Why Are We All So Tired?
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: your alarm goes off Monday morning and you hit snooze half a dozen times. Your eyes feel like they’re glued shut until you get that first familiar jolt of your requisite caffeine. Then you walk into the office and spend the rest of the day answering every “how are you?” with the same automatic reply: “tired.”
You’re definitely not alone, but the way you’re feeling shouldn’t be the norm. Low energy and fatigue are some of the most common complaints I hear from my clients, and so many women feel overwhelmed and flat-out exhausted from trying to do it all and be it all for everyone in their lives. Women are expected to wear so many hats, sometimes all at once, and few are able to juggle all their day-to-day responsibilities while continuing to prioritize their own health and happiness.
Why are we all so tired?
In our modern, hectic world, there are a million factors contributing to our collective exhaustion. But the biggest energy drains result from a lack of self-care: poor nutrition, too few calories or lack of the right foods, skimping on sleep, etc. It’s all part of a vicious energy-sucking cycle — we’re busy, so we don’t have time to take care of ourselves, but by not taking care of ourselves, we’re too exhausted to do everything we have to do.
To make matters worse, many women turn to energy enhancers like caffeine and sugar that actually sabotage their hormonal health and overall wellbeing even further. I’m a firm believer that coffee is a bad idea for all women, and sugar and other sweeteners will only lead to blood sugar roller coasters and more hormonal havoc. Not only is caffeine and sugar toxic for your hormones, it’s only going to make you more tired in the long run, by overloading your adrenals and burning you out. In fact, if you find yourself chronically fatigued, even after trying my suggestions and getting a decent night’s sleep, you may be suffering with Adrenal Fatigue.
So what’s the solution?
The only way to truly address your fatigue is to get to the root of the problem. You can’t mask your tiredness with supplements and quick-fixes. I believe deep, extreme self-care and excellent sleep are two of the biggest components in battling fatigue, and these alone can do wonders for your quality of life.
But as a relatively new mom, I can totally sympathize with those of you who hear “sleep more, stress less!” and think, "How? When?!” As someone who has coped with some significant sleep deprivation over the last few years, I have become the master of boosting my own energy levels so I can keep going throughout the day — manage my business, take care of my daughter, support my husband, and take time to myself. Here’s how:
5 ways to boost your energy today ~
1) Get more restful sleep: I love to mix organic, concentrated tart cherry juice and Gaia golden milk powder for a warm drink before bed. Tart cherry juice has been shown to help you fall asleep faster and turmeric helps your body detox and regenerate overnight. Drinking this before bed will lead you to wake up feeling more rested and refreshed, and a good night’s sleep is the foundation for enhanced energy.
2) Eat every three hours: A common mistake I see women make is skipping meals, cutting calories, and generally just waiting too long to eat. If you’re prone to low energy slumps, it’s a bad idea to let your blood sugar levels drop below stasis. You can do this by snacking on energy boosting foods, and making sure that you eat every three hours. A typical day for me might include a small breakfast when I wake up, followed by a protein smoothie, then lunch, then a high protein snack, and then dinner.
3) Flush cortisol every day with cardio: It may seem counterintuitive to go for a run or do jumping jacks when you’re dead tired, but doing cardiovascular exercise every day will help you to have more energy. There’s plenty of research to show regular exercise reduces fatigue. You don’t need a lot of time for this — I recommend taking the opportunity once every hour or so to simply run in place for 60 seconds, followed by 60 seconds of jumping jacks, 60 seconds of windmills, and 60 seconds burpees — repeat the same circuit twice. Even a small amount of high intensity exercise will help increase your energy levels and overall fitness as well as give you an instant stress reducing cortisol flush.
4) Take a B-100 Complex: A B vitamin deficiency is a common cause of low energy and fatigue. B vitamins are crucial for so many metabolic functions that when you’re deficient, you really feel it. As well as taking a good B vitamin complex daily, you may also need extra B12.
5) Swap coffee for an energy boosting smoothie: I know that foregoing coffee when you’ve been dependent on it for so long can be a struggle, but the constant exposure to caffeine actually depletes your adrenals over time, making your fatigue much worse. That’s why I created a “No-Coffee Coffee Energy Elixir” with former coffee-addicts in mind! This smoothie provides sustained, slow-releasing energy all morning. Blend a banana, raw cacao, blackberries, raw oats soaked overnight, and cashew milk, and add a small spoonful of maca if you’re looking for an additional boost.
Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you! You can do this — the science of your body is on your side!
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