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Most adults would probably tell you they suffer from some sort of fatigue on a regular basis or even every day. Fatigue is caused by many things – diet, sleep problems, inflammation, activity level, and more – but no matter what the cause of your fatigue may be, there are actionable steps you can take to fight feeling tired all the time and increase your energy, so you can feel amazing and get your life back again!
Why am I an authority on fatigue? Well, unfortunately, I know what I’m talking about because I’ve been suffering with feeling tired on a regular basis for a long time. I have Hashimoto’s Disease, an autoimmune disorder that attacks the thyroid. One of the worst symptoms of this condition is extreme fatigue. I’ve dealt with this disease for more than 10 years, and through loads of research and trial and error, I have made great strides to improve my energy, wellness, and quality of life.
If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know I prefer natural treatments whenever possible. That’s why I’ve compiled these Natural Ways to Increase Your Energy – to share with you what worked for me and will work for you, too, no matter what’s causing your fatigue!
Please Note: If you follow these healthy living hacks and still feel tired all the time, see your doctor. You may have a medical issue like thyroid disease, anemia, or depression.
For more ways to support your energy, health, and wellness, check out the following:
Easy Ways to Fight Fatigue, Increase Your Energy + Finally Feel Better, Naturally
GET MORE SLEEP
Poor sleep quality is the #1 reason we feel fatigued during the day. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep – that can be anywhere from 7-10 hours per night, depending on what feels best for you. How can you improve your sleep quality?
- Avoid caffeine after 3 p.m. and even earlier if you think you might be sensitive. Caffeine can stay in your system and keep you awake for up to 12 hours! I know that cup of joe can feel amazing during that horrible afternoon slump (I love it, too!), but it could be messing with how well you sleep – even if you don’t realize it.
- Turn off – or avoid using – all electronic devices that emit blue light, including your cell phone, TV, tablet, computer, etc., for at least one hour before bedtime. This blue light has a stimulating effect and can trick your brain into thinking it’s still daytime – i.e. time to stay awake and alert. Read a book before bed, talk with family members, meditate, or take up a quiet hobby like knitting. If you can’t possibly stay away from your devices that long, where Blue Light Blocking Glasses after dark.
- Daytime naps can make you feel more energized. Just be sure to keep them short – around 20-30 minutes – and not too close to bedtime, so you can still get a good night’s rest.
- Certain herbs can help you fall asleep and stay asleep. See Best Herbs for Sleep + Herbal Tea Recipes to Help You Fall Asleep FAST to learn more.
- For more sleep tips, check out 25 Nighttime Hacks to Help You Fall Asleep in No Time.
- If you’re still having trouble getting enough sleep, talk to your doctor. You may have sleep apnea or another medical condition.
In addition to missing out on recuperative sleep, most of us are also dealing with a lot of stress, which can have serious effects on our health and our energy, including interfering with sleep quality, increasing anxiety, and lowering immunity.
To combat stress, make sure to take time for yourself. Meditate to relax, exercise to blow of steam, and do things you enjoy like reading a good book. You can also try adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha, rhodiola, holy basil, and ginseng, which work to balance cortisol levels and your adrenals, or the glands in your body that determine how well you deal with stress. Taking one or more of these herbs daily can make you feel calmer, less stressed, and more focused and energetic. Check out this article to learn more. Of course, if you’re really stressed and overwhelmed, don’t go through it alone. Consider going to a counselor, or talk to your doctor about treatment options.
Most people aren’t drinking enough water, and that can have a serious effect on their health and energy. We lose water during the day through our urine and sweat, so we need to make sure we replace these losses by drinking plenty of water throughout the day, especially when exercising and working in warm conditions.
You’ve probably heard that you need to drink at least 8 ounces of water a day to stay hydrated, but the amount you need depends on a number of factors, including your age, sex, weight, and more. Check out this article to learn how much water you should be drinking.
Have you ever spent a day binge watching TV and noticed how crappy and tired you felt after? You probably felt so exhausted you couldn’t move, but you probably would have felt better had you done some sort of physical activity. Studies show that regular physical activity can increase energy, improve mood, and keep depression at bay.
Thankfully, that doesn’t mean you need to have a huge sweat session like Crossfit or running to feel benefits. Even light activities like walking, yoga, running errands, and doing household chores count as movement that can fight fatigue.
