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To My Daughter, In 10 Years…

To My Daughter, In 10 Years…

Dear daughter,

As I write this, you’re still young. You don’t know what to expect from life. You still glow with childhood innocence. I’m writing this for you to read in 10 years. This is for you to prepare yourself for everything I had to learn on my own. I’ve had to learn from several errors, but I’m sure I’ll never admit it. This is for you as much as it is for me. To let you know that everything that you will go through I have been through as well. So, my daughter, here I give you everything you need to know to survive the real world.

1. Any decision you make has to be yours.

Trust me, I get it. At 18, the world demands you to pick what you want to be doing for the rest of your life. It will command you to know exactly what you want to do and exactly where you want to be. If you do, that’s wonderful. If you don’t, that’s okay. Whatever you do has to be something that makes you sprint out of bed in the morning.

2. No dreams are too big or too small.

If they are your dreams they have to be chased. Don’t let people make you feel like you aren’t good enough or that you can do better. Because if it makes you happy then it’s the best thing you could be doing.

3. Don’t let anything or anybody stand in the way of your dreams.

If the person you are in love with wants you to turn down your light so he can shine brighter, he isn’t worth it. If he loves you, he’ll want you to shine alongside him and not block you out. Don’t be afraid to cut the cord. The person you are meant to be with is out there.

4. If you’re happy, I’m happy.

That sounds incredibly cheesy, I know. It’s the truth, though. I may give you a hard time and pressure you into doing things you may not want to do. It’s only because I want you to have the best life. But if you find something that makes you incredibly happy, and I may not agree with it at first, I will eventually. Deep down my happiness is solely based on your happiness.

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5. Soulmates exist and yours is out there. Don’t settle.

Know when to call it off. Know that someone who loves you will show you love and patience when you need. Don’t feel like you’re asking for too much when all you’re asking for is happiness. This is what you are entitled to.

6. Your self-worth is not dependant on anyone or anything.

You were born beautiful inside and out. Nothing material you lose in life will decrease that beauty. No one you meet can take that beauty away. You have to love yourself first before anyone else can love you.

7. Life will knock you down many times. The only thing that matters is how fast you get up to knock life back.

You know how they say good things happen in threes, well a similar rule applies to bad things. When one pillar of your life falls, the other ones might too. What you have to do is take every fall as a life lesson and go right back to building back up. Don’t ever sit and cry over the pieces. You can cry while you’re building them back up.

8. I’m always a phone call away. Even if it’s two in the morning.

I may question what you are doing up at such a late hour, but I will always be at the other end to hear what you have to say. I will be your safe base whenever you need me to be.

9. There are no problems that can’t be solved with chocolate and a little bit of The Carpenters.

My grandma and I would listen to The Carpenters all day and it would fix everything, even if nothing was really fixed. Karen Carpenter just knew how to be sad and she knew how to be happy. Trust me, she gets you.

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10. Eat as much pizza as you want.

Stay healthy, but enjoy food. Don’t deprive yourself from deliciousness because you want to fit into a size two. Eat what you want. Excercise. Eat your five a day.

11. Don’t let numbers define you.

Your weight doesn’t define you. Your dress size doesn’t define you. Your GPA doesn’t define you. Your salary doesn’t define you. None of these numbers define you.

12. Make mistakes.

I’ve learned that mistakes are part of my life. If I didn’t make any I wouldn’t be where I am. If you make mistakes in life, leave them in the past. Learn from them and then move on.

13. Don’t let yourself become jaded.

If you have a bad relationship that’s either romantic or just a friendship, don’t let it control how you approach your new relationships. What happened with that person was due to circumstance, or just simply personalities clashing. When you meet someone new, don’t be afraid to give them your heart. I was a person who went from being closed off to being more open. I realised that I wasn’t being foolish for giving people my heart. I was being trusting, which is a good quality to have.

14. When you see something beautiful, don’t stop to take a picture.

In the 30 seconds it takes you to take out your phone and the next 30 seconds that it takes you to click your camera on, you’ve missed a beautiful eagle gliding across the setting sun. Just watch the sunset, take it all in, and enjoying being in the moment.

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15. Choose friends that you can be yourself around.

I spent so much of junior high with friends who made me miserable. I spent a lot of time trying to be someone I wasn’t. When I got to high school, I met people who allowed me to be myself and loved me for it. I was the happiest around them. Don’t feel like you need to change to fit it. When you find people you know you’re meant to be around, you won’t feel like you have to change at all.

