to Do About It)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (And What to Do About It)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Feeling tired all the time?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Have you ever caught yourself nodding off when you’re watching TV, listening to someone drone on during a meeting or even driving a car?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I know I have, especially when I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Feeling tired all the time may be more widespread than you think. In fact, two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week.[1]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If you’re tired of feeling tired, then I’ve got some great news for you. New research is helping us gain critical insights into the underlying causes of feeling tired all the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In this article, we’ll discuss the latest reasons why you’re feeling tired all the time and practical steps you can take to finally get to the bottom of your fatigue and feel rested.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What Happens When You’re Too Tired

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If you sleep just two hours less than the normal eight hours, you could be as impaired as someone who has consumed up to three beers.[2] And you’ve probably experienced the impact yourself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Here are some common examples of what happens when you’re feeling tired:[3]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • You may have trouble focusing because memory and learning functions may be impaired within your brain.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • You may experience mood swings and an inability to differentiate between what’s important and what’s not because your brain’s neurotransmitters are misfiring.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • You may get dark circles under your eyes and/or your skin make look dull and lackluster in the short term and over time your skin may get wrinkles and show signs of aging because your body didn’t have time to remove toxins during sleep.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • You may find it more difficult to exercise or to perform any type of athletic activity.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Your immune system may weaken causing you to pick up infections more easily.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • You may overeat because not getting enough sleep activates the body’s endocannabinoids even when you’re not hungry.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Your metabolism slows down so what you eat is more likely to be stored as belly fat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Are you saying that feeling tired can make me overweight?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Unfortunately, yes!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Feeling tired all the time can cause you to put on the pounds especially around your waist. But it is a classic chicken and egg situation, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Heavier people are more likely to feel fatigued during the day than lighter ones. And that’s even true for overweight people who don’t have sleep apnea (source: National Institutes of Health).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Speaking of sleep apnea, you may be wondering if that or something else is causing you to feel tired all the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Why Are you Feeling Tired All the Time?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Leading experts are starting to recognize that there are three primary reasons people feel tired on a regular basis: sleep deprivation, fatigue and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Here’s a quick overview of each root cause of feeling tired all of the time:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Tiredness occurs from sleep deprivation when you don’t get high-quality sleep consistently. It typically can be solved by changing your routine and getting enough deep restorative sleep.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Fatigue occurs from prolonged sleeplessness which could be triggered by numerous issues such as mental health issues, long-term illness, fibromyalgia, obesity, sleep apnea or stress. It typically can be improved by changing your lifestyle and using sleep aids or treatments, if recommended by your physician.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a medical condition also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis that occurs from persistent exhaustion that doesn’t go away with sleep.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The exact cause of CFS is not known, but it may be due to problems with the immune system, a bacterial infection, a hormone imbalance or emotional trauma.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It typically involves working with a doctor to rule out other illnesses before diagnosing and treating CFS.[4]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Always consult a physician to get a personal diagnosis about why you are feeling tired, especially if it is a severe condition.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Feeling Tired vs Being Fatigued

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If lack of quality sleep doesn’t seem to be the root cause for you, then it’s time to explore fatigue as the reason you are frequently feeling tired.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Until recently, tiredness and fatigue were thought to be interchangeable. Leading experts now realize that tiredness and fatigue are different.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tiredness is primarily about lack of sleep.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      But fatigue is a perceived feeling of being tired that is much more likely to occur in people who have depression, anxiety or emotional stress and/or are overweight and physically inactive (source: Science Direct).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Symptoms of fatigue include:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Difficulty concentrating
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Low stamina
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Difficulty sleeping
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Anxiety
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Low motivation

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      These symptoms may sound similar to those of tiredness but they usually last longer and are more intense.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Unfortunately, there is no definitive reason why fatigue occurs because it can be a symptom of an emotional or physical illness. But there are still a number of steps you can take to reduce difficult symptoms by making a few simple lifestyle changes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      How Much Sleep Is Enough?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The number one reason you may feel tired is because of sleep deprivation which means you are not getting enough high-quality sleep.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of high-quality, uninterrupted sleep per night. If you’re sleep deprived, the amount of sleep you need increases.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So, quantity and quality do matter when it comes to sleep.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The key to quality sleep is being able to get long, uninterrupted sleep cycles throughout the night. It typically takes 90 minutes for you to reach a state of deep REM sleep where your body’s healing crew goes to work.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ideally, you want to get at least 3 to 4 deep REM sleep cycles in per night. That’s why it’s so important to stay asleep for 7 or more hours.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Research also shows that people who think they can get by on less sleep don’t perform as well as people who get at least seven hours of sleep a night[5] So, you should definitely plan on getting seven hours of deep restorative sleep every night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If you are not getting 7 hours of high-quality sleep regularly, then sleep deprivation is most likely reason you feel tired all the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And that is good news because sleep deprivation is much simpler and easier to address than the other root causes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It’s also a good idea to rule out sleep deprivation as the reason why you are tired before moving on to the other possibilities such as fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which may require a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Simple Changes to Reduce Fatigue

