You know the feeling… the I-just-cannot-make-it-through-until-bedtime feeling. The fight against fatigue is real, and pervasive in our culture. We lead busy lives and don’t schedule time to ourselves. Over time, this leads to a sense of fatigue. Let us clarify the difference between fatigue and feeling tired. After a challenging workout, or a night of poor sleep, you may feel tired. After a long, hard day at the office, coming home to a noisy household, cooking dinner, doing dishes, folding laundry, bath time, story time and bedtime- you likely feel fatigued (and if you don’t- PLEASE share your secret in the comments!). Here are a few…
- Evaluate. Battling against fatigue begins with taking a serious look at the way you are spending your time. Does your schedule each week reflect the things in life that are most important to you? Go ahead- look through your calendar- we’ll wait here. Well, what did you find? Too often, we overfill our days and then wonder how we will find the time to get it all done. Look for tasks that take lots of time and bring little in return. Or, cut down on tasks that you can delegate. Are you drowning in a huge project at work? Delegate some of the phone calls/ document drafting to your assistant. Do you have older children? They can take over most household chores. Did you volunteer to bring 7 dozen cupcakes to the PTA meeting? Call the bakery! It can be frustrating, but also freeing, to learn that in some cases, fatigue is your own doing. Keep track of the ways you spend time for the next couple of weeks. You might be surprised by all of the things crowding your time and causing you fatigue. You’ll never be able to battle fatigue unless you see what is causing it.
- Health Factors. Another major cause of fatigue can be the choices you are making about your health. Take a few moments to reflect on how well you are taking care of your mind and body. Sometimes we can pinpoint poor health choices as the cause of fatigue. Who wouldn’t be tired after weeks of fast food, little exercise and lots of sugary drinks? If this sounds like you, slowly begin to make steps toward eating healthier, exercising more, and drinking more water. Fatigue will hinder every area of your life until you make good choices for yourself. Look for ways to eat fresh, healthy foods and look to incorporate exercise into your days. After just a few weeks, you will undoubtedly see an increased level of energy, and you’ll be sleeping soundly each night. If you already feel you are leading a healthy, active lifestyle (and you are being honest with yourself), then you may need to refer to tips #1 and #3 to combat fatigue.
- Downtime. One final way to battle fatigue is to make a little time in your days for things that you can enjoy alone. Be cautious though- quite often we fall into the trap of spending our downtime starting at a screen. While it can be a tempting distraction to scroll through your social media accounts, think about whether or not that really leaves you feeling refreshed and re-energized. Probably not. We recommend that you pick up few books that you’ve been wanting to read and spend thirty minutes each day reading for fun. Or perhaps a long soak in a bubble bath leaves you feeling like a million bucks. Maybe you want to consider picking up an old hobby that you’ve been “too busy” for these past few years. Knitting, anyone? Whatever you enjoy doing, the point is to look for small things you can add to your life to keep your mind at peace. This time set aside for pursuing a personal interest will bring balance and hopefully renew your energy.
Your life should not be lived with a looming sense of unconquerable fatigue. Look for ways you can minimize daily tasks, tweak your lifestyle choices and incorporate a pleasurable activity into each day. The battle against fatigue isn’t easy, but it is certainly a battle well worth winning.
What works for you? Add your tips in the comments!