how to overcome fatigue and tiredness

Here’s how you can fight fatigue and stay energised throughout the day

The next time you feel tired, instead of grabbing another cup of coffee for a quick fix, try building healthy lifestyle habits that can help you stay energised all day long.
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Do you feel tired and drained of your energy at the end of the day? Do you find yourself dozing off on your desk or unable to focus? If your answer to one or both the questions is a yes, fatigue may be taking over your life. Feeling tired is normal when you are recovering from an illness or haven’t got enough sleep or rest. But when lack of energy becomes a regular affair, you need to dig deeper, identify the underlying causes of the problem and understand how to overcome fatigue.

Fatigue can be described as a feeling of tiredness and dullness. It is similar to lethargy characterised by the constant urge to sleep. Common causes of fatigue include a sedentary lifestyle, stress, dehydration, medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, iron deficiency and even poor mental health.

Fatigue can not only affect your mental wellbeing but can also spill over into your productivity and personal and professional relationships. So, the next time you feel tired, instead of grabbing another cup of coffee for a quick fix, try building healthy habits that can help you stay energised all day long.

Here are some healthy lifestyle habits that can make you feel more alert, help you overcome fatigue and give you the energy boost to make the most of your day.

Eat nutrition-rich food

When fatigue sets in at some point during the day, most of us reach for a pick-me-up in the form of sugar or caffeine. Sure, both can give you a quick energy boost, but it is often followed by a crash. When looking for sustained energy, eating a balanced diet is essential. Make sure you are getting enough nutrients by eating foods high in fibre and protein, fruits and vegetables, whole grains and nuts. By focussing on the type and quantity of food you eat, you can maintain your energy and alertness by keeping your body fuelled.

Be physically active

You may wonder how moving around and exercising when you are tired can help boost your energy levels. Experts say one of the best ways to overcome fatigue is to exercise more, not less. According to Robert E. Thayer, author of Calm Energy: How People Regulate Mood with Food, “Once you actually start moving around—even just getting up off the couch and walking around the room—the more you will want to move, and ultimately, the more energy you will feel.” Whenever possible, try to squeeze in 10-15 minutes of exercise every day if not more. In addition to walking, you can try yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi. Little bursts of physical activity can ward off fatigue and give you the energy to function at an optimal level for hours.

Stay hydrated

Roughly 60 percent of your body weight is water. Yet, you constantly lose it through sweat, urine and breathing. When you are low on water, your body may feel more fatigued than usual. Fatigue and low energy is usually the first sign that your body is headed towards dehydration. Dehydration can also impact your quality of sleep as suggested by research, which can make you feel less energetic the next day. In addition to 8-10 glasses of water, consuming a sufficient amount of fluids such as soups, vegetables and fruit juices can help replenish the water that your body loses throughout the day. So remember to stay hydrated at all times.

Get enough sleep

When you don’t get enough sleep, your mind and body are unable to function at their best and become exhausted due to energy demands. This leads to fatigue, irritability and difficulty in concentrating or learning something new. Hence, a good night’s sleep is essential if you want to maintain your energy levels throughout the day. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day and avoid napping during the day. Before you go to bed, try to relax by doing some gentle stretches or deep breathing. You can even start following a bedtime routine to help you sleep better. Practice relaxation techniques like meditation or reading to help you wind down. You will certainly feel refreshed and function at peak energy levels throughout the day.

Practice deep breathing

When you feel fatigued or exhausted, the first thing you can do is practice deep breathing. It is an effective way to relieve stress and restore your dwindling energy levels. You can practice deep breathing pretty much anywhere. It delivers oxygen to your cells and nutrients to your bloodstream, providing the energy you need to revitalise yourself and overcome fatigue, all in just a few minutes.

Limit screen time

Sitting in front of your computer screen for hours or scrolling through your phone endlessly can cause physical and mental fatigue by decreasing your melatonin (sleep hormone) levels and increasing your cortisol (stress hormone) levels. When screen time is unavoidable, move around as much as you can. In between tasks and meetings, take a walk to your kitchen to refill your water bottle. When you need a break, do some simple movements such as rolling your shoulders and stretching your limbs to get the blood flowing. When your work is done, don’t rush to watch TV or browse your social media. The idea is to limit your screen time and exposure to technology. Instead, give your eyes some much-needed rest.

Listen to your favourite music

Music has a soothing effect on your mind and can help alleviate mental fatigue. When you are tired and need a break, listening to your favourite playlist or any form of calming music can make you feel relaxed and ease your tension. You instantly find yourself getting into a better mood. Researchers at Stanford University found that listening to music can impact brain functioning to the same extent as meditation. The endorphins released in the body while listening to music improve blood circulation, sending oxygen and nutrients through your body and raising your energy levels.

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