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Personally, I’m a big believer in upgrading your lifestyle to uplift your life. I overcame chronic stress and exhaustion by making these four changes to my lifestyle:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Eating healthy, home-cooked meals versus microwaving processed foods or eating out
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Exercising regularly
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Using stressbusters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4. Creating a bedtime routine to sleep better

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So, I know it is possible to change your lifestyle even when you’re working crazy hours and have lots of family responsibilities.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      After I made the 4 simple changes in my lifestyle, I no longer felt exhausted all of the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In addition, I lost two inches off my waist and looked and felt better than ever.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I was so excited that I wanted to help others replace stress and exhaustion with rest and well-being, too. That’s why I became a Certified Holistic Wellness Coach through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Interestingly enough, I discovered that Dr. Sears recommends a somewhat similar L.E.A.N. lifestyle:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • L is for Lifestyle and means living healthy including getting enough sleep.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • E is for Exercise and means getting at least 20 minutes of exercise a day ideally for six days a week.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • A is for Attitude and means thinking positive and reducing stress whenever possible.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • N is for Nutrition and means emphasizing a right-fat diet, not a low-fat diet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The L.E.A.N. lifestyle is a scientifically-proven way to reduce fatigue, get to the optimal weight and to achieve overall wellness.[6]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And yes, there does seem to be an important correlation between being lean and feeling rested.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      But overall based on my personal experience and Dr. Sear’s scientific proof, the key to not feeling tired all of the time does seem to be 4 simple changes to your lifestyle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      L — Living Healthy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Getting enough high-quality sleep every day is the surefire way to help you feel less fatigued, more rested and better overall.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So, whether you’re sleep deprived or potentially suffering from fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you probably want to find a way to sleep better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In fact, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body isn’t getting the time it needs to repair itself; meaning that if you are suffering from an illness, it’s far more likely to linger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      As unlikely as it sounds, though, fatigue can sometimes make it difficult to sleep. That’s why I’d recommend taking a look at your bedtime routine before you go to bed and optimize it based on sleep best practices.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Here are 3 quick and easy tips for creating a pro-sleep bedtime routine:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Unplug

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Many of us try to unwind by watching TV or doing something on an iPhone or tablet. But tech can affect your melatonin production due to the blue light that they emit, fooling your body into thinking it’s still daytime.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So turn off all tech one hour before bed and create a tech-free zone in your bedroom.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Unwind

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Do something to relax.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Use the time before bed to do something you find relaxing such as reading a book, listening to soothing music, meditating or taking an Epsom salt bath.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Get Comfortable

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ensure your bed is comfortable and your room is set up for sleep.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Make sure you room is cool. 60-68 degrees is the ideal temperature for most people to sleep.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Also, it’s ideal if your bedroom is dark and there is no noise.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Finally, make sure everything is handled (e.g., laying out tomorrow’s clothes) before you get into your nice, comfy bed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If your mind is still active, write a to-do list to help you fall asleep faster.[7]

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Above all, be gentle with yourself and count your blessings, some sheep or whatever helps.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This article also offers practical tips to build a bedtime routine: How to Build a Good Bedtime Routine That Makes Your Morning Easier

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      E — Exercise

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Many people know that exercise is good for them, but just can’t figure out how to fit it into their busy schedules.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That’s what happened in my case.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      But when my chronic stress and exhaustion turned into systemic inflammation (which can lead to major diseases like Alzheimer’s), I realized it was time to change my lifestyle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      As part of my lifestyle upgrade, I knew I needed to move more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My friends who exercise all gave me the same advice: find an exercise you like to do and find a specific time in your schedule when you can consistently do it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That made sense to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So, I decided to swim.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I used to love to swim when I was young, but I hadn’t done it for years. The best time for me to do it was immediately after work, since I could easily get an open swim lane at my local fitness club then.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Also, swimming became a nice reason for me to leave work on time. And I got to enjoy a nice workout before eating dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Swimming is a good way to get your cardio or endurance training. But, walking, running and dancing are nice alternatives.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So find an exercise you love and stick to it. Ideally, get a combination of endurance training, strength training and flexibility training in during your daily 20-minute workout.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If you haven’t exercised in a while and have a lot of stress in your life, you may want to give yoga a try because you will increase your flexibility and lower your stress.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A — Attitude

