How to Combat Fatigue
Being constantly tired is a common problem, and if you feel as though you need help with this struggle, you often won’t be able to get any kind of proper help to combat it, take this from someone who suffers from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and has experienced years of going around in circles to try and find answers. At the end of the day I came to a very frustrating realisation, all the doctors I had seen had told me the same thing, which was that the solution to combat and manage the fatigue lay within me, and unfortunately it was true. If you’re reading this because you struggle from unwavering fatigue you’ve probably gotten to this point and thought ‘FOR F**KS SAKE’, because I know that often fatigue feels like something wholly out of your control. But trust me on this, it’s not what I wanted to hear, either.
We weren’t all built exactly the same. Some people only ever feel tired after long days of work, traveling or life events that will inevitably cause the sensation of fatigue, others can hardly make it through the afternoon slumps, a lot of us wake up in the morning and we’re already tired. Combatting fatigue is going to be much harder work for the latter, which includes myself, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. The strongest piece of advice I have learnt both in my Dietetics degree and from a lot of personal experience is that there isn’t a pill for fatigue, but there is a chemical… it's called endorphins. You guessed it, the answer is exercise.
Exercise is a finnicky thing because as we’ve said, everyone is different. But for everyone, exercise is crucial when managing and balancing your energy levels. A lot of people will argue that it doesn’t help, and I 100% understand why. When you don't exercise, you feel a fatigue that is sometimes so powerful that you feel physically incapable of working out. On the other end of the spectrum if you workout too much, you will feel very similar to how you would feel without any (essentially – depleted).
When you haven’t exercised regularly in a long time and you start again, you’re going to feel instantly that it’s magnifying your fatigue. When you stop (or don’t even start) exercise, your body physiologically adapts as is doesn’t require a build-up of certain muscles or lung capacity, so when you start again, your body is working overtime to build these up to be able to handle the exercise. Once you’ve built these back up, that’s when you start to feel the benefits.
This period of time is the most crucial for you to really get yourself into a good, balanced exercise routine. What is a good, balanced exercise routine? It’s exercise you can cope with regularly (low-intensity more often than high-intensity) and something that you personally enjoy, which could be hiking with friends, spin classes, boxing, yoga, walks with a coffee in hand. And what happens next? Well, as an example a study published in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics reported that inactive people who normally complained of fatigue could increase energy by 20% and decrease fatigue by as much as 65% by simply participating in regular, low-intensity exercise. In short, if you’re tired? Take back control of your energy levels by getting up and telling that tired part of your brain that wants to lie still and eat bread to f**k right off.
And some other things that coincide with exercise to help you combat fatigue:
- Sleep and wake at the same time every day
- Try not to overeat
- Eat enough (and it goes without saying, eat nutritious food)
- Don’t overwork yourself, set professional and social boundaries
- Know when to rest and allow it for yourself
- Stay hydrated
- Have a good laugh
- Learn to listen to your energy levels so you know if you really need to rest or if you need to get moving
- Supplementing with adrenal-balancing, natural energy-boosting blends and ingredients (our favourites are the Superfeast Jing Adrenal Tonic and Sun Potion's Mucuna Pruriens Dopamine Bean)
- Know that it's not easy, combatting fatigue, but find your will and you'll find your way