“Rest and be kind, you don’t have to prove anything.” ~ Jack Kerouac
Are You Feeling Run Down All the Time?
There are numerous reasons a person may feel fatigued, many of which are best discussed with a medical professional. Medical issues such as anemia, hypothyroidism, and sleep apnea are just a few conditions that may cause excessive fatigue. Medications, pregnancy, and trauma are also common causes of chronic tiredness.
This article is going to address three areas that can be addressed without professional help. If you’re interested in learning more about the issues above, follow the links at the end of this article.
What Is Causing You to Feel Tired
1. A Lack of Exercise
Exercise can feel like an overwhelming thought when you are busy. It often gets bumped when your calendar is full, and your energy is running low. It’s a shame, too, because there is a principle that might seem counterintuitive to many about low energy and exercise. It doesn’t take nearly as much energy as you think to get the remarkable benefits of exercise. A 15-minute walk can help boost brain activity and heart health and promote digestion. It can also help your body and mind enter into a beneficial state of stress – it’s called eustress. The negative stress is called distress, and it’s often the culprit that zaps your good energy. Spending too much time in distress can leave you feeling worn out while your body and mind don’t feel exhausted at the end of the day. Recognizing the difference between feeling exhausted/distressed and feeling tired from a balanced activity day may seem obvious, but many people aren’t familiar with these concepts. As a high achiever, you may be on the other end of the spectrum – the person that works out too much. Overexercising can also be an issue that leaves you feeling exhausted long after your workout. Pay attention to your body, track the amount of rest you get each day, and hydrate. Finally, pay attention to the amount of sleep you get each night. You may be pushing too hard if you are busy all day and working out 6+ times a week.
2. Poor Quality & Quantity of Sleep
How is your sleep? Before you answer, an equally important question is: how do you know? You are ahead of the game if you wear a device that tracks your sleep or have a mattress that measures sleep metrics. If not, your best guess is likely quantity over quality. You may be using the number of hours you sleep each night as the only metric to grade one of the essential components of your health. There are incredible physiological activities that happen in the brain when we enter into two stages of sleep – deep and REM – that provide considerable benefits to the organ of the brain. If you are having trouble falling or staying asleep, you may be shortening your brain’s opportunities in those critical sleep stages.
3. Decision Fatigue
In his book “Tiny Habits,” author and researcher BJ Fogg estimates that each of us makes roughly 10,000 micro decisions in the first few hours we are awake. A lot of those decisions are subconscious. However, when our minds are not truly rested, we become more aware of the many choices we do need to make. Decision fatigue is what psychologists describe as the state one can feel when the mind is overactive and under-rested. When one experiences decision fatigue, studies show difficult choices that require more energy are often the first to be discarded. Instead of making that homemade smoothie with all the essential veggies and protein mix, you feel exhausted and hurried to get to work. You skip the choice that takes time and effort and instead opt for the drive-thru of your favorite coffee company. You get the extra big coffee because it matches your mood (the advertisement overloads your tired mind) and a pastry with little nutritional value. If this resonates with you, take heart. There are choices you can make to help with all three areas. I’ll mention a few in the video attached to this article. You can also explore the rest of the Tiger Medical Institute website to learn more about solutions that are habit based.
Regain Your Energy
If you want to know more about why you may be tired and what you can do to address exhaustion, check out these related articles:
- What Is Causing Me To Be So Tired?
- Who Should I See for Tiredness?
- 3 Ways to Boost Energy and Stop Feeling So Tired