We really are what we eat. You can’t expect to feel great on a diet of low-quality, poor nutrient processed foods, so if your diet is less than stellar, clean it up! A diet full of nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, eggs, and meat (if you eat animal products) is about as important as sleep when you’re trying to improve your energy levels.
Don’t think you can afford to eat healthy? Check out 30 Brilliant Ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget.
Need some healthy meal ideas? Check out the following:
EAT THE RIGHT CARBS
Carbohydrates have a bad reputation for health and weight loss, but not all carbs are the same. Carbs found in healthy, whole foods are actually good for us because they give us the energy we need to do things. However, simple carbs like processed foods, desserts, sugary drinks, white bread, and pasta aren’t so great. These simple carbohydrates give your body a quick burst of energy, but since they’re metabolized by the body really quickly, you’ll suffer a crash of energy later as your blood sugar drops.
Prevent this crash by eating only whole-grain, low-glycemic carbohydrates – essentially whole food sources – like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, white potatoes and sweet potatoes (eat the skin, too, for plenty of filling and nutrient-rich fiber), nuts, legumes, oats, and brown rice.
EAT CHIA SEEDS
Chia seeds are an amazing superfood full of protein, fiber, and Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids that provide a wonderful all-natural energy boost. Chia seeds are also an excellent food for weight loss along with these other foods.
Smoking has been shown to cause many health problems, including fatigue, mostly due to decreased oxygen and lung diseases. Some people can quit cold turkey, but others aren’t so lucky. If you’re having trouble quitting smoking, try the nicotine patch, gum, or lozenges, join a support group, or talk to your doctor for other recommendations.
GET YOUR B VITAMINS
B Vitamins are called the “energy vitamins” because deficiency in these vitamins can be one of the top causes of fatigue. B Vitamins can also help depression, decrease sugar cravings, and improve brain health. Dietary sources of B Vitamins are mostly found in animal products like grass-fed beef, beef liver, wild-caught salmon, cottage cheese, feta cheese, and eggs.
However, nutritional yeast is a completely plant-based food that is also an excellent source of B Vitamins, and you don’t have to be vegetarian or vegan to enjoy it. I’m not completely vegetarian, but I love the taste of nutritional yeast, also called “nooch.” I like to sprinkle it on popcorn, roasted chickpeas, and any other savory dishes that could benefit from healthy cheesy flavor.
You can also get your daily dose of B Vitamins in supplement form.
HEAL YOUR GUT
You may not realize it, but healing your gut may be the best way to get healthy! Leaky gut, also known as intestinal permeability, can cause a host of health problems, including autoimmunity (like my Hashimoto’s Disease), food allergies and sensitivities, inflammation, and more, all of which can manifest as fatigue.
Leaky gut is a condition wherein nutrients can go through the intestine through microscopic holes. This means your body isn’t able to absorb those nutrients, which can put you at risk of development nutrient deficiencies. Also, when those nutrient particles are released into the body where they’re not supposed to be, they can cause inflammation, autoimmune disease, and other symptoms.
Whether you think you may have leaky gut or not, we can all benefit from improving our gut health, and it’s actually not that hard. Eating clean – i.e. avoiding alcohol, processed foods, and other inflammatory foods like dairy, corn, gluten, and more (at least until you’re sure you’re not sensitive to them) – and consuming plenty of probiotics is the best way to improve gut health and heal intestinal permeability.
Alcohol is a depressant, which means it can act as a sedative and make you feel tired. That doesn’t mean you should go reaching for a night cap to help you sleep, though. Studies show that drinking alcohol before bed can interfere with sleep quality, even if that glass of wine or beer seems to help you fall asleep.
BE A SOCIAL BUTTERFLY
Okay, I don’t mean you have to go out and party with friends every night – I don’t know about you, but that definitely wouldn’t be good for my energy! However, studies have shown that socializing – instead of isolating yourself – can actually increase your energy and fight fatigue.
Try to meet with friends at least once a week, or as often as you can. You can also join a social club or another group with activities you enjoy like a hiking club, cycling group, dance or exercise class, gardening club, etc.
Fatigue can really mess with your quality of life and prevent you from doing the things you love, but luckily, there are some things – like these 10 Natural Ways to Fight Fatigue – that you can do to fight fatigue and finally feel better.
I would love to hear from you!
Please share your experience with low energy and fatigue in the comments below! What do you think of these 10 Natural Ways to Fight Fatigue, Increase Your Energy + Feel Your Best Every Day? Let me know if they work for you.