Fatigue or tired – what’s the difference?
Tiredness happens to all of us. We’re constantly on the go and never seem to get a good night’s sleep. We get up in the morning and we’re tired. We come home in the evening, and we’re tired. We go to bed at night tired.
Fatigue is something else and we shouldn’t confuse the two.
Fatigue tends to be a long-term problem and can be brought on by health issues and/or stress.
Let me share some natural ways to beat fatigue and increase your energy for the roller coaster life you live.
Jump off the blood sugar roller coaster
Have you checked your sugar levels?
It’s a good idea to keep a check on your sugar levels, even if you’re not diabetic.
Your goal with healthy eating is to stabilize your blood sugar. I recommend to my clients to try eating every three to four hours. A healthy snack between meals will help keep your sugar levels stabilized.
Your sugar levels will spike and then crash based on the foods you eat. It’s easy to tell when your sugar has crashed. Eat a bowl of sugary cereal for breakfast or a sweet sugary pastry and within three hours you’re starving and ready to crash.
Try these natural ways to balance your blood sugar, and boost your energy naturally:
- Eating every 3-4 hours gives your body the nutrients and fuel it needs to keep your blood sugar – and energy levels steady
- Consuming foods that are low on the glycemic index (think fruits and veggies, whole grains) instead of the higher sugar white breads and pastas.
- Eating protein with every meal to slow down the release of carbohydrates into your bloodstream. Protein is broken down and released slower so you’re less likely to have a blood sugar spike and subsequent crash.
Put your tennis shoes on and get moving!
Fatigue tells you to sit right there and don’t move.
By the end of the day you’re worn out from just sitting.
Get up and move. The more you move – whether you’re exercising, walking or some other activity; you’ll be surprised at the boost of energy you’ll experience.
I’m not talking about an hour at the gym, just get up and walk briskly for about 10 minutes. You’ll have energy for the next two hours.
I try to get up from my desk every two hours and walk for 10 minutes or so. This revives me for the next round of work and drives the fatigue away.
If you’re sitting at a desk all day, do your best to get up and walk throughout your day.
Go to bed
What’s the quality of your sleep?
Are you tossing and turning all night?
Getting up multiple times during the night?
Any of those problems will have a big impact on your energy and will cause you to have fatigue.
Restful sleep is just a few tips away. Try these for a restful night’s sleep:
- Avoid tech in the bedroom, or within 1-2 hours of bedtime. Even the small amount of light, especially the blue light emitted from devices, interrupts your body’s circadian rhythm. Your brain still thinks it’s daytime and won’t wind down.
- Avoid caffeine late in the day – or avoid all together if this is a problem for you
- Try to create a regular sleep/wake schedule to help your body develop a sleep routine = good sleep hygiene.
- Dab a bit of calming lavender essential oil on your temples before bed or put a few drops on your pillow. Breathe in the calm.
Water – Water – Water!
How much water are you drinking during the day?
Fatigue and dehydration go hand in hand.
When your body is dehydrated stress begins to take over. Before you reach for that coffee or energy drink to perk you up, consider switching to plain old water. While caffeine is usually the first choice for busting out of an energy slump, it can be dehydrating.
Even mild dehydration impairs our concentration, decreases our mood and zaps our energy.
Are you dehydrated?
Check the color of your urine. If it’s the color of straw, you’re good to go. If it’s a darker yellow color, it’s time to drink up.
If you’re still craving a caffeine hit, try the Energizing Matcha Smoothie recipe below.
Matcha gives a longer lasting energy boost than coffee. It doesn’t hit you hard and then cause you to crash. Plus, it is really delicious!
Energy Boosting Matcha Smoothie
1 cup of unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (your choice, no added sugar)
1-2 tsp matcha green tea powder (start with less if you’re new to matcha – it packs a kick!)
½ frozen banana
Ice cubes (optional)
1 large handful of spinach or kale (optional, but recommended)
How to prepare
Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend until desired smoothness is achieved.
Sip and enjoy the energy boost!
Glycemic Index Foundation – https://www.gisymbol.com/about-glycemic-index/
California State University Long Beach, Public Affairs & Publications – https://web.csulb.edu/misc/inside/archives/vol_58_no_4/1.htm
National Sleep Foundation – https://sleepfoundation.org/press-release/what-good-quality-sleep