There are so many reasons for fatigue. Find out how to overcome it in these simple ways.
“All I need is some good rest.”
“I just wish I could get away from it all.”
“I am going to crash…”
It could be something as simple as that. Or, it could be the complete inability to carry out even day-to-day tasks.
Caught in the rat race, fatigue can be due to simple physical or mental stress. This kind of stress, considered low-grade, can in itself be disruptive. In the US, a study shows that as much as 20% of accidents happen due to driver fatigue.
Fatigue can be handled with a simple adjustment to diet and lifestyle.
- It is important to first understand the cause for fatigue. It could be due to illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, anemia, thyroid disease and sleep apnea. The medications for these ailments can also cause sleeplessness. Eliminate this possibility by visiting your physician and getting your parameters under control and changing your medication if necessary.
- Many a times, although we seem to be always rushing, our physical activity would still be classified as ‘sedentary’. Research stresses on regular exercise for physical and mental well-being. So fit in a 30-minute exercise regimen. Though it may seem too much in an already packed schedule, just spending those 30 minutes stretching the limbs can magically transform life, bring more calm and confidence and help deal with crises better. This will automatically relieve mental stress and fatigue. Shedding extra weight will also contribute to a feeling of lightness and energy.
- Nutritional imbalance, be it that of macro nutrients such as fats, proteins and carbohydrates, or micronutrients such as minerals and vitamins, can also cause fatigue. Don’t skip meals; gorge on fruits instead of processed food and have a balanced diet.
- Rest well. The seven to eight hours of sleep one gets at night is sacrosanct, a must to help the body rejuvenate and face the next day. Staying up late for work or partying may sound inevitable and cool. But in the long run, it will make getting out of bed difficult. Early to bed, early to rise and a little exercise are a must to keep our bodies healthy and energetic.
- Drink water regularly throughout the day. Engrossed in our work and shuttling from one task to another or one location to another can make us forgetful of sipping this life-giver in between. Dehydration is a big cause for sapping energy.
- Cut the caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. They further draw on the energy resources and can compound the tiredness the body feels. Instead, eat healthy, and on time, to replace the lost nutrients.
- Unwind with a hobby. It is relaxing, and the time away from a busy calendar is well spent pursuing something you like, infusing fresh joy.
- Anxiety can cause insomnia, which in turn causes fatigue. According to a survey conducted by the Mental Health Foundation, nearly a third of the population face sleep-deprivation due to job and money worries, and suggests that this is linked to low energy levels.
- Manage your gut health, for the gastrointestinal system is directly linked to energy levels. Acidity and related problems can play havoc with your sense of wellbeing.
Recently, there was a controversy regarding chronic fatigue syndrome, which is said to affect a million people in the US alone, more than even multiple sclerosis, lupus and many forms of cancer! Accompanied by a condition called myalgic encephalitis, it renders the affected individual completely without energy to perform even the simplest of tasks. Many quit their jobs and other persuasions because of this. In fact, my own son, when he was six years old, found himself unable to walk and was diagnosed with myalgia. This is a scary condition and does not go away with mere rest, physical exercise or better nutrition. In fact, exercise can worsen the condition.
Studies are being conducted to pin the cause and find a treatment. In the UK, a study revealed that 70% of CFS/ME patients suffered from an infection, usually glandular fever, caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. In my son’s case, intravenous injection of viral medicine helped bring relief and he was back to normal.
So, if the fatigue is crippling and not letting you get on with your life, get a proper medical checkup and the correct treatment. But for milder forms, just remember the three mantras – eat well, sleep well, exercise well.