Feeling tired all the time? Maybe you’re leaking energy
I fell asleep at 8pm last night!” “I feel like I’ve got this endless fog hanging over me”, “I had no energy to get to gym this morning”
Every day I hear someone say how tired they are.
What’s going on? Why are we so tired so much of the time?
We tend to look at quick fixes that help us push on. A quick cup of coffee to boost us through the afternoon. Maybe a product that promises instant energy. We even use other distractions to keep us going – searching FaceBook or other digital distractions to keep our minds off the sense of lethargy that weighs us down in the day.
Sure, there are several things you can do to “manage” your energy levels and I’ll share some of those too.
But energy isn’t just something that comes from the outside.
We have heaps within us and it’s actually seldom that we need more.
Most times it’s that we’re letting the energy we do have get away.
Know what I mean?
Think of lunch with that friend who talks non-stop about the agony of their lives but doesn’t pause for a second to ask how you are? Or a boring job that makes every soulless hour of the day drag by. Now that’s going to exhaust anyone!
But what about the flip side? You can be feeling awful. That kind of awful that makes you want to climb straight into bed and sleep for 14 hours. But suddenly you receive a phonecall from someone of interest (love interest, job interest, maybe a fun friend you haven’t heard from in years). And what happens? Suddenly you find yourself driving across town to meet for a drink.
Where did that energy come from?
It didn’t come from the outside, did it?
To help keep your energy for the things you really want to do, try these 2 things…
1) Write down a list of all the things that give you energy.
This could be people, activities, environments, hobbies, thoughts, dreams, feelings. Write them all down. Then write down some more…
Which of these could you add to your life on a daily basis? Maybe you can find 10 minutes in your day calling a friend who really cracks you up? Maybe you know your day is always rejuvenated by a 30-minute walk?
Which of these could you do on a weekly basis? Date night with your partner? A long and luxurious soak in the bath?
Which ones are more monthly or yearly energy-boosters? A holiday, a weekend away?
2) Now think about where you could be leaking energy. Write those down too.
What kinds of thoughts make you feel tired? What situations, people, experiences, memories and feelings weigh you down and drain you of your life-force?
You might be surprised at what you find. You might notice that actually you’ve been carrying the weight of an unresolved chat, maybe some anger or resentment, or maybe a relationship at work is getting to you…
The bottom line is that stress tires us out.
Stress of any kind – work stress, emotional stress, anxiety, negative self-talk, wishing we were somewhere else, wishing we were someone else…
When we’re stressed, our bodies are in a constant fight-or-flight response.
Cortisol and adrenaline race through the system to help us deal with the danger. And the after-effect is a bit of a crash. Every day ongoing stress has the same effect. That’s a whole lot of crashing going on in the day!
Until we’re ready to look at where our energy is leaking, no amount of caffeine, sleep or nutritional supplementation is going to do the trick.
All this will do is keep filling up the leaky energy bucket.
It’s time to stop the leak.
(Ok, and because I’m ever practical, here are some other things that might be worth looking at to stop the leak):
- Dehydration – few of us drink as much water as we would like to. Keep a glass bottle with you at all times. If it’s there, you’ll drink it
- Shallow breathing – most of aren’t getting enough oxygen in our systems. You’d be amazed at how a few deep belly breaths can bring some snap into your step
- Inconsistent eating – skipping meals during the day messes with our sugar levels and we can never play catch up. Don’t skip meals, particularly in the first part of the day.
- Poor quality foods – grabbing whatever rubbish fills the gap in the moment, particularly in the form of refined and processed foods. Keep high-quality snacks on hands and work to start upgrading in small ways e.g. change from white to wholewheat, from milk chocolate to 80% cocoa.
- Artificial boosters – caffeine is ok in small quantities, but you need to know your tolerance level. Most of the time it perks us up and then pulls us down.
- Lack of fats – fatigue is one of the side-effects of a fat-deficient diet – lose the low-fat products, add an Essential Fatty Acid supplement, add some nut butter to your breakfast.
(Just don’t tire yourself by trying them all at once ;)