Whether you live with a chronic illness or not, you may suffer from chronic fatigue and being tired. This can stem from many things like, lack of sleep, vitamin deficiency, poor eating habits, healing, and many other factors. Throughout my life I have gone through waves of extreme fatigue, and so I have developed a series of tips and tricks that have helped me through these time periods.
1. Get Your Blood Work Checked
Now for anyone living with a chronic illness, you will be probably be like, “well ya duh, that’s obvious”. But, for “normal”/non-sick people this may be something that you may have overlooked. Vitamin and mineral deficiency can cause you major fatigue and other health problems. Especially for woman, it is particularly important to ensure that your blood level counts are normal, because our period can often throw this off. Ask your doctor to send you for a full round of blood work. Make sure to check big markers such as iron/ferritin, magnesium, potassium, vitamin B12, vitamin D, and folic acid.
I am anemic, and so for years I got iron infusions every few months in the time leading up to my surgery in 2018. Ever since then my iron levels have remained fairly steady with just iron pills. When there is a tip in my iron levels, I can usually tell because I start to become more easily fatigued. So, checking your blood work is so truly important.
2. Supplement Where Needed
After checking your blood work, you will be able to see where you may need to supplement. In addition, speaking with your doctor or a naturopath can be a great idea to get the right supplement list for you. I personally take the following, but be sure to check with your doctor before taking any new supplements incase of drug interaction or interactions with pre-existing conditions.
- Whole Earth & Sea Multivitamin: I like this multi because it is easy on my stomach and is quite natural with its ingredients. ⠀
- Proferrin Iron: I have been anemic since I was diagnosed. So, I have always taken iron pills (as well as iron infusions as needed). This is the only brand I will use because it does not irritate my stomach. ⠀
- Natural Factors B12: Since having part of my small intestine removed I have began taking B12 every day since the consumption happens in the small intestine. Plus, this is a vitamin that many are lacking in. ⠀
- Kirkland B100 Complex: To help get my other B vitamins in. ⠀
- Natural Factors Vitamin C: Vitamin C is really great at boosting the immune system, so I take it every day. I will also double up in the winter during cold and flu season. ⠀
- Natural Factors MSM & Glucosamine: I take this for my joint health and for my knees in particular.⠀
- Genestra Vitamin D drops: I take about 5000 IU of Vitamin D every day. This is particularly important in the winter when we get less sunlight. ⠀
- Now Calcium Citrate: I take calcium for my bone health and to help with my joints as well. ⠀
- Genestra HMF Probiotic: I was taking the HMF 500 probiotic for 2 months to restore my gut health after a flare (pe rmy Naturopaths recommendation), but now I am down to the HMF Forte Probiotic for 1 month and then a lower dose. I wanted to share this one because I highly recommend Genestra as a brand of probiotics.
3. Shift Your Mindset
If you wake up every morning, and the first thing that pops into your head is how poorly you feel, then maybe it is time for you to reevaluate your mindset. Now, don’t get me wrong some days are shitty, and some days you are really, truly exhausted. But, for the most part, you should try to change the way you think about fatigue. One of the best predictors of fatigue is whether you tend to focus on how badly you feel when feeling tired. In order to help with fatigue, try to start your day with something you enjoy. Do not evaluate how you feel until the activity is over. Odds are you will feel a lot better after you get your day going than if you were to prejudge how you feel before even getting out of bed. As a side note here, it is important to also listen to your body and be mindful of any experiences you mind/body has gone through. If you are recovering from an illness, a procedure or anything then give yourself time to rest. But, in general, pushing through can help to give you some momentum.
4. Prioritize Sleep
Again, this may be obvious to some of you. But, for some this may not be on the top of your priority list. It is critical that you get 7-9 hours or sleep per night to help your body to feel rested. If you are not getting 7-9 hours right now, ask yourself why not? Determine what is standing in your way of a good night sleep and adjust accordingly. This may be as small as going to bed a little bit earlier, or establishing a better night routine. Or this may be a larger problem, such as asking your boss to start work a little later, or talking to your pharmacist about any drug interactions that could be interfering with your sleep.
5. Take It One Step At A Time
If you try to look too far ahead into your day/week, you can be exhausted and tired before even starting. Therefore, it is important to take it one step at a time. If you are already struggling with fatigue, then take one baby action to achieving your goal right now. Just one small action can help with momentum and also help you to feel more accomplished. Once one little step is done, reevaluate. Do you need a break? Can you keep going? Think about only the immediate next task ahead of you. This will help to feel less overwhelmed and to achieve your tasks/goals even if you are struggling with fatigue.
6. Focus on Nutrition & Hydration
On the other hand, you may be getting enough sleep, but not prioritizing your nutrition. Nutrition is so important for minimizing fatigue and maximizing your energy throughout the day. Ask yourself this questions. Is more than 25% of my food intake per day from a box or processed? If yes, than it is time to rethink your eating habits. It is important to eat real, nutritious foods so that you can feel more energized. Otherwise, this will start to throw off other parts of your life and create more problems. A lack of nutrition will affect your vitamin and mineral consumption, your sleep, and your weight, which spirals into other health problems. Consume fruits, vegetables, grains, protein and healthy fats every day. It is also important to reduce the amount of sugar consumption because this will spike your blood sugar and later make you crash. For more info about nutrition check out this link.
Along with nutrition, it is vital that you are consuming enough water throughout the day. Our body is made up of 60% water and so without enough water our body is not working at it’s best. Dehydration causes fatigue, head aches, feeling dizzy, rapid heart beat, increased breathing rate, and dry skin. Overall, when your body is dehydrated it is not working at it’s best. So make sure that you are consuming half your body weight in water everyday. For example, if you weigh 120 pounds, consume 60 ounces of water per day.
7. When All Else Fails… Hide the Fatigue
I know that it is not ideal to hide your fatigue instead of fixing it, but sometimes it is out of our hands. If you are feeling, and frankly looking, particularly tired some days, I have got just the tricks for you.
Full Coverage Concealer: I recently discovered this concealer last year, and it has been the biggest game changer for me. It is extremely full coverage, but does not crease, and is not overly drying either. This concealer of dreams is the Tarte Shape Tape Concealer.
Curl Your Eye Lashes: Another trick to help you look more awake is to curl your eyelashes, this gives the appearance of a more lifted eye.
Rosy Cheeks: Apply a nice rosy blush color. This will help to add life back into your face and help you look more awake.
Give Yourself a Face Massage: By massaging your skin, it will help to get the blood flowing. Once, you’re done with this massage your skin will appear fuller and less dull. Massage your skin in strokes from your forehead, down your cheeks and to your neck. After a few minutes, use the back of your hand to gently roll your knuckles along your cheeks and across your forehead and chin. Do not apply too much pressure.
Cold Compress: Apply a cold compress to your face or eyes to help reduce puffiness in the face. Another trick is to put your eye cream in the fridge, and apply it cold to your face.
QUESTION: DO YOU STRUGGLE WITH FATIGUE? WHAT IS YOUR TOP TIP
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