Many people wonder to themselves, “Why am I tired all the time?”.
If this is a question you regularly ask yourself, you may be putting down too many hours at work, leaving insufficient time to take care of other important aspects of your life.
Fatigue is the feeling of tiredness, weariness and the lack of energy that simply would not go away. Most of the time, this problem can be traced to the habits we routinely do on a daily basis without thinking about it. It can be caused by physical exertion, emotional stress, boredom, poor eating habits and lack of sleep, among other things.
As soon as my maternity leave was over, I jumped right back to work. The load of work was exactly the same as when I stopped. The number of calls and emails I received and sent was more or less the same and the quantity of work I had to do late at night was the same.
Being a first-time working mom, I felt like everything in my life was getting way too intense. In addition to taking care of a colicy baby, managing the home and paying the bills, working long hours definitely made me stressed. I became too tired to even fix my bed in the morning.
I then realized it was not stress anymore. It was fatigue.
I was sleeping late at night, five to six times a week. The only time I could get a good night’s rest was on a Sunday when my mom would visit us at home. And because she would spend all her time with her grandchild, it gave me the chance to catch up on some well-needed sleep.
By the time I gained 3 kilos in just a month, it was then that I realized that I was eating extremely poorly. My diet involved trans fats, processed foods and a lot of carbohydrates and sugars. As I was stressed (or fatigued), I did not pay attention to what and how much I was eating.
On the same month, I constantly felt nauseous and lethargic. I finally made the decision to do something and change my routine. I googled every piece of information I could find about the ways to combat fatigue.
I took two days off from work just to plan out how I could continue working without compromising my health. These are the simple changes I made:
1. Drinking Plenty of Water
Sometimes, you can feel tired when you are mildly dehydrated. And the fact that I did not drink enough water at work told me that the headaches I’ve been experiencing could have resulted in part from the lack of water intake.
I made sure to keep a liter and a half water bottle at my desk at all times. It sounds silly but this trick truly works! Having water nearby somehow allows you to drink without thinking about it. It was as if your muscles were just unconsciously grabbing for the water. Water has an important role to fight your fatigue.
2. Stopped Skipping Breakfast
When I was pregnant, I learned the importance of eating breakfast to stay mentally and physically alert throughout the entire morning.
I adopted this habit once more and made sure that I would wake up 30 minutes earlier so that I could prepare myself a healthy and energy-boosting breakfast. I stayed away from cereals, breakfast muffins and bagels and turned to fruits and fiber.
I would cut up three different kinds of fruits and top them on my bowl of oatmeal. I also cut and chop up smaller pieces for my daughter’s breakfast. This was an efficient morning routine for me because I got to hit two birds with one stone. My daughter and I were both eating a healthy breakfast.
3. Traded Takeouts To Meal Prepped Salads
Ten minutes after work, I used to phone the diner across our office. They serve the best burgers and onion rings in my opinion. If not, I would get a platter of fried chicken take out.
I swapped this habit by buying whole foods once a week instead, and now I meal prep salads for dinner. Doing so helps me eat healthier, save more money and conserve extra time. I also kept a tiny ziplock of almonds inside my purse so that I can snack on it during my two fifteen-minute breaks at work.
This change toned down my uncontrollable cravings for donuts and cupcakes.
4. Visited My Doctor
At that time, I was experiencing irregular periods too. I immediately knew that the stress was messing up my cycle. When I finally visited my gynecologist, I was instructed to take multivitamins and iron supplements. And because constipation was one of the side effects of iron, I was also advised to take probiotic supplements if needed.
A few days after taking my iron and probiotics, I immediately felt more energized. My doctor told me I was anemic and this was partly the reason why I was so fatigued. This minor diet change led to a surmountable effect on my mood.
The stress I received from work was difficult to stay away from. Since my food intake was the only factor that I could alter at that time, I immediately decided to commit to a healthier and more balanced diet. Little did I know that simple dietary changes can lead to drastic effects on my energy level and mood. I didn’t even need to take less load at work to feel better.
If you have a similar problem now and have no idea where to begin, you can always go to your doctor first. Afterwards, see a nutritionist to get an expert advice on how you can support your health more effectively. A nutritionist will assess your needs and provide you a more comprehensive diet plan to boost your health and energy levels.