Four Exceptional Ways to Feel Less Tired and Get the Most Out of Your Day.
Feeling tired all the time is a struggle most of us have had to deal with. Facing fatigue during long mentally exhausting days or weeks can be quite difficult. Luckily there are many options out there to help you regain your energy and feel more alive.
Feeling Tired All the Time? You're Not Alone.
Type “Tired all of the time” into Google and get ready for an avalanche 427,000,000 links with people writing about their challenges feeling wiped out. Feeling tired is such a common issue, in a recent study done by the Virgin Pulse Institute, a whopping 76% of people said they have a problem feeling too tired several days of the week. I feel that too. I start my day at 5:30 AM and, between work and family, go full speed until 10:00 at night.
If you are feeling the burn from your work week, here are four things to do to help you fight fatigue and feel more energized.
Written By: Ila Myer
Health guru, yoga enthusiast and Voke editor.
1. Get Moving!
When you are feeling tired, making your body work feels like the last thing you want to do. The truth is, getting your body moving throughout the day helps your body create energy. Movement is one of the most impactful actions you can take to change the biochemistry in your body – but how can you make it happen?
One of the first things to do is to change your mindset. Have you ever been at home, thought about going for a walk or heading to the gym and then said: “I don’t feel like it.” Most of us work like that. We see how we feel, then decided what we will do. The funny thing is, when we “do” first, it changes how we think, literally.
Think about the last few times you felt happy, positive, etc. What were you doing? How was your posture, your tone of voice, were you sitting or standing? Emotional states are a result of physical signals. So, don’t wait to feel like moving your body – take action, and the feeling to get moving will follow.
One of the most helpful ideas we have run across comes from BJ Fogg - The founder and director of the Stanford Behavior Design Lab. Through his work, he showed that any behavior you want to accomplish comes down to your motivation, your ability to do the action and a trigger.
So, if you are low in motivation, consider doing something simple or easy - and make sure to use a trigger to remind you to do it. One of his examples was how he worked on building up his strength. Every time he would go to the bathroom, he would use that trigger and do two push-ups. Every bathroom break he took in a day would be two more pushups. Pretty quickly he was doing 100+ pushups a week. He kept using that trigger, making his activity consistent and adding more pushups, reaching his overall pushup goal. What triggers can you use to help remind you to get up and move?
Something that works for even the most packed days is to get up and move every hour. Research has shown that if you can get up from your desk for 10 minutes every hour, your productivity, energy, and creativity all improve. So, set a timer (trigger!) on your computer or phone to go off every hour. Get up, walk around (outside if possible), stretch a bit, drink some water and then get back to it.
You can start small especially if you don’t have the motivation yet to hit the gym or go for a run, don’t worry you’ll get there.
A study published in the Psychological Bulletin showed that "More than 90% of people who completed a regular exercise program reported improved fatigue compared to groups that did not exercise".
2. Trading out less-healthy eating habits.
Grabbing a cup of coffee, an energy drink, or three, has become such a staple for so many of us, it is almost a ritual now. I’m not saying coffee is terrible, I like a nice roast as much as anyone, but there are some challenges with those options.
Most coffee and soda drinks come with quite a bit of sugar and often cream as well as other chemicals. All of these extra ingredients can sap your energy over time.
Sugar creates a temporary energy boost that brings fatigue on faster as the sugar fades out of your system.
There are some excellent alternatives out there, and here are a few. First, try a green tea-based drink. Usually, tea provides a very moderate amount of natural caffeine, has other health benefits and helps you avoid the sugar.
Peppermint is another good option. It has been found to help increase alertness and decrease fatigue. Of course, there is peppermint tea you can get from the grocery store, but it’s worth checking out all natural peppermint gum as well.
Finally, grab a slow digesting snack with some carbs. One easy option is eating an apple. You get some sweet carbs, and also a little quercetin, an antioxidant that may help improve brain health.
Adding more protein and remembering to eat breakfast can help provide your body with more energy to pull from. I usually opt for avocado toast first thing in the morning. It's quick and easy and keeps me from missing breakfast.
You can always try a banana and a protein bar in the morning, or peel an orange. Not only are oranges full of vitamin C, they can improve cognitive performance and boost your mood, according to a study done at the United Kingdom’s Northumbria University. Those are quick and straightforward energizing options for breakfast on the run.
