Top Five Ways to Fight Fatigue
Updated: Jan 19, 2021
Some days, feeling energized happens easily - you wake up, get ready, and accomplish everything on your to-do list. On other days, just waking up can be difficult, and you go through the day wishing you were still in bed watching a tv show or reading a book. Those days can sometimes turn into weeks or months of feeling fatigued if not managed well, and it’s important to know how to reduce it. If you’re feeling fatigued currently, reading a long article about how to deal with it isn’t ideal, so this post simply summarizes the top five ways for you to reduce fatigue and feel energized.
1. Eat a balanced diet
While fatigue is often associated with low levels of sleep, improper diet is actually one of the most common factors. Eating sugary foods or not getting enough nutrients can lower your energy levels, making you feel sluggish or experience a “sugar crash.” Sticking to a more balanced diet can help raise your energy levels, or sustain them for a longer period of time.
2. Exercise regularly
Exercise has many well-known benefits and can improve both the quality of your sleep and your energy levels through the production of endorphins. Gradually increasing your level of physical activity is a good way to make sure your body is energized without putting too much strain on it at once. It may be hard to commit to two hours of exercise a week, so grab a partner or trainer for accountability!
3. Drink more water
“Hydrate or diedrate” is some common advice, and while proper hydration helps to keep you from dying, it also decreases fatigue, and increases calmness, satisfaction, and positive emotions. Increasing these things can help to reduce any stress that may be causing us to lose sleep and become emotionally and physically drained.
4. Reduce caffeine intake
While caffeine gives you a temporary boost of energy, it will leave you feeling depleted afterward. Avoid drinking caffeinated drinks after lunch and in the evening in order to let your body get ready to rest, and to avoid experiencing fatigue as a symptom of withdrawal.
5. Practice rest and relaxation
Managing stress and resting help reduce fatigue, and there are many good ways to practice them. Some of these strategies include mindful meditation, yoga, taking breaks during work, working on a hobby, and practicing relaxation strategies. Getting support from loved ones or professionals can also help you reduce fatigue by managing chronic stress.
Jade Flora-Holmquist, one of our clinicians, provides some helpful advice for adapting these strategies into your lifestyle. "When we lack the energy and/or motivation to manage daily life, the idea of making changes to address fatigue can seem overwhelming (if not impossible). I often advise people to start small with minor changes that feel manageable. It can be helpful to set yourself up for success in small ways that create positive momentum to eventually make bigger changes. I also find it helpful to pair something you enjoy doing with a new behavior/habit you are trying to incorporate into your routine that may be less enjoyable. For example, pair exercise (new behavior/habit) with spending time with friends/family (something you enjoy) e.g. walking, hiking or biking outside or virtual yoga sessions."
Fatigue can have many causes, and if you are experiencing persistent fatigue and other symptoms, it may be good to consult a doctor. To talk to Jade or another clinician about managing stress and fatigue, schedule an appointment here.