10 Ways to Kick Fatigue
10 Ways to Kick Fatigue
Dr. Eric Viegas, ND
- See your doctor: Fatigue has many root causes, and your naturopathic doctor can perform relevant assessments to determine what the best course of treatment should be.
- Learn to say No: It’s easy to be inundated with favours, errands, and requests from your family and friends. Sometimes the best option when you are struggling with fatigue is to simply say, “No”. Establishing and maintaining boundaries in your personal and professional life help in your recovery from fatigue. It may seem selfish, but if you don’t have enough energy for yourself, how can you help other people?
- Get a good night’s sleep: This one is kind of a “no-brainer” when it comes to fatigue. Practicing good sleep hygiene will enable you to have a more restful sleep. Keep your room as dark as possible, and use a night mask if your bedroom still seems too bright. Avoid using your cell phone, computer, and TV before bed as the blue light these devices emit will affect your brain’s ability to give you a deep sleep. Keep the bedroom for sleep and sex only, this will help establish healthy sleep habits. If urinating at night is an issue, avoid drinking liquids within 2 hours of bedtime.
- Invest in gentle exercise: In our society, there is a focus on being busy. It’s assumed that if you aren’t always on the go, then you must be lazy. The same rhetoric seems to be true for the fitness industry. Most people feel that they need to exhaust themselves at the gym in order for workouts to be beneficial. However, if you’re struggling with fatigue, the best workout is a gentle one. Your body needs time to recover. 5×5 workouts (5 reps, 5 sets) with moderate to heavy weight will work out your muscles, get your heart rate up, and won’t deplete your energy reserves as much as high volume workouts.
- Practice Mindful Eating: This is a tricky one, because it’s easy to mindlessly eat in front of your phone, computer, or TV. Taking your time when eating can help to relax your nervous system and jumpstart your digestion. Share a meal with your friends. When your digestive system functions better, so will your immune system, and you’ll be able to recover from fatigue faster.
- Drink Plenty of Water: Water between meals will help move sluggish bowels and help you deal with the indoor dry heat this winter.
- Avoid Stimulants: Although it may seem like a good idea in the short term, coffee and other drinks that contain caffeine should not be consumed in excess. Overtime, caffeine addiction can worsen stress and anxiety, and affect sleep patterns. Instead, opt for herbal teas like peppermint, ginger, and lemongrass. These herbal teas can help ease nervous tension, and won’t cause an energy crash during your busy day.
- Practice Self-care: Do some yoga, get a massage, go for a walk in the snow, hang out with friends, paint, laugh, sing….Spending time doing the things you love will reduce stress and improve your mood. In Chinese Medicine, frustration, irritability, anger, and insomnia can sometimes be tied to a stagnation of energy flow. The best way to maintain a healthy flow of energy is to express your creative side.
- Eat to maintain stable blood sugar: Low blood sugar, known as hypoglycemia, is a common cause of fatigue. Avoiding processed and packaged foods that contain high amounts of simple sugars is an easy way to keep blood sugar stable. Instead of sugary cereal for breakfast, opt for oats. Add sources of good fat and protein like eggs, avocado, nuts, and lean meats. Fiber from fruits and vegetables will also aid in healthy blood sugar levels.
- OM Yourself: Meditation can help increase energy and focus. You’ve probably heard this many times, but think that either you don’t have enough time in your day, or that you simply can’t sit still for that long. It’s okay. Start small, no one became a yogi overnight. Even if it’s a 1 minute meditation, that amount of downtime is still good for your body and mind.