Fatigue, I guess you all know what I am talking about, you’ve been there, I’ve been there, I am a bit there now actually. And I am not talking about the satisfying tiredness after a big day, I am talking about waking up tired in the morning, feeling sluggish all day and needing a nap around 3 pm (I know that is nice, but not every day!). We all get fatigued once in a while and we all want one thing: to have energy again!
So we are looking for ways to push through the tiredness. Going for a run anyway because then you might snap out of it (been there, done that, went pretty wrong!). Eating all those sugary foods to get a short high (to then even crash harder!), or I always see people go for coffee or energy drinks.
But actually, your body is sending you a pretty clear message!
You are tired, your body is telling you that you are tired, it’s telling you something:
Slow down and rest!!
Listen to your body, listen to what it has to say. Have you been eating foods that don’t support an energetic body? Have you been punishing your body with way too much exercise? Are you not eating enough? Have you been going to hard for too long? Or do you have an intolerance for certain foods? Or maybe it’s just the change of seasons.
Either way, it’s time to stop and listen.
I used to struggle with fatigue a lot! Especially in the afternoons. I always had a sleep attack (as I called it) around 3 pm and low blood pressure. And pushing through these periods resulted in burn outs and even tinnitus. I have always been active by heart so it was hard for me not to push through it. It took me years and years and a lot of blood tests to figure out what was wrong. And in the end it wasn’t a doctor or a blood test that came with the answer, no doctor had ever asked me what I ate (apart from the question if I ate enough salt).
I did a whole 30 – 30 days of full Paleo, no grains, no dairy (although I couldn’t let go of dairy just yet so I kept that one for a little bit, no more milk though), no sugar, no legumes, no industrial seed oils, no processed foods. Just real food! I wasn’t actually too keen on starting this but the outcome was amazing! I was absolutely sold within 1 week (it can take up to 90 days though) I felt absolutely amazing! Turns out, I can’t really handle gluten! And really, now that I look back, having bread with chocolate sprinkles and a chocolate drink for breakfast, how is that going to set you up for the day? What was I thinking? But that was just the normal way, as it is still for many.
I’ve never stopped eating real food. I can’t say I am still Paleo, I believe you shouldn’t restrict yourself to a diet. But over the years (it’s been like 5 years or so) I have figured out what does and doesn’t work for me. The most important ones I stay away from is gluten, industrial seed oils, and sugar. And the other result is that my chronic hip, back, and neck pain completely disappeared!!
So maybe this is what is happening to you, go ahead, do a whole 30 or listen to your body when you eat. With everything you eat, be conscious and see what it does to your body, does it make you feel energetic and good? Or do you feel fatigue, sluggish and heavy?
But I do want some pleasure in my life, so some gluten and sugar in my life sometimes are fine. But when sometimes turns into a few times in a row, I notice straight away. And that is what’s happening right now…
So what do you do when you know you haven’t been to nice to your body, and it’s telling you to slow down! And what have I been doing? Is it the foods you ate, the parties, you’ve worked too hard or you have been going at it like an idiot in the gym (really pushing yourself that hard is not going to give you that awesome body! It’s just going to deprive you of nutrients and energy).
Um, have I said this yet: slow down!!
Simple as that! That’s your number one thing to do!
I’ve just come back from a season on a ski field and with a bit of time off now I was looking forward to training a lot and being super active. But my body isn’t having it. So for now, no cardio or heavy lifting workouts. But definitely, keep moving! There are just so many benefits to moving and you definitely don’t want to turn into a complete slug. So what are the things to do? Things you love! (no, no cross fit if you love that, stay within the category!) for me, it’s walking in the forest with my dog, yoga and body balance, or stand up paddle boarding. A walk is also great when you feel a dip coming again, you can’t always go for a nap (your boss might not like that) but instead of grabbing yet another coffee, go for a short walk outside.
Eat the good stuff! Eat real food! Make sure you start your day with protein and good fats (EFA’s), so no bread with chocolate sprinkles! And I am loading up on as many vegetables as I can. Loads of variety and loads of colors. Get as many nutrients in as possible. I love food and luckily I love the real nourishing foods, but we shouldn’t be too strict and definitely, enjoy some not so super healthy food choices, we need some pleasure! The good thing is 1. I had enough of those lately and 2. when I feel like this, I just can’t wait to feel energetic again so I don’t care about those foods at all (for now).
Spend time in nature. Mother Nature will take care of you. Fresh air, the sunshine for some vitamin D, flowers, the forest, birds, the ocean. The serenity of Mother Nature is just the best! And if you take a dog, even better!
Take some nourishing time for you. Get your hair done, get a massage, whatever it is that rocks your boat. You deserve it!
And yes, go and have that nap, guilt free. Or just snuggle up with a cup of tea and a good book, or some Netflix.
Having trouble slowing down? Do some deep breathing and meditation.
It isn’t always easy to listen to your body, but fatigue is a pretty easy one, you have to slow down! So go ahead and take some awesome restful time for yourself!
But there is a whole other side to fatigue, like every other physical problem: the emotional side. More about that side next week on the blog!