By Elizabeth (Betty) Nolan, Earth Spirit Wellness Inc.
We’ve all been there: we wake up feeling groggy, drag ourselves through the day struggling to stay awake, arrive home feeling exhausted, and end the evening on the couch, only to fall into bed and repeat the cycle again the next day.
If we experience a day or two of this, we can rebound. However, if the cycle repeats for too long, we can end up chronically tired, which can wreak havoc on our immune systems, stress response, moods, and emotions.
The good news is that you can spring back from or prevent chronic tiredness. A few tips:
Make time for relaxation
Try taking a warm bath at the end of the day. If you like to use essential oils in the bath, mix a few drops into a cup of epsom salts. Epsom salts are relaxing and a great source of magnesium, which can help reduce or stop leg cramping. Epsom salts also helps essential oils disperse throughout the bathwater rather than floating on top.
Fruit, nuts, seeds, vegetables, whole grains—this is where real energy is found! Fruit helps detoxify the body and provides the right kind of glucose for bodily functions. If you don’t have time to prepare breakfast before work in the morning, you can throw something together the night before. A good example is overnight oats: in a cereal bowl or travel mug, combine oatmeal with a few nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and/or hemp seeds for protein. Cover oat mixture with milk or milk substitute and store in the refrigerator overnight. Add fruit or berries in the morning and enjoy.
Go to bed hydrated
Important cleansing functions of the body take place while we sleep. That’s when the immune system and liver do their detoxification processes. Squeezing a slice of lemon into a glass of warm or room-temperature water and drinking it before bed will help keep you hydrated during the night, help the liver process toxins more efficiently, and thereby build immunity. Also, lemons contain vitamin C and other minerals that the body will absorb and use during the night.
Beware of rumination
Rumination, from a health perspective, is the mind replaying perceived mistakes, actions taken or not taken, opportunities lost forever. The feelings often associated with rumination are guilt, regret, and anger. If we allow rumination to take hold, it can keep us awake at night and unfocused during the day. If we focus more on finding solutions to our problems than on the problem itself, better outcomes become more accessible to us. Short meditations are a great way to calm the mind and help us think in a different direction.
Do some form of exercise
I know the conundrum—too tired to exercise, but exercise will give us energy. We all need to find something that works for us, remembering that the body needs to move to get and stay healthy. Experiment with different types of movement: walking, hiking, skiing, yoga, low-impact dance, belly dancing, stretching on the living room floor, whatever gets you moving. Find the one thing that you enjoy and commit to doing it a few times each week.
The key to combating chronic tiredness is to proactively change our routines to prioritize rest and healthy habits. It only takes a couple of small changes to make a world of difference!
Elizabeth (Betty) Nolan,
Betty is a naturopathic practitioner who also practices Reiki, BioScanSRT, and Raindrop Technique. She owns and operates Earth Spirit Wellness Inc., located at The Commons, Villa Nova Plaza, in Conception Bay South, where she helps her clients achieve their best health and wellness. When she’s not helping her clients or studying, you can find her spending time outdoors with her sheltie, Rosie.