We all feel fatigued occasionally, but if it seems to be an ongoing problem — no matter how much rest you get — there’s likely an underlying reason. If staying energized is a challenge, there could be an easy fix you’re not thinking of.
First, What Is Fatigue?
Most people refer to fatigue as simply being tired all the time. But there’s actually a lot more to fatigue than feeling tired. In addition to sleepiness, you may feel muscle weakness, headache, digestive issues, vision problems, difficulty concentrating, irritability, lack of motivation, and mood swings.
Some Common Reasons for Fatigue
Certain health conditions. Arthritis, anemia, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and liver disease are just some medical conditions which often cause fatigue. But you may not have to live with your fatigue just because you have a health condition! Mention it to your doctor who may be able to adjust your medications or give you suggestions to combat your fatigue.
Anxiety or Depression. Having ongoing anxiety and/or depression can take a toll on your body. Take steps to alleviate your anxiety or depression like getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, keeping a worry journal, learning some meditation and relaxation exercises, and talking to a therapist or doctor.
Restless sleep. Even if you feel that you are sleeping alright, perhaps you’re not getting enough restful sleep. Avoid caffeine or alcohol (especially close to bedtime), exercise regularly, have a regular sleep schedule, and keep your room at an ideal sleeping temperature.
Not doing enough — or doing too much. Not keeping your brain and body active throughout the day can cause fatigue. It may sound counterproductive but exercising while you’re fatigued can help to wake you up by boosting endorphins. However, on the other hand pushing yourself too much throughout the day can also lead to fatigue. Aim for a balance of just enough physical and mental activity each day.
Vitamin imbalances. A deficiency in certain vitamins such as Vitamin D, Iron, and Vitamin B12 can cause muscle weakness and low red blood cells which can lead to anemia or general fatigue. Eat a well balanced, healthy diet and ask your doctor to test your vitamin levels if you suspect a deficiency.
What You Can Do to Boost Your Energy!
If you’re looking for ways to kickstart your energy levels, here are some ways to combat the fatigue.
Keep a fatigue diary. Over a few days or weeks keep note of when you feel fatigued and how bad it is. You may start to notice patterns that may help you trace your fatigue back to eating certain foods, taking medications, or participating in certain activities.
Exercise regularly. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again — keeping your body moving regularly does so much for your mental and physical health.
Keep a regular sleep schedule. You may feel the urge to nap during the day, but try to resist. Napping can lead to disruption in your night sleep — which is when you get the most restful sleep. If you must nap, limit it to 30 minutes and don’t nap later than six hours prior to your bedtime. And speaking of bedtimes — try to have a regular bedtime every night so your body can get used to sleeping when it’s supposed to.
Talk to your health professional. If you have any medical conditions, are on any medications, or have been feeling fatigued for longer than a few weeks, mention it to your doctor or other health professional. Sometimes, constant fatigue is a sign of something more serious.
At Trillium Communities, we strive to provide the best care to every one of our residents through delicious meals, opportunities for exercise, social gatherings, and one-on-one support. Find out more about our boutique retirement communities and levels of care today.