photo credit: slightly everything
I recently wrote about what to do if you are tired and the next day an important revelation occurred to me about this.
I think many of us are tired and we don’t recognize it.
Before we can address being tired, what I like to call “low energy,” we need to be able to recognize this state. So what’s the big deal about being tired?
Simply put, most of the world’s problems stem from someone being tired and not doing their best when faced with challenges. The ripple effect then takes place and the problems multiply.
If you can manage your energy, you can control the quality of your life!
So let’s take a look at how to see past the veil of chronic tiredness and move on to a better life!
What is Low Energy?
First of all I prefer to use the term “Low Energy” instead of “Tired” because “Tired” seems too carry some negative baggage whereas “Low Energy” feels more like a neutral description of a person’s physical state. Also I think that the term “Low Energy” implies there is a solution -i.e. increase or replenish the energy level. And this is true, with either real rest, nutritious foods, or sometimes physical movement can increase your energy.
So low energy is any time your body, mind, or spirit feels drained of energy.
The Causes of Low Energy
It’s important to understand that the cause of energy can come from various sources. Consider these common sources:
- Lack of Sleep
- Working too much
- Toxic burden (smoking, alcohol, drugs, fumes, caffeine etc.)
- Lack of Nutritious Food
Now consider the Hidden Causes of Low Energy that are not always so obvious to us or that we discount:
- Immune System Response to a virus, bacteria. Many times we are fighting an infection or a cold and we have no symptoms other than feeling a little tired. If you feel tired for “no apparent reason” this could be it.
- Biological Cycles. Women have obvious cycles, but did you know that men do also. Even children. These cycles relate to producing hormones, growth of tissues, response to light and dark, response to seasons, etc. We are blind to most of these biological cycles, but we may experience the byproduct of being tired. So again, unexplained tiredness may simply be attributed to this. It’s nothing you need to “fix,” just be aware of it.
- Dehydration. This is one of the biggest causes of fatigue. Many things will dehydrate you like caffeine, alcohol, salty foods, and more. Did you exercise and not drink enough water afterwards?
- Emotional Challenges.These types of situations can use up a lot of energy through worry, concern and anxiety. Examples:
- Anytime you have disharmony in a relationship.
- Difficult emotional choices in life.
- A loved one is sick or having trouble
- Overworking. Yes, I listed this one in Common Causes as well, but for many of us, overworking is so embedded in our normal life that we don’t even see it even though it is right in front of our eyes. Over-scheduling, trying to “do it all,” trying to “have it all” is extremely draining on our energy. And ironically it defeats our original intent, “to have a better life.” We need to take action on “Less is More” in these cases.
Why Does Low Energy Cause Problems?
Low energy makes everything more difficult. Making smart decisions, being compassionate and understanding, patience, taking action. All of these things are very hard to do when what you’d really like to do is take a nap.
But we’re all so chronically tired that we don’t even recognize how much good a nap or a break would help us. Instead we “power through” the tiredness with less than optimal outcome.
One of the greatest things I learned back when I took the Dale Carnegie course, was about about the power of taking breaks. There was a study done that showed that workers were much more productive when they took regular breaks. In fact the amount of extra productivity exceeded the amount of time “lost” during the break. (If you ever have the chance to take this course or read Dale Carnegie’s books, I highly recommend it!)
How to Recognize If You Are Tired
OK. So let’s fix this problem of Low Energy! First Recognize it and then Fix it!
The signs that you are tired:
- Feeling cranky. Little things set you off easily.
- Patience threshold much lower than usual.
- Feeling drowsy.
- Nodding off to sleep!
- Feeling less than completely awake.
- Overwhelmed, thoughts swirling chaotically in the brain.
- Trouble making decisions – keep agonizing over deciding factors without conclusion.
- Desire to eat even though you’re not actually hungry. Sleep deprivation often causes overeating, the body seeking more energy.
- Quick to anger.
- Feeling frustrated (easily).
- Feeling down, depressed, despair.
- Wanting to give up.
- Irrational reaction to simple problems.
- Headache (dehydration, eyestrain)
- Body/Muscle tightness (from repetitive motions, over-working)
- Destructive impulse – wanting to hit or smash things (BTW – don’t do it!)
- Violence impulse – don’t do it! Stop and take a break!!!
There are others. You probably have your own special cues where your body is trying to alert you to the fact that you are tired. The best thing to do if you are tired is to get some rest.
Often you can prevent getting over-tired. Not always, but it is worth trying to manage your energy levels. It will pay off in a higher quality of life.
Preventing Low Energy
Have regular schedules. Here are some suggestions:
- Eat on a regular schedule.
- Eat nutritious foods.
- Eat the Goldilocks Amount – just right, not too much and not too little.
- Eat snacks as needed.
- Have a regular sleep schedule.
- Get 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
- Take breaks – at least 1 in the morning and 1 in the afternoon. (Try a meditation nap! Even 5 minutes can help a lot!)
- Plan your work on a daily and weekly basis.
- Plan for play! – make time for music, exercise, hobbies, dancing, laughter, love, quiet time, etc.
What to Do If You ARE Tired
Get some rest! Read this article “What to Do If You Are Tired” and find out how to handle this best!
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