Do you get enough hours of night-time rest, yet still feel tired all the time, especially during the day? Sometimes there can be a medical reason for this, such as an underactive thyroid gland or an underlying sleep disorder such as sleep apnea. Be sure to mention your fatigue to your doctor. That said, most people who sleep enough, yet drag themselves throughout their day, are prone to one or more of the following energy-sapping lifestyle habits:
Skipping breakfast or waiting too long between meals
When you skip breakfast, your body perceives the prolonged ‘fast’ as a stressful event and pumps out extra stress hormones. If you’re already stressed out by busy lifestyle, this is the last thing you need. Taking time to eat a solid, balanced breakfast will launch your day with more energy and stop you feeling tired all the time. Be sure to notice (and eat something healthy) whenever you start to get hungry or get that tired, light-headed feeling associated with low blood sugar. Have snacks on hand and prepare healthy meals to sustain strong levels of energy and concentration throughout your day.
Failing to exercise
It’s a vicious cycle: the less you exercise, the more likely you’ll feel tired all the time and the less you’ll feel like exercising. To turn this pattern around, take yourself out for a brisk walk even when you feel tired. You’ll most likely notice that after the walk, you’ll feel much more alert, positive and energetic. Even just 20 minutes of brisk walking daily will help you have more energy, manage stress better, and also sleep deeper at night.
Living at a hectic pace without breaks can lead to feeling tired all the time
Many people race through their days from morning to night. Are you one of them? If you constantly feel like you’re rushing and never stop to take a break, you’ll have stress hormones pumping non-stop throughout your body all day long. This is a guaranteed recipe for exhaustion and burnout. Notice when you start rushing or pushing, slow down, and remember to breathe. Find time to take small breaks, even for just a couple of minutes. Give yourself an extra 5 minutes to get to wherever you’re going.
Not taking time off
Research has shown that failing to take annual leave makes you more prone to fatigue and illness, less productive, less happy, and more likely to die before your time. If it’s been much too long since you last took some time off work, book some annual leave now. Try to unplug completely, as this will boost the restorative impact.
Skipping the Sabbath
Whether or not you have any religious affiliation, the human body ideally needs to rest one day every week. For years, Sundays have been sacred for me. I usually don’t do any kind of work (not even household chores). The to-do list never ends anyway, so why not take a day off from it? You’ll discover that you enjoy a more productive, energetic and happy week if you allow yourself to stop for one precious, necessary day.