Chronic tiredness can affect your work and social life, making it difficult to continue with normal activities. Feeling exhausted and worn out all the time can also affect your mood. Some health supplements, energy drinks, and herbal teas claim to boost energy levels, but these are usually short-term solutions and many do not deliver on their promises. The key to overcoming chronic tiredness is to make long-term changes to your lifestyle.
Learn to relax
Stress is one of the most common causes of mental and physical exhaustion. While it’s not always possible to remove the sources of your stress, learning to relax helps you to manage your stress levels and control your responses to stressful events.
Regular meditation is one of the easiest and most effective ways to manage stress. However, any activity that brings pleasure and enables you to take a break from your daily routine will help you to relax.
Drink plenty of fluids
Fatigue is often caused by dehydration. Even mild cases of dehydration can leave you feeling tired, unfocused and grumpy, although you may not feel thirsty. Studies have shown that drinking plenty of water is one of the best ways to beat an afternoon slump and increase alertness.
You also need to increase your fluid intake when exercising or spending time in the sun. Some drinks, such as alcohol, coffee and those containing artificial sweeteners, can have a diuretic effect that makes dehydration worse.
Take regular exercise
Although you may not feel like going to the gym, research has shown that regular exercise is a highly effective way to increase long-term energy levels and curb chronic tiredness. Exercise boosts circulation and triggers the release of feel-good hormones that help to lift your mood.
If you feel too tired for a workout, you can start slowly by taking a walk around the block. Any amount of exercise, no matter how small, will help.
Eat a healthy diet
Nutritional deficiencies can cause fatigue, low mood and a whole range of physical symptoms, so it’s important to ensure you are eating a balanced diet.
You don’t have to follow a strict eating plan; eating plenty of high-quality protein, complex carbohydrates, fresh fruit, and vegetables will provide enough nutrients for most people. However, eating lots of sugar, junk food, and even smoking can deplete levels of nutrients in your body.
Balance your blood sugar
Fluctuating blood sugar can have a dramatic impact on your energy levels. Binge eating, skipping meals and eating lots of sugary foods can all cause spikes and troughs in your blood sugar.
Eating regular meals that include slow-release energy foods, such as meat, poultry, dairy products, and whole grains, is crucial for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
Most people who experience long-term fatigue will have good days and bad days. They will often take advantage of increased energy levels on the good days by tackling all the tasks they have been putting off.
Unfortunately, this can quickly lead to a cycle of overexertion and exhaustion. Pacing yourself is crucial, even on good days, as you need to focus on building long-term stamina.
Adjust your sleep patterns
Getting the right amount of sleep can make a huge difference to your energy levels, but it’s not just a lack of sleep that can cause excessive tiredness. Sleeping for too long or taking naps during the day can also leave you feeling tired, groggy and irritable.
The amount of sleep you need can depend on a number of things, including your age and your general health. Some people need eight or nine hours of sleep, while others feel better on just five or six hours of sleep a night. The only way to discover what works for you is to experiment with different sleep patterns.
Chronic tiredness can affect all areas of your life, making it difficult to perform daily tasks. There is rarely a quick fix for chronic fatigue, but making long-term lifestyle changes will usually improve your energy levels. You should also visit your doctor to make sure there are no medical reasons for your fatigue.