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Stress may be a major reason why you aren’t feeling well all of the time. At least that was the case with me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      When I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive, I felt chronically stressed and exhausted. But there was one thing that always worked to help me feel calmer and less fatigued.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Do you want to know what that master stress-busting technique was?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Breathing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      But not just any old breathing. It was a special form of deep Yogic breathing called the “Long-Exhale Breathing” or “4-7-8 breathing” or “Pranayama” in Sanskrit).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Here’s how you do “Long-Exhale Breathing”:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight and your hand on your tummy (so you know you are breathing deeply from your diaphragm and not shallowly from your chest)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Breathe in deeply and slowly from your diaphragm with your mouth closed while you count to 4 (ideally until your stomach feels full of air)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Hold your breath while you count to 7 mentally and enjoy the stillness
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4. Breathe out through your mouth with a “ha” sound while you count to 8 (or until your stomach has no more air in it)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      5. Pause after you finish your exhale while you notice the sense of wholeness and relaxation from completing one conscious, deep, long exhale breath
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      6. Repeat 3 times ensuring your exhale is longer than your inhale so you relax your nervous system

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This type of “long-exhale breathing” is scientifically proven to reduce stress.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      When your exhale is twice as long as your inhale, it soothes your parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates the relaxation response.[8]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Plus, this is a great technique for helping you get to sleep, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      N — Nutrition

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Diet is vital for beating fatigue – after all, food is your main source of energy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If your diet is poor, then it implies you’re not getting the nutrients you need to sustain healthy energy levels.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Eating a diet for fatigue doesn’t need to be complicated, time-consuming though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      For most people, it’s just a case of swapping a few unhealthy foods for a few healthier ones, like switching from low-fiber, processed foods to whole, high-fiber foods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Unless your current diet is solely made up of fast food and ready meals, adjusting to a fatigue-fighting diet shouldn’t be too much of a shock to the system.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Here’re 9 simple diet swaps you can make today:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Replace your morning coffee with Matcha green tea and drink only herbal tea within six hours of bedtime.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Add a healthy fat or protein to your any carb you eat, especially if you eat before bed. Please note that carb-only snacks lead to blood-sugar crashes that can make you eat more and they can keep you from sleeping.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Fill up with fiber especially green leafy vegetables. Strive to get at least 25g per day with at least 5 servings (a serving is the size of your fist) of green vegetables.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4. Replace refined, processed, low-fiber pastas and grains with zucchini noodles and whole grains such as buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, oats, amaranth, millet, teff, brown rice and corn.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      5. Swap natural sweeteners for refined sugars and try to ensure you don’t get more than 25g of sugar a day if you are a woman and 30g of sugar a day if you are a man.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      6. Replace ice cream with low-sugar alternatives such as So Delicious Dairy-Free Vanilla Bean Coconut Ice Cream.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      7. Swap omega-6, partially-hydrogenated oils such as corn, palm, sunflower, safflower, cotton, canola and soybean oil for omega-3 oils such as flax, olive and nut oils.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      8. Replace high-sugar yoghurts with low-sugar, dairy-free yoghurts such as Kite Hill Plain Yoghurt with 1g sugar or Lifeway Farmer Cheese with 0g sugar.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      9. Swap your sugar-laden soda for sparkling water with a splash of low-sugar juice

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Also, ensure your diet is giving you enough of the daily essential vitamins and minerals. Most of us don’t get enough Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, Calcium, Iron and Magnesium. If you are low on any of the above vitamins and minerals, you may experience fatigue and low energy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That’s why it’s always worth having your doctor check your levels. If you find any of them are low, then try to eat foods rich in them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Alternatively, you might consider a high-quality multi-vitamin or specific supplement.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The Bottom Line

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If you are tired of feeling tired, then there is tremendous hope.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If you are tired because you are not getting enough high-quality sleep, then the best remedy is a bedtime routine based on sleep best practices.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If you are tired because you have stress and fatigue, then the best remedy are four simple lifestyle changes including:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Enough High-Quality Sleep with Bedtime Routine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Regular Exercise You Love
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Stress Reduction with Long-Exhale Breathing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Fatigue-Reducing Diet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Overall, adopting a healthier lifestyle Is the ideal remedy for feeling more rested and energized.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      More Tips to Help You Rest Better

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Featured photo credit: Cris Saur via unsplash.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Reference

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      [1] YouGov: Two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      [2] National Safety Council: Is Your Company Confronting Workplace Fatigue?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      [3] The New York Times: Why Are We So Freaking Tired?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      [4] Mayo Clinic: Chronic fatigue syndrome
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      [5] Mayo Clinic: Lack of sleep: Can it make you sick?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      [6] Ask Dr. Sears: The L.E.A.N. Lifestyle
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      [7] American Psychological Association: Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      [8] Yoga International: Learning to Exhale: 2-to-1 Breathing

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