Many people in England suffer from medical conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome or ME. But millions more are frankly – knackered! Modern life has meant that many people ending up working all hours just to pay the bills, and modern planning means often walking through a park or by the beach has become a rare luxury, with busy transport and traffic, noisy buildings, screaming presenters on TV and radio etc, all combine to make a restful peaceful life where you can (well, rest!) almost impossible. The A-Z of Wellbeing is a beautiful ABC of tips, to discover the art of living well, every day. A is for attitude. B is for balance. C is for connection! The things that add up to a happier life don’t have to be complicated.
Good Nutrients Give You Energy
- If you feel tired all the time, it may be just that you need a rest. But it could be signs of something more, usually a lack of certain nutrients like iron. It’s perfectly possible for vegans and vegetarians to thrive, just ensure you are eating well and ideally taking a multi-supplement to cover the bases (be sure to avoid certain nutrients for safety if pregnant/breastfeeding or on medication – see the post on what supplements do you really need?
- Iron-deficient anaemia can make you tired. Eat plenty of plant-based foods rich in iron including legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas), seeds and nuts, dried apricots and figs, fair trade quinoa and kale (avoid excessive dark leafy greens if you’re on medication that interferes with vitamin K).
- An underactive thyroid can cause tiredness. If so, your GP should be on this with medication (check before eating foods high in iodine like seaweed, if you take medicines for this condition).
- Likewise, being underweight can make you tired. Anorexia is a very serious and growing condition, so get medical help if need be (this is not ‘attention-seeking’ and often due to deep-seated self-control issues). Nicola Jane Hobbs almost died an anorexic teenager. She took up yoga, started eating properly and then took up weight-training. She is now author of several lifestyle books including Yoga Gym.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
- A big reason for tiredness for new parents is a screaming baby! Read 100 Tips to Help Your Baby Sleep. This is a super little read with tips on understanding how babies sleep, teaching the difference between night and day and learning about baby sleep cycles. Learn how to establish an effective bedtime routine and find tried trusted ways to teach your baby to settle, along with creating consistent daytime naps. The Lullaby Trust offers scientific proven advice on the latest research on the best ways to prevent crib death.
- Other reasons can simply be going to bed too late at night. In the Indian medicine of Ayurveda, experts suggest that we should all be fast asleep (ideally) by 10pm or 11pm, not up till 2am watching junk on TV. You then are more likely to wake up early. Unless you do shift work, it’s a good habit to get into. Naturally, we are larks (not owls). Try to spend a couple of hours before bed winding down – whether it’s an evening summer walk, yoga, listening to music, taking a bath etc. Don’t go to bed with Twitter feeds or upsetting news in your head.
- Sleep apnoea (when you keep waking up due to your brain not sending a signal for you to breathe, and sleeping on your side (you can bed wedge pillows to do this). Preventive measures include losing weight, giving up smoking and alcohol and establishing good sleep-time habits.
Make Healthy Lifestyle Changes
- Perhaps it’s your job? If you really can’t stand your job, spend your spare time training up to do something else. Even if takes a couple of years to swap jobs, at least you have a goal to do something you enjoy. If you are half-killing yourself on a production line at an Amazon warehouse, earn the money and study hard, then hopefully you can landscape organic gardens or paint watercolours or be a counsellor in a couple of years. Follow your dreams!
- Stress can make you tired. The constant worrying about everything from relationships to health to loved ones to money. Carers in particular can get very stressed and exhausted. Look after yourself and sort out and simplify your life. If you have money worries, cut back and learn how to get out of debt, without more loans. Also see the post on how to help someone with depression (which can leave some people so mentally exhausted, they don’t want to get out of bed).
- Stimulants can make you tired from alcohol to drugs to relying on caffeine. Easy does it, and gradually switch over to water, organic cordials and weak tea or hot water.
- Check your gas boiler is serviced regularly. If you are regularly tired in a room, it may be that your carbon monoxide monitor is not working properly, which is very important, as if faulty, it could be lethal.