Of course, eating more fresh foods is a big help, especially leafy greens, and superfoods, but not all of us have the time to prepare things every day. One super easy prep meal is a super-bean salad mix.
Recipe: 5 minute - $5 Protein packed Super-Bean salad mix
- 1 can of corn
- 2 cans of garbanzo beans
- 2 diced tomatoes
- 1 whole sliced avocado (with pit removed)
- 1 bunch of kale ( option to quick-cut using scissors)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
Lightly mix ingredients for 2-4 meals worth of yummy bean salad that you can prepare in 5 minutes or less.
These simple changes can give you added energy to fight fatigue and keep you going strong and feeling good throughout the day.
“Americans consume 3-6 times more added sugar than the maximum recommended by nutritional experts” according to the American Heart Association
3. Improve your sleep.
Most Americans get barely six hours of sleep a night yet doctors recommended seven to nine hours. Even if you wake up early, really early like me, you can still make time to get in a good night’s rest, but that doesn't make it any less challenging to get to bed.
We all know how it feels not to sleep well and be even more tired the next day, and we can’t always help the outside influences that keep us up. The obvious truth is that it can be hard to relax or fall asleep. We all have faced lingering chaos from our days that keep us wired and unable to relax fully.
Try turning off your devices and keeping them away from your bed, detox from distractions before you lie down. Test out some options like cool-pillows, so you don't have to flip your pillow over and over throughout the night.
You could also choose to invest in a weighted blanket. The weight and pressure have been shown to help people sleep better through the night, and it may be just what you need. Or, if you like calming scents you could use a diffuser and lavender or jasmine oils to help relax your mind before bed.
According to a study done by Wesleyan University, smelling lavender increased deeper sleep and participants woke the next day feeling less stressed. Research conducted on the benefits of smelling Jasmine before bed resulted in decreased anxiety, and lead to less tossing and turning, as reported in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
Those studies alone could be reason enough to bust out a diffuser before bed or to take deep breaths over a cup of Jasmine Green tea.
Destressing helps to relax your mind and allow you to fall asleep a little easier, so consider using the breathing techniques suggested below. Try out a few of these options to see if they help to quiet your mind and get better rest.
According to the American Sleep Foundation “Despite sleeping within the recommended number of hours a night, 35 percent of Americans report their sleep quality as “poor” or “only fair.” Twenty percent of Americans reported that they did not wake up feeling refreshed on any of the past seven days.”
Stress plays a significant role in daily physical and mental exhaustion. Destressing is easier said than done, but there are options to help you de-stress during your day. There are many methods for lowering stress so find a way to relax that will work best for you. Meditation and exercise are both positive and proven to reduce stress. Meditation may be too time-consuming for some of us in high paced environments, so consider simple breathing exercises to increase oxygen intake.
The best place to begin for me is to sit back in my chair, close my eyes and take a deep breath in through my nose, count to three slowly and quietly exhale through my mouth. Try doing that three or four times in a row, it will take less than a minute and you don’t need to leave your desk. Also, you can try looking at Apps like Headspace which can help you find ways to calm your mind in just a few minutes.
Don’t forget you can use those deep breaths to quiet your thoughts at the end of the day, so your mind isn’t racing as you try to fall asleep.
Finally and most importantly, remember to take some time for yourself every day. Laughing, reading, cuddling with your dog, or playing your favorite song can put you in a more relaxed state of mind. Being able to de-stress, even just a little, can lessen the feeling of fatigue and can lead you to happier more energized days. Remember the instructions you get every time you fly – put the oxygen mask on yourself first before helping the person next to you. If you are spent, you don’t have the energy to support everyone else in your life!
Research done in a 2018 study, conducted by the American Psychological Association, nearly 75% of adults say they have experienced at least one symptom of stress in the past month and 45 percent say they lay awake at night due to stress.
At the End Of the day
Fighting fatigue is an ongoing battle for many of us in our fast-paced lives. If you face tiredness and fatigue during the day, try a combination of tactics, like these recommendations and others, to find what works best for your body. Hopefully, some of these ideas make sense for you to add to your daily routine.
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