5 Ways to Fight Fatigue

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The clock strikes 2 and you're about ready to paperclip your eyelids to your brows just to stay awake at your office desk. It's the dreaded afternoon nap sensation that we battle every day as we pop open a bottle of coke, fetch a cup of coffee, or grab a tasty treat. You don't have to rely on sugar and caffeine to get you through the day. Instead of taking calorie dense, low-nutrient foods into your system for a quick energy boost, opt for lifestyle changes that can keep you energized and healthy in the long-run.

Fatigue can affect all of us, whether you're a perfectly healthy individual or if you suffer from a chronic, debilitating condition. For most, a few lifestyle changes can significantly boost your energy levels and help you fight exhaustion during your daily activities.

BE GOOD TO YOUR BODY, AND YOUR BODY WILL BE GOOD TO YOU.

Fighting fatigue involves a few immediate actions coupled with a few long-term lifestyle changes. Small Changes will add up to big improvements.  

  • Reduce stress. Take note of all the stressors in your life and work toward reducing them as an immediate action. Stress can affect you in various ways, and learning how to cope with it will make all the difference.  I recently discovered that defining healthy priorities could enable me to say no and reduce the stress in my life.  I learned as a result of asking others for help and praising them for completing their tasks, I had more energy and everyone was in a better mood.   
  • Restful Sleep. Restful sleep for least seven to eight hours allows your joints, muscles, and body to recover from your daily activities. You feel lighter and refreshed. Avoid things like caffeine, tech tools, and alcohol to help you fall into a more relaxed, deep sleep.
  • Eat a balanced diet. Maintaining an ideal body weight should be a priority for everyone to prevent pain on weight-bearing joints and to reduce the risk of chronic disease and pain. Also, a nutritious diet will help keep you energized. This lifestyle change can be started with some gradual changes.  Pick a meal and reduce your portion sizes.  When this becomes a habit choose another way to make a healthy change.  For example, add a vegetable to a meal or as a snack or reduce sugary snacks.
  • Exercise. It may seem counter intuitive that in order to boost your energy, you should first expend energy. Begin by incorporating some extra movement into your day.  Park further away from the door at work and the store.  Sit on an exercise ball while you watch TV and bounce, roll and discover some fun movements you can do for 10 to 20 minutes when you get home from work.  Exercise does not have to be brutal or exhausting to build muscle and burn some calories.  
  • Make changes gradually.  Avoid the tendency do too much too fast.  How can you make small changes in your overall energizing plan?  Take a break to just breathe, eating a salad at least once a day and walking a bit further from your car to the door builds habits which build health.  As you climb a ramp into a building, you take one step at a time up the slope.  It is the same with improving our energy levels one step at a time. Celebrate the gains and soon you will surprise yourself with your new found energy.   

Loving to Breathe

The Breath

I you know how to breathe….at least enough to stay alive.  Research studies have revealed breathing can do a lot more than keep us alive.  By using our breath we can relax our muscles, reduce our tension, and focus our minds. 

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When training individuals who were hesitant to try breathing activities, I have listened to their concerns.  I learned most thought practiced breathing had to be a ridged experience with counting and forcing the breath pattern.  That is one way to perform mindful breathing.  However, breathing is a forgiving process for the most part and there are huge benefits to experiencing the breath.

Noticing your breath is a gentle way to start.  What is the first place you feel the air connect to your body as you inhale?  What area of your body do you feel move first?  What would it feel like if you intentionally invited the air into your body from another area of yourself?  How do you exhale?  How long does it take?  What would it feel like to intentionally release tension during your exhale and allow the weight of your shoulders, chest and back to ease the air from your body?  Just a few minutes spent focused on your breath everyday can change your health for the better!  

Trusting Yourself

I wish you had been with me in March of 2017, I was driving to Canyon Lake from McAllen, TX.  I had worked all day, and it was getting dark.  I knew the way…mostly. However, I decided to use the GPS in my car.  It told me to take a turn which did not make sense, but I took it…instead of trusting my gut.  Most of the night, I drove around through parts of Texas I don’t think even the eagles have seen.  I remember a sign saying there were no services for 102 miles.  I learned an important lesson that night.  Trust myself.  I believe this is true for each of us.  If we paid more attention to “our gut” feelings and less attention to an “authority” what choices would we make?   

The next time you feel something is right, test it, and then make the decision that is right for you. 

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