Feeling tired all the time can be incredibly frustrating because there are just so many different explanations. From your posture, to your stress levels, to what you eat and how you sleep. Here are a few less talked about ones and how you can fix them.
1. You’re sitting still too long.
Spending long hours at your desk or on the couch at home can make you tired, because your body equates stillness with sleep. Plus, when you’re sitting still, your breathing and heart rates slow down, along with your circulation — bringing less oxygen and fewer nutrients to your brain and body tissues.
What to do: Get up! Make it a habit to move around for at least five minutes every hour, whether you stretch, pay a visit to a colleague, or take a short walk. And try to exercise for at least 30 minutes most days of the week.
2. You’re as parched as the Sahara.
It’s likely you’re walking around mildly dehydrated. And having even a 2% lower-than-optimal fluid level can lead to lethargy, low mood, headaches and trouble focusing.
What to do: Carry a water bottle with you and refill it throughout the day. To make plain H2O more exciting, add lemon, orange or cucumber slices.
3. You’re carrying tension.
This goes for both your body and your mind — you might have a tendency to clench your muscles or mentally engage in catastrophic thinking when you’re stressed. Holding onto this tension can drain your energy quickly, instantly making you feel tired.
What to do: Give yourself periodic time-outs to defuse tension. Try a technique called progressive muscle relaxation: working your way from your head to your feet, consciously tense and then relax your muscles. And try to clear your mind — when thoughts enter, notice them and as if they were leaves drifting on a stream, let them pass.
4. You’re breathing too shallowly.
When you take small breaths or inhale and exhale irregularly, you don’t take in enough oxygen. This can lead to lower-than-normal levels of oxygen, higher levels of carbon dioxide in your blood and a poor supply of nutrients to muscles, organs and other tissues throughout your body. The result: Fatigue.
What to do: Place your hand over your belly button, and as you inhale slowly, focus on making your stomach and chest move, then slowly exhale. Do this for 30 seconds at a time, several times a day, and soon breathing better will come naturally.
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