At certain times one can feel very tired; it is inevitable. There can be many causes: commitments, work, thoughts, and ultimately life itself. Ways to be less so, to regain strength and regain energy may instead be less intuitive and simple than “sleep more” or “don’t take it so hard at work.” Often a particular set of habits that can give you more balance than some isolated interventions. Let’s see how to do it, starting with the body and ending with the mind.
1. Limit caffeine
They call it “the paradoxical effect of caffeine,” and what it is about is quickly said. Consuming caffeine in the form of coffee or beverages that contain it normally serves to give you an energy boost to get through moments of fatigue. Instead, overconsumption can lead to unexpected consequences. Dehydration, for example, or difficulty resting well and the resulting accumulated fatigue result in the opposite effect: what stimulates you ends up exhausting you.
Reducing caffeine consumption may initially give you less energy and make you feel more tired, but after a while you can find the amount that suits you best without activating the paradoxical effect whereby what should give you energy ends up taking it away.
2. Remember to drink
One of the secondary but no less important aspects of proper hydration is to help the work of red blood cells, which are responsible for transporting oxygen in the blood, to the muscles. If you’ve neglected hydration your red blood cells shrink, leading to carry fewer oxygen. This results in less energy in the muscle fibers and increased irritability resulting from fatigue.
Drinking is perhaps the easiest thing in the world (it is no coincidence that it is said “as easy as drinking a glass of water): it is really not to be neglected.
3. Do not skip meals
Being low on energy can also be the most direct consequence of not having taken in enough nutrients, that is, not having eaten enough.
It may happen that you can’t get enough to eat sometimes but it doesn’t have to be the rule. Food is your primary source of energy.
Unfortunately, it happens that you are also not getting enough nutrients because you are following a trendy diet regimen (aka “fad diets” – there are so many of them and you have to keep away from them as much as possible). It is a good rule of thumb to be wary of those diets based on only one or a few nutrients and generally those promoted with very attractive and unrealistic claims. These are often deprivation regimens rather than diets, and the consequences-beyond momentary weight loss-can be serious for your health.
Each diet should be prepared only by specialists because each person is different, by constitution and lifestyle. In short, turn only to those who are competent, be wary of miracle diets and always be aware of what you eat. And of the importance of eating!
Freeze! Doing sports activities makes you tired and so you eventually expend energy, right?
True, but not entirely. Moving also increases oxygenation and contributes to a feeling of well-being. In short, if the sport activity you do is not devastatingly heavy, you will only get benefits and a lot of energy. For example, think about how you feel after running in the morning: there is fatigue but there is also the satisfaction of having already done something. In addition to the relaxation generated by the endorphins in the bloodstream.
Without overdoing it in short, playing sports can give you more energy than you need.
5. Quality of sleeep matters, not only quantity
Well, easy one, right? To avoid fatigue, just get more sleep. True and false. In fact, it is more correct to say that true refreshment comes from peaceful, undisturbed and deep sleep more than from how much you sleep.
How to accomplish this? As we saw earlier, for example, not overdoing caffeine and arriving at bedtime without having energized the mind with the use of distractions such as cell phones. In fact, it is a good rule of thumb to accompany sleep by doing right before relaxing activities such as reading a book or a mindfulness session, rather than energizing the mind by playing a video game or watching particularly suggestive and emotionally upsetting movies.
6. The importance of me time
The expression “me time” makes the point very well: devoting time to yourself is not selfishness but is a very effective way to get attention to yourself, feel good, and ultimately feel good about those around you.
Indeed, if our lives were exclusively about listening to and satisfying the needs of others, we would inevitably reach a breaking point: the self must also be nurtured, cared for, loved. Not only because it demands it but because only those who do not neglect themselves are able to be attentive and helpful to others.
How to accomplish this? By dedicating, precisely, time. To do what we really enjoy and are not forced to do by work or the needs of others: reading, taking care of a hobby, meditating, even playing sports. Running is-we often repeat it-a way of being selfish but for good.
Our culture has taught us to be available to everyone, but sometimes the most effective way to be truly helpful is to set boundaries and jealously guard them. In short, there is a boundary that should not be crossed by anyone: it is the one within which you do what you enjoy, feed your mind and recharge yourself.
This is not easy to understand or do, especially because we feel selfish in the process. Yet you do it mostly so that you don’t get to be fed up with everything and everyone, and eventually manage to be helpful and attentive.
If you are still not convinced, try telling yourself that you are not doing it (only) for you but also for others. Because it is true, in the end.
(Inspired by HuffPost)