You're tired. You're exhausted from the moment you get up in the morning. It feels like you've been plowing the field with a fork. You're working too hard and not getting enough done. This can get a person down, especially during this busy season. Fatigue can trigger sadness and vice versa.
There's hope! Short of a serious medical issue, there are several reasons for being tired that can be remedied with just a bit of effort. I'll list them below and then offer seven simple solutions to help you get more energy and a positive outlook; a rejuvenated way to greet the New Year.
Anxiety, depression, fear, grief from loss, stress and the feeling of lack control are all factors that may create a bio-chemical reaction (cortisol and other stress hormones) that if unregulated may wear a person down. With a new year you may be reflecting on the past year and come up with self-criticism and regret. Or you may be anxious about the future, your finances and/or your loved ones. Below are some suggestions on how to release some of the emotional weight so that you are not feeling so exhausted from carrying them.
Time does not heal all wounds but gives us the tools to endure them. ~ Singer Patti Smith's father
- Not enough sleep - Adequate sleep is needed to replenish our body and internal systems so that we are refreshed able to think and feel energized to deal with the day. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep and go to bed at about the same time each day.
- Too much caffeine - feeling tired may trigger you to drink more caffeine and that becomes a cycle where the caffeine keeps you from getting quality sleep which promotes the desire to ingest more caffeine the next day and so forth.
- Too much alcohol - taxes the body's filtering systems, liver, kidneys and also changes the way one thinks and acts, all of which can be tiring.
- Excessive junk food - empty calories makes the body crave for nutrients and also hinders the body's absorption of the very nutrients that can replenish the body.
How to Re-Energize
- One of the most effective ways to feel less tired is to do something new, break out of your routine. Take a class, research a topic you're interested in, ask for a new work project and/or develop a fresh hobby. Even small changes like walking up the stairs instead of taking the elevator or trying new food/cuisine may help. When monotony or a worry pattern sets in, it oftentimes drains our enthusiasm for life, which results in a feeling of fatigue.
- Physical Exercise. The positive endorphins that are created and released in the body from exercise make us feel good and less tired. Endorphins blocks pain receptors and also produce the same positive feelings in the body like morphine. Start or increase your exercise program; do something that is a slight stretch from your current state depending on your current activity level.
- Go outside. Being in nature is very healing and it can improve one's mood. You can combine exercise with being in nature by going for a walk in a park or some other kind of outdoor activity.
- Connect with others. Human beings are social animals and we thrive when we have positive social interactions, particularly physical touch. Sharing your concerns with a trusted person may also result in assistance and solutions. Have a meal with others, hike with a friend, make an appointment for a massage, or combine three things that will make you feel better: do an outdoor physical activity with others, your body and moods will thank you for that.
- Reassess your priorities. Review the total demands on your time. Perhaps you have very valid reasons for being tired. If you have too much on your plate, decide which ones you can eliminate, delegate or postpone. Just the very act of assessing your commitments may help you relieve some of the tension and stress that comes from having too much to do. Prioritize your tasks based on what is important for you and let go of the ones that are just busy work.
- 6. Ask for help. Seek professional and/or spiritual guidance from qualified people if you have an emotional matter that you feel stymied by. Request for assistance to help you get some of your tasks done. If the work is needed, there will be others who can help get it done. Position your appeal as something that is for the common good.
- Ask for help from a spiritual source. The power of healing and rejuvenation that may come from a spiritual level has been well documented.
As you move into the New Year, know that you can choose different ways to improve your health and wellbeing. Just by acknowledging the possibility that you can be less tired, you have already started your journey. Here's to your health, vitality and happiness!