When you have been physically active for a period of time, it is easy to understand why you feel tired. Did you know that there are many other potential reasons for feeling fatigue?
When you feel tired without any particularly stressful activity, you may wish to review your diet and sleep patterns. Insufficient nutrients and lack of restorative sleep do not build up reserves that are needed for a healthy body and mind. Remember that unhealthy consumables like junk food, alcohol or caffeine can sap your energy rather than adding to it.
Mental fatigue can be the result of an over-active brain. When you focus for too long or too hard on a task or an event, your mind loses its ability to process information. Because stress hormones are triggered, you end up in a “Catch 22” situation – fatigue increases stress which increases fatigue. Break the cycle by taking a break from the mental work and doing something restful like listening to quiet music, meditating. Try staring out the window for a few minutes, or have a healthy snack.
Emotional fatigue arises from highly stressful and emotional events. You may feel such intense feelings of fear, grief or anger that your body gets stuck in a distressed state, draining your energy and increasing a sense of overwhelm. These emotional issues often impact your rest cycles as well, preventing you from a refreshing sleep. Physical activity or exercise may help reduce feelings of depression and stress while improving your mood and overall well-being.
You may wish to keep a journal of when you feel the most tired, noting such items as what you ate, how (and how long) you slept, what you did, how you felt. Discovering the patterns leads to new ways to counter your fatigue.
Of course, regular physical activity at any level helps your body recover from stress, boosts morale and stamina, and builds strength.
When you experience consistent, debilitating fatigue for any length of time, consult with a physician to discover the underlying cause. Whether mental or physical, help is always available.