We’ve all been there. You’re on your 3rd cup of coffee, writing out the grocery list while talking to your mom on the phone. Once the kids are in bed, you’re determined to overcome the all-too-familiar daily fatigue. You have no other choice. The floors need to be cleaned before your in-laws arrive this weekend. There’s laundry to put away. There are lunches to prep for tomorrow. And, you think to yourself, “when’s the last time the dog ate?”
As hang up with your mom, your head collapses into your folded arms at the kitchen table. There’s got to be a better solution than running on lattes and leftovers. You’ll be relieved to know, the fatigue you feel is normal. When your body is deprived of nutrients and overstimulated by caffeine and stress, it’s unable to function at it’s best. Your head becomes foggy, your energy levels drop and your mood becomes more sour than the week old milk in your fridge. Yet, there’s hope. The following methods will help you overcome fatigue while saving your sanity.
Those thoughts circulating in your head? Write them down. Whether it’s a bill to pay or a kid to pick up, put in on a list or in a calendar. Freeing up this precious “space” in your head will allow you to think more clearly and feel more organized. Similarly, if you can think of just 3 moments to be grateful for at the end of each day, you will go to bed with a more positive perspective and will become more self aware as you “search” for these moments whether you’re in car line or at soccer practice.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Often overlooked, a healthy diet is very impactful on our mood and energy levels. Some of the best sources of plant-based energy include bananas, spinach and citrus fruits. Bananas are fairly low in calories, but they are rich in antioxidants, potassium and B6, all of which help boost energy levels. Spinach rates high on the energy-producing scale because of it’s amino acid profile and iron. Citrus fruits, such as oranges are rich in vitamin C, folate, and potassium. Oranges, along with apples, offer sustained energy without the crash you may get from a candy bar.
Along with a healthy diet, you may want to consider supplementing with magnesium. Your body relies on magnesium for hundreds of activities in the body, such as energy production, immune health and nerve functioning. Over 70% of Americans do not get the minimum daily requirements of this vital nutrient. Magnesium supplementation is crucial since it’s depleted daily through skin cells by sweating, as hair and fingernails grow and through uritation as the kidneys clean the blood.
Cut Back on the Coffee
Caffeine is a stimulant that increases alertness and boosts energy levels. It also increases heart rate and blood sugar, causing physical and mental energy to increase. These qualities can be quite attractive. However, as with many foods we consume in excess, drinking too much coffee can cause problems, especially in the digestive track. The average 8-ounce cup of coffee contains 95 mg of caffeine. Drinking more than four 8-ounce cups of coffee per day (approximately 400 mg) can lead to addiction, with withdrawal symptoms ranging from headaches, irritability and fatigue.
It sounds counter intuitive, right? Overcoming fatigue by exerting yourself? Who wants to do that? You will. Once you experience the benefits of activities as simple as the Do Anywhere Workout, a 20 minute walk outside or a yoga routine found on YouTube. These simple acts of mindfulness are a great way to get oxygen and nutrient rich blood flowing to your brain and muscles, allowing you to decrease stress and increase your energy.