Health and wellbeing

Feeling tired?

It’s a common complaint, but it doesn’t mean you should just put up with it. Tiredness affects your mental and physical performance, makes you more emotional and less resilient.

Driving whilst tired has a similar effect to a 0.05% blood alcohol content (the limit in Australia), so would you turn up to a meeting with your boss after two beers? Here’s a couple of simple things to do to combat daily fatigue and feel more energised.

Check with your doctor – Tiredness is a symptom of many medical conditions. Check in with your doctor especially if you have other symptoms, or fatigue is sustained and isn’t correlated to a period of high stress or activity. A simple blood test can tell you if you are deficient in a particular vitamin or have a hormone imbalance for example. As my GP says, there should be no reason for an otherwise fit and healthy person to feel consistently tired, and it should not be accepted if you are lucky enough to live in a country with good medical care.

Drink water – The recommended daily intake of water is an astounding 2 litres for women and 2.6 for men. I know I don’t drink anywhere near that amount, even after consciously trying to increase it. Whenever I feel tired, I drink a glass of water (or cordial if I need to extra flavour) particularly in the afternoons when the sugar craving hits.

Check your night-time routine – There’s lot’s of advice on how changes to your night-time routine can improve your sleep time and sleep quality. Keep your wake-up time consistent, avoid blue screens an hour before you want to sleep, make sure your room is not too hot or cold and avoid stimulants like coffee, tea, sugar or emotionally charged activities like reading self-help books. There’s plenty of studies and data behind much of this, so give it a go if you’re not getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night.

Cut down on the carbs – There’s a reason they call it the carb coma! I cut out most carbs at lunchtime and those 3pm meetings suddenly feel a lot more engaging. I also cut down the carbs in my dinner so I’m not going to sleep on such a full stomach.

Is your life balance right? – No matter how much water we drink, hours of sleep we get or fruit and veg we eat, no-one is superhuman. You can only take on so much activity and stress. We all need down-time and long-term health and wellbeing is much more important than striving to achieve goals. If you are taking too much on, see where you can set down commitments or at least lean into yourself more for a little while. I purposely aim to only go at 80% capacity most of the time, so that I have spare in the tank to go 100% only when it’s really critical.

What do you do to address tiredness? I’d love to hear your tips in the comments!

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