If you find yourself yawning a lot and struggle to get through that 3pm energy slump, you may be suffering from fatigue. With many of us leading increasingly busy lives – juggling work and family – it is hardly surprising that lack of energy is increasingly common. Feeling energetic all of the time isn’t possible and it is perfectly normal to feel tired at the end of a busy day or to have temporary dips in energy, but if you feel persistently tired and haven’t got enough energy to get through the day then follow our experts top fatigue fighting tips.
“A well-balanced, healthy diet is essential for high energy levels. At its most basic level, the food you eat and drink is the fuel that your body and brain needs to function at its peak. Skimp on the quality of that fuel and you will pay the price with weight gain and low energy. Skipping breakfast, not drinking enough water, over eating, dieting, eating on the run, consumption of caffeine and alcohol, and eating a lot of refined, processed food are the major causes of low energy levels,” explains Dr Marilyn Glenville, Leading UK Nutritionist and author of Natural Alternatives to Sugar.
Stretch at your desk
Do you feel yourself slumping over your desk once 3pm comes around? If you sit behind a computer all day, make sure you take regular breaks to wake up your mind and your muscles and get your blood pumping. Maija Kivelä, yoga instructor at the new holistic wellness boutique, Maître of Thyme recommends doing stretches at your desk. “Wrist stretches, desk downward dog, chair twists, seated pigeon pose and the glute hip opener are all great stretches to do at your desk.”
“Dehydration occurs when you lose more fluid than you take in and your body doesn’t have enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal functions. Mild dehydration can cause symptoms such as weakness, dizziness and fatigue. Aim for six to eight glasses of water or herb teas a day and don’t wait until you get thirsty to drink. You can do that by monitoring your fluid loss during hot weather, illness or exercise, and drinking enough liquids to replace what you lose. Also reduce your alcohol, tea and coffee intake as these are dehydrating,” suggests Dr Glenville.
Exercise at the right time of day
Dr Glenville explains, “Regular exercise is essential for keeping your energy levels up. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise, preferably in the fresh air so you get all the energy boosting power of daylight. Regular exercise releases feel good hormones and lowers stress hormones and encourages a good nights’ sleep so it is a fatigue fighting essential. Not how but when you work out could be draining your energy. Do energy forming exercises such as running or aerobics in the morning and focus on milder activities later in the evening. Try a walk at the end of the day or a yoga session to calm your mind and stretch your muscles. If your daily exercise routine is exhausting adjust it because the aim of exercise is to boost your energy not drain it. Don’t go the other way, though and cut out exercise altogether as no exercise will trap you in a vicious cycle of tiredness.”
Don’t be glued to your phone
“Sleeplessness, headaches, fatigue and dizziness can all be symptoms of electrical sensitivity. Electrical sensitivity affects about 35 per cent of the population. It interferes with your body’s natural rhythms. Phones may be the worst as we tend to keep them beside the bed, where we receive electrical waves from the base. Other risk areas include: using the hairdryer over 10 minutes; keeping your digital clock by the bed and sitting too close and too long in front of a computer screen. Switch to an analogue clock and a flat screen monitor and keep your wireless network router in a different room to your study or bedroom. Also, if you’re working in front of a computer screen for long periods make sure you take a few minutes break at least every half an hour,” suggests Dr Glenville.
“Yoga helps with your flexibility, muscle strength and tone, respiration and your energy levels and vitality. It also helps to lower stress hormones, calms the nervous system, reveals the body’s habits and brings you back into your body, into yourself. To achieve physical, mental and emotional relaxation, try restorative yoga. It provides healing for the body and the mind. It is a mellow and slow-paced style of yoga that will have you holding positions longer. This style focuses on poses that invigorate your immune system and stretch out the aches and pains of the week,” explains Maija.
Get enough sleep
A good sleep is a fatigue fighting essential. So, how do you make sure you get the desired 7-8 hours sleep each night? Try to stick to your regular sleep routine as much as possible. Burning Lavender or Vanilla scented candles or oils before you go to bed can help as they are known as calming potent relaxers. Meditation is another great way to help de-stress your mind and body.