Skeptical? You should be.
If you’ve been around here awhile, you know that I often ask readers where they need help with natural health & beauty.
Not long ago, a reader sent me a comment like this:
“I’m just so tired all the time. It’s hard for me to get up in the morning, and I have a hard time getting motivated at work. I’d like to know how I can have tons of energy all of the time and stop feeling tired!”
I get a lot (a LOT) of emails from women saying they want more energy. But the words in this one triggered something for me – she wants high energy all the time.
Is that even possible?
And if it is possible to have high energy all of the time – should you even want that?
We’re Out of Sync with Natural Energy Cycles
The natural world strives for balance. Summer and winter. Day and night. Your cup of hot tea slowly spreading its heat to the air around it, as it comes to room temperature to find a balance… (it’s Yin and Yang, isn’t it?)
In the same way, our bodies evolved to work within these natural cycles.
It’s such a pretty ideal. Living in tune with the seasons. Growth and heat and expansion and high-energy in the summer – counteracted by a colder, inward-facing time for reflection and restoration in the winter.
REALITY CHECK – this is not how our world operates anymore – at all.
These days, we’re expected to be ‘on’ all the time.
If you have a 9-5 job, you’re expected to be functioning at peak capability from 9-5 Monday-Friday.
(Sorry if you’re a night owl and would do better from 11AM -7PM, or even later! That’s not allowed.)
Even in our personal lives, we feel this pressure to “live life to the max and make the most of every opportunity!!! Do it now, or you might miss out!!!”
So, it makes sense that we want to have super high energy all the time.
Your Body Knows What Works
Let me just say that I get it.
I totally understand that there is an epidemic of tiredness, especially among women today. This used to be me! I was physically, mentally, and emotionally tired a lot of the time. And no wonder – I was working too hard, playing too hard, always being connected, and not listening to my body’s signals to slow down and regroup.
That being said, I completely agree that being tired all the time is not good for our lives – and most of us would feel better with more steady energy.
But, it’s unrealistic to have super high energy all of the time.
In fact, rest periods are when your body can restore itself!
Rebuild. Heal. Chill.
Until the past 100 years, people didn’t live 24/7 lives. (Don’t get me wrong, I love technology and modern conveniences! But it’s helpful to put our bodies in the context of how we evolved … we’re still learning how to live at our current pace!)
Great-great grandma would have gone to bed when it got dark and woken up with the sunlight.
When people were ill, they convalesced. (What a concept!)
When women had their periods, they were sent away to a women’s tent (whatever the underlying motives – women got a few days every month to be with other women away from family responsibilities – what a luxury that would be now!)
We Need to Adjust Our Expectations
Rather than punishing and pushing yourself about feeling tired this week, try to tune into your body a bit more:
- What time of day are you the most alert? The most tired?
- When you’re feeling tired – what is going on? Are you stressed? Angry? Bored?
- What did you eat a few hours ago? Is that making you feel energetic or sleepy?
- Is your tiredness a cycle? For example, do you get tired on Sundays because you dread going to work?
- When you have good energy – what are you doing? Who are you with?
Don’t judge. Just observe.
You might be surprised by what you find!
A New Goal
Instead of shooting for super high energy all of the time, let’s find a new goal.
Let’s give ourselves permission to find our own unique balance of energy and rejuvenation.
It’s different for every person. But only you can find the solution that will work for your life.
Finding your unique balance looks like:
- Having enough energy to do your work, to care for your family, to handle your responsibilities, to pursue your creative passions.
- Taking intentional time to rest and restore yourself – which is as important as the other items on your to-do list.
This week try to be an energy detective. What times of day are you the most energetic? When are you the most tired?
What small step can you take to shift some of your activities / tasks / responsibilities to the most alert part of your day?
Scroll down and leave a comment about how you’re going to take action on your energy levels this week!
Tips for More Energy Naturally
If you are feeling tired all of the time and you want to make a change, then you have come to the right place. Now that you know that you need to take action, we have a few tips on how to stop feeling tired all the time.
What IS Fatigue?
Fatigue is the feeling you get when you are chronically tired, and this includes both mental and physical exhaustion. This kind of fatigue can be caused by a number of factors, including making unhealthy lifestyle choices, problems at work, and even stress.
There are also different types of fatigue. Chronic fatigue syndrome, for example, is a disease that is characterized by profound fatigue, sleep abnormalities, pain, and other symptoms, including muscle and joint pain.
Caffeine overload can also cause fatigue, along with not getting a good night’s sleep, depression, and other problems and conditions that manifest in this way.
To help with fatigue and the feeling of always being tired, there are a few dietary suggestions to keep in mind.
- Drink plenty of water
- Don’t go crazy with the caffeine – limit yourself to one or two caffeinated beverages per day
- Make sure to eat breakfast because it can boost your metabolism and give you energy to burn
- Never skip meals. This can cause your blood sugar levels to drop
- Avoid crash dieting. These diets don’t usually contain enough nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to maintain your energy levels throughout the day
- Eat a healthy and well-balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole-grain foods, low-fat dairy, and lean meats
- Avoid consuming high amounts of fat, sugar, and salt
- Consume iron-rich foods. When your body doesn’t get enough iron-rich foods, you will not have enough iron to produce hemoglobin, and this can ultimately cause anemia. Iron deficiency anemia will develop and can cause blood loss.
Now here we are at sleep. One of the more common causes of fatigue and low energy levels is not getting a good night’s sleep or enough sleep.
The average adult needs to have at least 8 hours of sleep per night to avoid extreme tiredness. To accomplish this, limit your caffeine, learn how to relax, avoid taking any kind of sleeping pills, and avoid the television and other electronics before bed. This can all go a long way in improving your sleep quality and minimizing sleepiness during the day, along with chronic fatigue.
You can also change some lifestyle habits to find more energy and not be tired all the time. Are you a smoker? Cigarette smoke contains several harmful substances, and they can result in low energy and other health problems. You should also reduce sedentary behaviors and move around more during the day while increasing your physical activity levels. Exercise each week can be extremely helpful in increasing your energy levels.
Mental Health Checks
Your mental and psychological health is also important. Avoid unnecessary stress when possible, learn more relaxation techniques, stop engaging in a hectic lifestyle, and learn when to take some downtime, and have more fun! You should always give yourself time to have fun and participate in activities you enjoy doing.
Sleep and Energy FAQ
Can food sensitivities cause fatigue?
Yes. Food allergies and food sensitivities can cause fatigue. The best way to see if your diet is what is causing you to be tired all the time is by trying an elimination diet to see if it is food sensitivities causing the tiredness.
What is restorative sleep?
Restorative sleep consists of the completion of all five of the stages of sleep. It also refers to the chemical changes that occur within 24 hours to allow your body to repair, heal, and grow.
Are energy drinks a good idea for a boost of energy?
You will find that the majority of energy drinks actually contain high levels of caffeine. While this can provide you with a short and temporary burst of energy, it is going to be short-lived and may cause other problems that leave you fatigued and lead to poor sleep habits.
Why are healthy fats important?
Healthy fats can give your body the energy it needs while also supporting cell growth. Healthy fats protect your organs and help the body absorb some vital nutrients.
Does sleep apnea cause daytime fatigue?
If you are trying to achieve normal or restorative sleep, then sleep apnea can make this impossible. It can cause daytime drowsiness, fatigue, and even irritability. It leaves you finding it hard to concentrate as well.