16. Travel limitlessly.

If you have the opportunity to see the world, do it. Take only what you can fit into a backpack. You’ll never experience freedom until you do that. Broaden your horizons.

17. Learn how to cook.

No, I’m not joking. It sounds like such a mother thing to say, but it’s true. Trust me. It saves you a lot of money and there’s just nothing as satisfying as eating something you’ve made yourself.

18. The best thing you can do if you can’t sleep because you’re upset is eat Nutella straight from the bottle.

I think that says it all really.

19. Always wear flats to places that involve walking and/or strenuous work.

If you think you can handle it, you can’t. After an hour and a half, you are going to wish you were dead. Then you’re going to want to kill some people. So to save all that pain, just wear flats. They may not look as nice but they save lives.

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20. Remember that I was once you.

I was once in your position and I do understand everything you are going through. It may seem like I don’t but that’s what age does. It makes you forget. Do your best to remind me that I was you, but understand where I’m coming from. Know that the only thing I care about is what’s best for you.

21. Love your life.

Even if there are aspects that you don’t like, try and put them in the corner of ugly things in your mind. Focus on all the positive things. Daughter, your journey is going to be a long and beautiful one and I can’t wait to watch you start it.

Featured photo credit: Mother Child Daughter Love Kiss Together Black/Takmeomeo via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on November 12, 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)

If you find that you’re feeling tired all the time, it’s important to understand that it’s a common problem for many. With all of the demands of daily life, being tired seems to be the new baseline. In fact, two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week.[1]

If you’re tired of feeling exhausted, 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 so tired 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]

  • Trouble focusing because memory and learning functions may be impaired.
  • Experience mood swings and an inability to differentiate between what’s important and what’s not.
  • 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.
  • Finding it more difficult to exercise.
  • Immune system may weaken, causing you to pick up infections more easily.
  • Overeating because not getting enough sleep activates the body’s endocannabinoids, even when you’re not hungry.
  • Metabolism slows down, so what you eat is more likely to be stored as belly fat.

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 common cause of fatigue and 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 health problems, 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.

You can learn more about some causes of fatigue in this video:

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.

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

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Tiredness is primarily about lack of sleep. However, 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[5].

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. However, 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.

Research suggests that most adults need 7 to 9 hours of high-quality, uninterrupted sleep per night[6]. If you’re sleep deprived, the amount of sleep you need increases.

Get the right amount of sleep to stop feeling tired.

    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[7]

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

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    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

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

    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 physical activity 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.[8]

    Living Healthy

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

    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. In fact, long-term sleep deprivation has been linked to an increase in Alzheimer’s later in life[9].

    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. However, tech can affect your melatonin production due to the blue light that they emit, fooling your body into thinking it’s still daytime. This won’t help you stop feeling tired all the time.

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

    2. Unwind

    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.

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    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.[10]

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

    Exercise

    Many people know that exercise is good for them, but they 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 sedentary lifestyle.

    I decided to start swimming because it was something I had always loved to do. Find an exercise you love and stick to it to stop feeling tired all the time. Ideally, get a combination of endurance training, strength training, and flexibility training 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 as it will increase your flexibility and lower your stress.

    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: 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).

    Here’s how you do Long-Exhale Breathing:

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    1. Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight and your hand on your tummy.
    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 mentally count to 7 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 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.[11]

    Nutrition

    Diet is vital for beating fatigue if you’re feeling tired all the time – 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, which may lead to daytime sleepiness.

    Eating a diet for fatigue doesn’t need to be complicated or 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.

    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 any carb you eat, especially if you eat before bed.
    3. Fill up with fiber, especially green leafy 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.
    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.
    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 multivitamin or specific supplement.

    The Bottom Line

    If you are tired of feeling tired all the time, 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 discussed above.

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

    More Tips to Stop Feeling Tired All the Time

    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] Very Well Health: Differences Between Sleepiness and Fatigue
    [6] Advanced Sleep Medicine Services: NEW Guidelines: How much sleep do you need?
    [7] Mayo Clinic: Lack of sleep: Can it make you sick?
    [8] Ask Dr. Sears: The L.E.A.N. Lifestyle
    [9] National Institute on Aging: Sleep loss encourages spread of toxic Alzheimer’s protein
    [10] American Psychological Association: Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
    [11] Yoga International: Learning to Exhale: 2-to-1 Breathing

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