Most people experience tiredness at times in their life. But usually there is something they can attribute it to, such as not getting enough sleep or more exertion than normal …and it is fleeting – a good night’s sleep or a couple days of light activities usually solves it. But what happens when tiredness becomes a constant daily and unending struggle? It becomes fatigue. And while fatigue may seem just like ongoing tiredness, there is physiologically a difference.
Whereas tiredness is usually physical in nature, fatigue moves into affecting us psychologically also. Symptoms usually include difficulty concentrating, anxiety, decrease in stamina, difficulty sleeping and an increased sensitivity to light. And fatigue can progress to something even more challenging – exhaustion. Exhaustion takes fatigue to the next level where a person becomes confused and even delirious, suffers from emotional numbness, has a sudden loss of energy, difficulty staying awake and a withdrawal from social engagements.
In this article, we are going to concentrate on the lowest level on this continuum – feeling tired. Feeling tired is a lack of energy and in this stage it can vary day-to-day from not being tired at all to being really tired … to the point where you question whether you will make it through the day or not without a nap. But, have you ever stopped to examine the reasons behind your tiredness beyond the obvious – a hard workout or not sleeping well the night before?
One common cause of tiredness is low blood sugar. If you skip breakfast, or go too long between eating, your sugar gets low – to the point where your cells can no longer make enough energy to support bodily functions, hence you feel tired. While some people believe skipping breakfast is a key to losing weight, it is just the opposite. Eating breakfast spurs the metabolism into action to start burning more calories. The key is to eat a breakfast high in protein, but lower in carbs.
We all know you can feel tired after exercising, especially after the dopamine wears off. But did you know that not exercising at all can make you tired too? If you don’t exercise, it makes you feel tired … and not want to exercise, so it is a vicious cycle that will not stop unless you intervene and force yourself to do something – even a 10-minute walk can break the tiredness spell.
Not taking rest breaks
Are you someone that rushes through their day? Do you feel you have so much to do that you can’t stop for a break? If so, that could be a source of your tiredness. The body needs to rest both physically and mentally a few times during the day to reenergized itself. If not, you are going to experienced feeling tired.
Not taking vacations
In the previous paragraph, we talked about taking short breaks throughout the day. But at times, your mind and body need a break from your daily grind for a few days in a row – it is called a vacation and you should try it sometime. Most companies give their employees vacation time ranging from a week to sometimes a month or more. But as uncanny as it seems, many people do not make use of their vacation time. Just as with short breaks during the day, our body needs to unplug for a few days in a row. Even a long 3-day weekend is better than nothing at all.
Not observing your religion
Regardless of your faith, or what you believe in as far as a higher being, most religions set aside one day per week to observe and practice your faith. For many it is Sunday; for some it is Saturday. Regardless, it forces you to take a break from your daily grind and rest or do very little during that day. It is like a forced break lasting for a day.
Not seeing a healthcare professional
There are certain medical conditions and diseases that can also cause tiredness – arthritis, fibromyalgia, Addison’s disease … and an overactive or underactive thyroid to name a few. If you have observed the other tips in this article and are still experiencing tiredness, see your doctor for a checkup to see if there is an underlying medical condition that could be causing your tiredness.
Contrary to what many people believe, humans are not machines; we can’t go day in and day out for weeks or even months at a time without some kind of break. Breaks can range from as little as 15 minutes in the morning and again in the afternoon, with a 30-minute to one-hour lunch break, to a vacation lasting from a week to a month. Use these six tips in this article to ensure that you give your body the best chance of keeping up with your daily routine and to keep from feeling tired.