Are you tired without really knowing why? These wintry dark months are for most people more tiresome than other seasons of the year. General fatigue is a common thing, while some seek medical aid for it most people just deal with it, for better or worse. Luckily there are a few things you can do yourself without taking superfluous drugs or complicated measures, here are our top recommendations for overcoming tiredness and general fatigue!
1. Eat Healthy!
Eating healthy or healthier for starters is fine advice for anyone. We all know, whether consciously or unconsciously, that your wellbeing and energy levels in some integral way depend on what, when and how you eat. Usually foods with higher sugar levels contain less nutrients, which can result in you getting enough calories for the day but not enough vitamins and minerals accordingly. The reason why sugar can be one of the culprits to you feeling tired all the time is because the fluctuations it causes to your blood sugar levels. Consuming high quantities of sugar causes a spike which is then followed by a dipp, which results in feeling slow and tired.
What to do?
Try eating healthier, i.e. more veggies, fruits, berries, legumes, whole grain, nuts and seeds (if your digestion allows). Avoid products that contain high amounts of added sugars, which includes soft drinks, cookies, ice ream and candy.
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2. Stress Less!
Too much stress and tension gradually wears you down, its as simple as that. One good tip is to become more conscious of the difference between eustress and “bad stress”. Eustress is that little boost you sometimes need to perform certain tasks and handle demanding situations. While bad stress is simply you amassing mental tension by worrying about things beyond your control and which doesn’t really benefit you anyway. Moreover stress can and probably does affect the quality of your sleep. Trying to sleep less to do more is generally counter-productive. Try being more efficient, by sleeping good and working smarter.
What to do?
Being more conscious, as just mentioned, of different things related to your stress is generally a good way of slowly but surely immunizing yourself from redundant bad stress. Don’t allow those things or triggers that usually succeed in stressing you to go to work. You can control some of the things that automatically cause you to feel stress, but most likely not all. Find a balance between controlling and meditatively allowing things to happen. This gives you more windows of opportunities to positively change yourself for the better. Also try finding your own unique ways of relaxing, it could be an relaxing hobby like forest bathing that you do during the day time to something like getting a massage or committing to a daily meditation practice. Whatever makes you feel better and more relaxed, do that.
3. Try Mindfulness!
Yes.. Mindfulness.. and Meditation. Big words that’s been thrown around a lot these past decades. What do they mean and what can it do for you? Meditation can mean a lot of things and indeed it does. For now lets just focus on mindfulness meditation. Which is according to one definition that we like, the act or state of simply being aware of the present moment as it is without desiring to change it, for better or worse. If you feel tired, be aware of that, if stressed, be aware of that, if happy be aware, if sad be aware. You’d be surprised how much stress can be relieved through simply being aware and mindful.
What to do?
There’s nothing really to do, more like things, feelings, thoughts and phenomena to be mindful of. While sitting meditation can make you feel even more tired than you already, mindfulness meditation can be done anywhere without any rigorous practice underlying it.
Move about, do things, we mentioned forest baths but there are many other ways to energize and relax yourself through exercise and activity. Skipping physical exercise because you’re tired will most likely result in you feeling even more tired. Regular and daily exercise will both make you stronger and more energetic. Your endurance gets better and you become more alert and most of your mental faculties are boosted (physical exercise affects your brain and actually makes you smarter according to some studies). Moreover by incorporating regular exercise to your schedule you end up inducing a naturally tiredness during nighttime which welcomes a good nights sleep.
What to do?
Try getting at least 30 minutes of exercise of some sort during the day. Anything works really, from a brisk walk and jogging to bicycling and a good swim. Immersing yourself in nature while exercising is another good way of boosting your energy levels and feeling naturally more alive and vibrant. Naturally we also recommend doing yoga.
5. Follow the Sun! (or get enough sunlight)
The darker months of autumn and winter cause a lot of people to feel more tired. This is partly due to the overproduction of the hormone melatonin caused by lack of light. Melatonin makes us feel more tired. You can limit the production of melatonin during the day by spending more time outdoors when the sun’s sharing its warmth and light. You’ll get your fair share of the important vitamin D while you’re at it, which the lack of can be another culprit to general fatigue.
What to do?
Just spend more time outdoors, do some forest bathing, breathe in the fresh air and enjoy every moment of it.
Another handy tip is to adjust and align your waking hours more with when the sun is out and shining i.e. don’t sleep and waste away those hours when the sun is up, instead you get up and move about in the outdoors as long as you can.
6. Breathe Consciously!
Conscious breathing is an somewhat underestimated and overlooked way of energizing yourself. We’ve previously looked at breathing exercises for relaxation and rejuvenation purposes and as you may know there are many different ways of doing controlled and conscious breathing. While some breathing techniques are better suited for inducing relaxation and a sense of calm others are superb for boosting energy levels and vibrancy, especially if done in a natural oxygenated surrounding.
Now our main technique for dealing with tiredness is the so called Wim Hof Method. This exercise is based on doing between 2-5 sets of deep diaphragmatic power breaths. The result is almost instantaneous, you feel energized and if you go it too hard even a little bit dizzy in the beginning. We recommend doing the exercise once in the morning with a empty stomach and once before dinner or after you’re back home from work, school or your chosen profession.
Here is how you do the Wim Hof Method in a nutshell:
- Sit or lay down somewhere comfortably and take a couple normal breaths to wind and settle down.
- Start the exercise by taking full powerful breaths from the diaphragm, you could do this either through the nose or the mouth.
- The intake of breaths should be powerful and a total conscious activity while the out breaths should be quite effortless, where you are simply letting go of the breath and not forcing anything.
- Take 15-30 of these breaths, depending on your physical reaction to these powerful breaths.
- After you’ve completed this first set, you can decide to continue by doing one or two more for maximum benefits and rejuvenation.
7. Get Good Sleep!
Last but definitely not least, you need to make sure that you get good quality sleep every single night. The most common reason why most people feel tired all the time is because of lack of sleep or bad sleep quality. Though it can vary a lot between individuals, most adults need between 6-9 hours of good sleep a day. If you’re dealing with insomnia, getting good sleep is easier said than done. This is why it can be essential to get to the root of your sleeping problems. What is it caused by? Is it your worrisome nature? Are you constantly overthinking? Is it chronic stress or depression? Maybe its the neighbors noise or your semi-addiction to your smartphone and computer. Whatever it is, its highly important that you figure out what’s depriving you from sleeping well.
What to do?
Sleep and wake the same time each night and day. Moreover your bedroom should be a silent, dark and cool place almost only used for sleeping purposes. Abstain from eye-straining digital technologies i.e. smartphones, tablets, computers and TV’s at least 1-2 hours before bedtime (yet another thing that’s easier said than done, but hey the bigger the challenge the greater the reward!). Instead try some reading by a candle light or meditation or light stretching and ditch your regular tendency of hopping about on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.
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There you have it, our best tips for combating general fatigue and tiredness. Eat healthy, stress less, do some mindfulness, exercise regularly, get enough sunlight and get high-quality sleep each night.